6 Interesting Catholic Thanksgiving Facts You Need to Know

When you’re sitting down for that wonderful feast on Thursday, here are 6 interesting Catholic Thanksgiving Facts you can share with your family. Print them out and read them aloud over some pumpkin (or pecan) pie!

The history books will tell you that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Protestant pilgrims of Massachusetts in 1621. Not so. There was the Catholic Thanksgiving of 1565 in Florida and another Catholic Thanksgiving of 1589 in Texas.

First Catholic Thanksgiving

  1. The first American Thanksgiving was actually celebrated on September 8 (feast of the birth of the Blessed Virgin) in 1565 in St. Augustine, Florida. The Native Americans and Spanish settlers held a feast and the Holy Mass was offered. This was 56 years before the Puritan pilgrims of Massachusetts.Don Pedro Menendez came ashore amid the sounding of trumpets, artillery salutes and the firing of cannons to claim the land for King Philip II and Spain. The ship chaplain Fr. Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales chanted the Te Deum and presented a crucifix that Menendez ceremoniously kissed. Then the 500 soldiers, 200 sailors and 100 families and artisans, along with the Timucuan Indians celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in gratitude to God.
  2. The second American Thanksgiving happened on April 30, 1598, when Spanish explorer Don Juan de Oñate requested the friars to say a Mass of Thanksgiving, after which he formally proclaimed “La Toma”, claiming the land north of the Rio Grande for the King of Spain. The men feasted on duck, goose, and fish from the river. The actors among them dressed and presented a play. All this took place twenty-three years before the Pilgrims set sail from England on the Mayflower.
  3. The Puritan pilgrims were violently anti-Catholic. They left England because they thought that the Church of England was too Catholic. These Puritans were strict Calvinists. The pilgrims also opposed celebrating Christmas, dancing, musical instruments in church, and even hymns as papistical.
  4. Squanto, the beloved hero of Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock, was Catholic! (Here’s my full article on the Catholicism of Squanto.) Squanto had been enslaved by the English but he was freed by Spanish Franciscans. Squanto thus received baptism and became a Catholic. So it was a baptized Catholic Native American who orchestrated what became known as Thanksgiving.
    Squanto Catholic Thanksgiving

    Catholic Squanto teaches the lame English Puritans how to play limbo.
    “How low can you go?!”

    Please take a moment to watch the video below as I explain the story behind the first Thanksgiving and what a group of Franciscan monks did to make it happen:

    Are you having trouble seeing the “Catholic Squanto” video in your browser or email? Please click here to watch it.

  5. So while Thanksgiving may celebrate the Calvinist Separatists who fled England, Catholics might remember the same unjust laws that granted the crown of martyrdom to Thomas More, John Fisher, Edmund Campion, et al. are the same injustices that led the Pilgrims to Plymouth.
  6. And let everyone remember that “Thanksgiving” in Greek is Eucharistia. Thus, the Body and Blood of Christ is the true “Thanksgiving Meal”.

And don’t forget to raise your wine glass and recite the wonderful limerick of Hilaire Belloc:

“Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!”

― Hilaire Belloc

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  • Sam

    Absolutely fascinating! I didn’t know most of these facts. They give me a new appreciation for Thanksgiving. We will be celebrating in the same way our Catholic forebears did—by attending Holy Mass, followed by a feast!

    • Going to Eucharistia (“thanksgiving”) is the best form of Thanksgiving!

      • Victor

        I’m truly learning a lot from you Dr. Marshall and we can’t blame all of my lack of knowledge on that two year occupational course that our society placed me into over fifty years ago and long story short, I tried hard to correct their mistake but longer story short, our principal’s hands were locked.
        Anyway to get on topic, don’t tell any body (lol) but back when I was younger Canadian, almost every day was thanks giving for our family. True that I attended a Catholic school but after a French elite school was started and I was not invited so I lost many of my French friends. I made new Protestant friends and they also were good to me and long story short, guess that some of us quietly and non violently started to become, you might say, black sheep of our Religion.
        I don’t want to write a book but I will say that eventually I learned that Protestant were at one time Catholics although I still don’t know the whole story of how that came about but we became close friends and as a matter of fact, about four months ago I was invited to a Protestant lady 100th Birthday and we all had lots of fun and she told me that she’s still praying for me. Go Figure!
        I better not start talking about my ancestors entire family who worked on a sale boat and of having later found out from my big brother before he died that one of our grandmother was a Metis and eventually separated just like our good friends “The Protestant” did, “I” guess. 🙂
        I’ll close by saying that maybe “IT” is all Negative and Positive forces working on U>S (usual sinners) but then again good Catholics who truly believe that our GOD (Good Old Dad) kingdom is really not of this world, they might just simply call “IT” “Good and Bad” sins? 🙂
        Happy Thanksgiving to all our American cousin friends.
        God Bless Peace

  • Christie Arnold

    This is so interesting! Thanks for sharing!

  • Maria Cristina Ariza-Gómez

    Excellent, Dr. Marshall! Good Catholic sense of humor. ¿Have you read “The Spanish Roots of America”? You will find it interesting, with many facts many people do not know about. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Sam

    On a similar note, I just noticed today that Google has launched a new online exhibit featuring the influence of the Spanish on America. They even celebrate the 300th birthday of Bl. Junipero Serra, the Franciscan missionary. It’s great to see this part of our heritage acknowledged.

    Since I can’t post links without ending up in comment purgatory, Google the term “google spanish legacy in the united states of america” to find the exhibits.

  • Thanks Dr. Marshall!! This will be perfect to go over with my 6th grade CCD students tonight, not to mention my 5 yr old who just learned about Thanksgiving at school. God bless and Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

  • Adam

    1. The Puritans in England were not just simple protestant Calvinists persecuted by the King and the Church of England for their unorthodox beliefs. They were also political revolutionaries who not only intended to overthrow the monarchical government of England, but who actually did so in 1649, with their leader Oliver Cromwell.

    2. The Puritan “Pilgrims” who came to New England were not simple refugees who decided to “put their fate in God’s hands” in the “empty wilderness” of North America, as a generation of Hollywood movies taught us. In any culture at any time, settlers on a frontier are most often outcasts, and many even fugitives, who in some way or other, do not fit into the mainstream of their society (like the first Austrailians and Israeli settlers now). Fitting well within the Puritans’ mission,
    historians believe they had every intention of taking the land away from its native people to build their prophesied “Holy Kingdom” in the new Promised Land.

    3. The Pilgrims were not just innocent refugees from religious persecution. They saw themselves as fighting a holy war, a jihad, like Joshua in the “Promised Land”, and everyone who disagreed with them was the enemy, remarkably like
    the Zionists’ behavior towards Palestinians in their ongoing takeover of the Holy Land. This rigid fundamentalism was transmitted to America by the Plymouth
    colonists, and it sheds a very different light on the loving “Pilgrim” image that most of us were taught to have of them. This is best illustrated in the actual written text of the Thanksgiving sermon delivered at Plymouth in 1623, just two years after that so-called first Thanksgiving. In that sermon, Mather the Elder gave special thanks to God for the devastating plague of smallpox which wiped out the majority of the local tribe, the Wampanoag Indians, who had been their benefactors, even saving their lives during that first cold winter. Mather praises God in that sermon for destroying “chiefly young men and children, the very seeds of increase, thus clearing the forests to make way for a better growth”, i.e., the Pilgrims.

    4. A couple of generations later, after the balance of power had indeed shifted
    from the native indigenous people to the European immigrants, the children and
    grandchildren of these two peoples of that “first” Thanksgiving were striving to kill each other in the genocidal conflict know as King Philip’s War. At the end of that conflict most of the New England Indians were either exterminated or became refugees among the French in Canada. But it gets worse – much worse. Many were sold into slavery in the Carolinas by the Puritans. So successful was this early trade in Indian slaves that several Puritan ship owners began the practice of raiding the Ivory Coast of Africa for black Africans to sell into slavery to the colonies of the South, thus founding the American-based slave trade.

    Kyrie eleison.

    • Victor

      Dab….blamit…….here I thought all along Thanksgiving was a simple holiday of giving thanks!

      • Dogma

        Interesting post, thank you. Do you have some books you can recommend on the topic?

    • JoeAllen

      I disagree 100% with your history of the USA and Israel. In the interest of time and space, let’s examine the nation of Israel to make my point.

      The impoverished, un-desirable, desert land that eventually became the nation of Israel, was purchased on the free market by Jewish organizations. As Jews from all over the Earth moved to this land, they made the desert bloom with fruits and vegetables and businesses. Once this land was recognized as a sovereign nation of Israel by the UN, the militant Muslims attacked in hopes of slaughtering all Jews, but these Muslims were defeated on the battle-field by the Israelis.

      Today, even though the Israelis have given up land and businesses to the Palestinians, the un-employment rate among Palestinians is about 80%. Most of the Palestinians are supported on welfare by the USA and Europe, NOT by oil-rich wealthy Arab countries.

      And what do the Palestinians do with all their welfare-supported free-time … ??? They teach their children to hate and kill Jews … !!!

      PS: I am NOT Jewish

      • Adam

        Jesus was not a Zionist.

        • JoeAllen

          Of the 19 wars in the world today, 18 involve Muslims NOT getting along with their neighbors. Israel occupies less than 2% of the land in the MiddleEast, yet the Muslims demand that Israel give up land for peace. I think RADICAL ISLAM is the BIG PROBLEM in the MiddleEast and all over Africa and in India and in the Philippines … !!!

          • Dogma

            Please Joe, tell me you’re not an educator or a person in any position of power…

      • Dogma

        This kind of hyperbole starts wars.

      • daisy

        I feel so conflicted about Israel. On one hand I was raised to see it as wonderful and heroic and on the other hand, I can’t get past thinking about all those Palestinians who got kicked out of their homes and I think about those people who got killed at the King David hotel.

        • scragsma

          “all those Palestinians who got kicked out of their homes” –?? What alternate universe are you living in?

          • Adam

            Google “The Stones Cry Out” movie for the UNTOLD STORY of the Zionist persecution of Christian Palestinians!

          • I just want to say briefly that your original post in this thread is excellent. People need to be awaken to these truths about the birth of our nation, which was poisoned from the outset by Protestant and Enlightenment heresies.

            You also shed some light here on a not so well known tragedy: The government of Israel daily engages in human rights violations against the Palestinian people, many of whom are Catholic Christians. Americans live in a bubble, blissfully unaware of the horror going on in distant lands. The cries of the Palestinian people are unheard.

            God help us!

    • LOGOS

      According to original manuscripts, laws were established to protect indigenous peoples. If genocide were the goal, why the laws? Governments of men are constantly at risk of tyranny.
      The goal of satan is to tempt, accuse and deceive people so that they pervert the truth. What does God say?
      Finally, We do not wrestle against flesh and blood. We war in the spiritual realm, against rulers in dark places, principalities and fallen angels.

    • DJ

      You should read what the English Puritans under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell did to Catholics in Ireland in 1649 — the atrocities make the Holocaust look like a baseball game.

      • Howard

        Your last clause is not really helpful. Beyond a certain level of evil, questions of comparison are humanly meaningless. What the Calvinists did was on par with the Holocaust, but it is not right to minimize the Holocaust.

    • scragsma


    • Adam

      When the Puritans originally landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620, the Wampanoag chief (see above) stood ready to annihilate them. Squanto, a Catholic convert, offered a peace solution and volunteered as emissary to the English invaders. Ironically, it is because of Catholic hospitality that the anti-Catholic Puritans were welcomed in America!

  • James Finn

    Do comments *ever* get released from “Comments Purgatory”?

  • T. J. P. W.

    That’s not a limerick, it’s a clerihew!

  • Thank you for this! Thursday for me is with my entirely Protestant family and some of their quite anti-catholic friends. God be praised!!

  • Don D

    So Protestants held the first War on Christmas!

  • Yankeegator

    Ok, I am being serious here, I think next year my family will have our Thanksgiving Day on September 8th… Take the Day off from work, go to Holy Mass and them have our feast…

    • scragsma

      Not a bad idea. Sure a lot better than the current preoccupation with Black Friday!!

  • Cesar

    Thank you for this information.

  • Esther Mendez

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve been to the site where the Mass was held in St. Augustine, its beautiful!!!! I’m printing copies of this article for all my family members and sharing with my friends as well.

  • Adam

    For sake of historical accuracy, puritans and pilgrims were different. It may be best to revise the information in that light. Otherwise, good article! Learned a good deal.

  • Dogma

    First of all, the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth was a a thanks (in part) to the Nauset tribe who virtually saved them from certain death in their first harsh New England winter. St. Augustine Florida, not so much.

    (But if you really want to dig to the heart of Fall Harvest festivals, it goes back to the pre-Christian Pagens, Celts, Druids, etc.)

    Secondly, yes, Squanto was saved by friars, but that doesn’t mean he chose Catholicism by his own free will, (which is what you are implying).

    Finally, is this what faith has come to? A kind of tit-for-tat secterianism?

    Sure, early Puritans didn’t allow a lot of fun, but they were also pacifists and didn’t torture, kill, and force religious conversion on hundreds of thousands of Native Americans as the Catholic Spanish did in Mexico.

    If you posted a comic strip of Catholics you would have a TON of hate mail about how terribly persecuted we Catholics are.

    • Yankeegator

      Are you saying The Holy Mass said on September the 8th in St Augustine Florida is not Thee Ultimate Thanksgiving?

      • Dogma

        Thanksgiving is a *symbolic* holiday which honors the Pilgrims who overcame impossible odds and to give thanks to God for our bounty.

        So to answer your question, no, the Spanish having Mass in Florida has nothing to do with the national spirit of the Thanksgiving.

        • Yankeegator

          You sound more like a freemason than a Catholic?

          • Dogma

            You mean like those old dudes in robes and funny hats?

            Ah…. NO.

          • DJ

            Thanksgiving is awesome,and Abe Lincoln made it so by making it a national holiday at a most improbable time. What a man. He was Protestant, and a great leader for our country. Thankfully he wasn’t Puritan, or we’d be a slave nation.

    • DJ

      Puritans weren’t pacifists. Quakers, Mennonites,…perhaps several other Protestant sects. But not Puritans. Read about the Puritan conquest of Catholic Ireland in 1649. Hundreds of thousands of noncombatants slaughtered. Pillage and rape. Bodies of the dead defenders desecrated. All of this was recorded by the Puritan chaplains and the reports celebrated by the English Parliament. Following the conquest, 50,000 Irish men, women and children sold into slavery, and the remaining remnant of the Irish population pushed into the rocky west so that the country could be re-populated by English Protestant colonists. Now you now why Northern Ireland still has issues today — a Protestant majority still stomping on the native Irish Catholics,

      • Dogma

        You’re absolutely right. I didn’t mean the Puritans (as in the second wave of English settlers) but the Brownist Pilgrims who arrived at Plymouth first.

        Thank you for correcting me on that.

        • Justin Jurek

          They were still heretics and not worth honoring.

          • Dogma

            Heretic: Someone who does not believe what our group happens to believe.

  • haroldcrews

    And let us not forget that Thanksgiving was celebrated in Virginia more than a decade prior to the Puritans celebrating it.

  • Davy Delgado

    It wasn’t “Texas” then, or “north of the Rio Grande” (which would be all land north of Southern Colorado, where the Rio Grande starts).

  • Kenneth James Abbott

    I’m no Catholic, but I’m glad to see someone’s opposing the deification of the Puritan yankees.

    However, to claim that the Puritans were not the first to give thanks is sort of a “Duh” moment. That’s not what we’re celebrating, which kind of makes the Mexican holidays a moot point–otherwise, I’m sure I could find several other ‘giving thanks’ holidays before Columbus on either side of the Pacific Ocean.

    • Dogma

      I mostly agree. But I have a problem with those here replacing the deification of Puritan English Yankees with the deification of Catholic Spanish Yankees, (as it were).

      Deification is deification.

  • Sam2001

    The Puritans evolved (devolved?) into the Congregationalists and the Unitarians, which have further collapsed into the atheists and the Anti-theists of today. And their hard-stance against anything that “celebrates” the Trinity.

    Did you know that the Ivy League Colleges and Universities were originally Protestant “Divinity” schools?

  • Dogma


    So you’re happy to disparage the Pilgrims for having a Thanksgiving at Plymouth, but you find no problem (or contradiction) with the Spanish having their Thanksgiving after claiming other peoples’ land for King Philip II of Spain?


    • James Finn

      Dear friend,

      This is an excellent question; and one, that if answered appropriately, could take many volumes.

      Essentially, you bring to light the fundamental difference between the Spanish and English settlers – their religion! Religion is THE defining element of any culture.

      Although not always faithful to her teachings, the Spanish conquistadors were, more often than not, guided by the predominant ethical force within their culture: The Catholic Church. Because of man’s fallen nature, we have a disordered tendency to exploit others for our own benefit. The Church, just by virtue of her presence in a culture, mitigates this disordered human disposition – much to the benefit of that culture, and in this case, the Native Americans of Florida.

      It is in this light that you will be able to understand the apparent differences between Cap. John Smith and Don Pedro Menendez.

      I smell turkey in the oven, the dog is barking, company has arrived. Time to eat! I must cut this short, but a quick word of advice is in order: Be suspicious of modern, popular understandings of history. More often than not, the facts have been distorted, omitted or outright rewritten. Open yourself to the vast and intricate story of the 2000 year history of Holy Mother Church.

      Gotta go! Happy Thanksgiving!

      • Dogma

        Hello James,

        Hope your dinner went well.

        First, I have to disagree with you– religion is not THE defining element of any culture. It is AN element of culture. There are loads of examples of cultures made up of several religions living side-by-side: Hesperia Spain, the city of Jerusalem and New York City all come to mind.

        Secondly, I think you’re cherry picking the virtues of colonialism. You can’t say the torture, executions and land grabbing done by the Spanish are ultimately redeemed because Catholicism was allowed to flourish. That is an Ends-Justifies-The-Means philosophy which is always wrong.

        Both were interdependent. No bloodthirsty Conquistador, no Catholicism. You can’t divorce them simply because you don’t like the bad.

        Finally, you say “much to the benefit of that culture”. But you are assuming that the Native Americans benefited from being Christianized. That’s your opinion of course, because that’s your faith. But that is an assumption, not a forgone conclusion.

        My guess is, there are many Native Americans who would still rather have their original culture and land intact.


        • Thank you, sir. My family get together was most pleasant, I wish the same for you and yours. An adequate addressing of this subject material is not possible in this setting, but I will try my best. Here goes!

          In reply to your first objection: Your citing of examples of NYC, Jerusalem, etc. notwithstanding, the fact remains well founded: the defining element of any culture is its religion. Take NYC, for example. Where do you think the philosophical principles for religious freedom come from that enable the melting pot of my old home town to flourish? The modern concept of what has come to be known as “tolerance” was not possible in the pre-Christian West. And this point should be emphasized above all else: the term “human rights” is a purely Christian formulation. Christianity alone teaches that every man is a unique unrepeatable soul created in the image and likeness of God, and is entitled to certain rights that are inherent to his nature. Again, to stress this point most emphatically, these concepts are taken for granted today, but any student of history will tell you that our understanding of human rights was simply not possible in the pre-Christian world, where “survival of the fittest” was the only rule. The fact remains, THE defining element of our culture (what remains of it) is Christianity.

          Moving to your second objection: Your citing of “torture, executions and land-grabbing” are generalizations, and their application in this instance (Don Pedro Menendez) is not supported by the facts.

          Your final objection brings us on to the deeper understanding of this issue: In modern revisions of history, depictions of the American Indians and their culture are romanticized ad nauseam, to the detriment of the truth. The Native Americans were awed by the foreigners and revered them as gods. Why was this? Today we would refer to them as the Third World. But to put it bluntly, they were uncivilized. This also meant that they were vulnerable. The difference between North American Protestant settlements and South American Catholic settlements, I think, can best be understood by this casual observation: Who are the current day indigenous peoples of North America? White men. Who are the current day indigenous peoples of South America? Hispanics. The difference? In the former, the white man displaced the natives. In the latter, the white man mixed with the natives.

          What is their “benefit” you ask? The list is endless. Our understanding that, as stated before, each man is entitled to human rights. Our understanding that the natural world is ordered and can be understood, i.e. science. There were no scientists in America before we got here! Who brought them the printing press? Who brought them Universities and schools?

          This “villainization” of the white man in modern rhetorical gibberish is a deception of the most malicious sort. Because it is not actually intended to subvert the white man, but instead at the good that was wrought.

          • Laurence Charles Ringo

            Ah,there it is…the”poor,misunderstood,well-meaning white man”…Wow.So YOU version of history is the one that we all should aspire to grasp and hold on to,huh?? The astonishing and sad assumption that you actually believe what you posted is,well…astonishing! Tell us,historian,speaking of South America,do you know why Brazil has one of the largest populations of Black people on this side of the Atlantic? Anyone? Anyone? I await your reply. (I can’t wait to be amused by the anticipated attempts you’ll make to try and defend the poor,put upon white man.)

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Thank you,Dogma! That’s the one thing most catholics DON’T want to do–actually examine the supposed 2,000-year of Roman Catholicism.I’ve been doing so for the last 25 years,and boy oh boy…!!

  • ZuzanaM

    This was absolutely a great post…. Thank you.

  • disqus_8m0VlEMFWf

    Thank you for this! My priest used it as his sermon today! A blessed feast of the Blessed Sacrament!

  • Eileen Burke Miller

    It’s wonderful to see that Spanish Catholics gave thanks to God too. Nevertheless, I would not call the English Puritans lame with a leader like William Bradford and what they endured to establish their colony. The spirit of the holiday is what is important. This is what unites all people of Faith. We can’t fall into the trap of the liberals who name call (and distort history) to give all credit to the wrong group in order to turn our God fearing country into a socialist republic. No body is perfect but it was the Christian spirit that our Founding Fathers acknowledged. People who loved God’s Word and believed in the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is great to hear all these wonderful facts but name calling a people who try to be virtuous shows a level of immaturity that should be foreign to the Christian. This is what liberals do in order to intimidate and discredit their opponents because they have no facts to help their cause. We have facts and do not need to call each other lame. Maybe some practices appeared odd but they were not a lame people. Let’s use our facts to spread the truth that our country really is founded on Christian principles.

    • Adam

      Google “The Stones Cry Out” movie for the UNTOLD STORY of the American taxpayers’ subsidized persecution of Christian Palestinians!

  • Ikilope

    It’s’ really a moot point as American history as such only considers the Original Thirteen and not the entirety of what is today the USA. If we get too I to this, then Baltimore ceases to be the primal see in the USA as well.

    • Micha_Elyi

      Think again. When Plymouth Colony was established, there was no USA.

  • Mark

    This is awesome!

  • lick_my_hairy_scalp

    I think anyone who believes this nonsense has gone senial and deaf. Especially, if they think this is right or real.
    Read some real History and remind yourself and others that you are celebrating the mass murders of the wonderful beautiful indegenious people who once flourished this land.

    On a lighter note. Don’t do drugs.

    • Guest

      Senile is spelled: S – E – N – I – L – E

      Sorry, but your post is just laughable!

    • James Finn

      Senile is spelled S – E – N – I – L – E

      Indigenous is spelled I – N – D – I – G – E – N – O – U – S

      Sorry, but your post is just laughable!

    • Justin Jurek

      You mean Stone Age cultures that practiced ritual torture?

  • scrate

    What is a Mayflower descendant (Pilgrim) who has converted to Catholicism to do with this information? I have always revered my pilgrim ancestors, and now I love the Catholic Church. Unfortunately the way these facts are presented may cause way more hurt feelings than enlightenment. It is a good thing that Thanksgiving was celebrated in Florida, Texas AND New England.

  • HBS82

    Here’s a 7th fact. I thank God for the “Protestant Calvinists”
    at Plymouth Rock as the progenitors of the American annual tradition of
    Thanksgiving that is basically missing in Europe. Nice try counting 1565 and 1598 as
    consecutive one-in-a-row observances. I’m certainly thankful that our country was freed from being a colony of ENGLAND instead of a colony of SPAIN, because otherwise we might have turned out like
    all the South American countries that have phony elections, and corrupt judicial systems, where the Catholic Church acts in concert with those governments to ban or persecute Protestant missionaries.

    Think that’s harsh? Protestant churches are essentially illegal in Italy, whose government is as corrupt as any in South America. Italy is more successful in suppressing Lutherans than they are Muslims. The Calvinists at Plymouth Rock withstood a death toll of about 50% the first two winters as the price to avoid religious persecution in England and Europe, not all at the hands of Anglicans. Calvinists did not invite Obama to Notre Dame.

    • littleeif

      I don’t think it’s harsh but I do think it’s illogical particularly since the entire western world was organized under Catholic auspices for 1500 years prior to the instant English colonization addressed here. The informed Catholic view of the outcome of the Reformation might not be agreeable to you but conversely your attempt at a disputation of it is a fail.

    • Justin Jurek

      Keeping heretics from leading the faithful astray is bad?

  • Harry Seldon

    Yeah…a Mass of Thanksgiving….is not ‘Thanksgiving’, the American holiday. So, this post seems pretty silly.

  • bensam32

    I am a South African living in South Africa and this has been fascinating reading, thanks for sharing.

  • bensam32

    Catholic South African

  • Yankeegator

    September 8th is almost here!!!

  • Happy Thanksgiving and pray for God’s graces on our Nation…God Bless America and America Bless God AGAIN!!!!

  • Lady Bird

    Sharing this with my Bible Study group. Tks!

  • Angela Mose

    I was so happy to read this article. My children and I had learned about the earlier Thanksgivings several years ago as part of our homeschool study of the holiday. As a side note, we were sad to learn that the Indian tribe in Florida had later been exterminated by the incoming Europeans. We did not discover that Squanto was Catholic. I am also happy to hear that I am not the only one who does not revere the Massachusetts pilgrims.

  • KathleenWagner

    That isn’t a limerick. Limericks have five lines (rhyme scheme A-A-B-B-A) and are usually pretty salty.

  • Philip

    limerick or clerihew? Just as good whoever has given his name to the rhyme

  • Tom Saltsman

    For a great book on how devout Catholics were persecuted by Protestants, may I suggest that Dr. Taylor’s fans read my cousin’s book, “Autobiography of a Hunted Priest.” Author Fr. John Gerard was a Jesuit and wrote his inspiring and nail-biting memoirs on orders from his superiors about 1609. It was translated into English from Latin in 1952 and Time Magazine raved about it. It is considered by many to be a “Catholic classic.”

    I am descended directly from Dr. Thomas Gerard who became the first owner of St. Clement’s Island in Maryland where the first mass in America was celebrated by British Catholic emigrants on March 24, 1624. I wrote an earlier history on my illustrious Catholic family but forgot that the hyperlink I put in it about that island would sent would sent my remarks automatically to “Comments Purgatory.”

    Can you take me out of Purgatory, Dr. Taylor? Thanks.

  • geekborj

    Thanksgiving has always been centered on the Mass for Catholics. Perhaps this is the reason why the moderns would not have noticed the thanksgiving by Catholics in the history since the non-Catholic thanksgiving would definitely need lots of (worldly) fanfare. 🙂
    Cheers Dr. Taylor!

  • littleeif

    Dr. Marshall I did not know about the Catholic Thanksgiving. Thank you. But I will try not to let the glancing blow you gave Israel color my overall assessment of your scholarship familiar as I am with you as a theologian I deeply respect. But your slight at Israel is too simplified and political to permit it to be a proper analogy. I would dispute your conclusion but even if I agreed I could not consent that Zionism alone explains the conflict or summarizes the Jewish claim to Israel.


    Thank you so much for this most interesting video ((the ending was pretty funny, too)! I did not know about this at all! Perhaps you could write a children’s book about “Catholic Squanto!” My kids would love to read about him! Happy Thanksgiving to you & your beautiful family!!

  • Joyalea Herdeck

    Fascinating. I shared on Facebook so others can learn too. 🙂

  • Joseph Burgio

    Regarding #3, John Calvin actually DID allow his followers to sing hymns, provided they were metrical paraphrases of the psalms. The Genevan Psalter was published in 1561. The first psalter in English, Sternhold and Hopkins, was published in 1562. “All People That On Earth Do Dwell”, a paraphrase of Psalm 99 (100), was published in 1561.

  • Christopher

    It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation to always and everywhere give God thanks.

    I heard that at Mass this morning!

    By the way, that’s not a limerick.