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The Miraculous Story of the Forgotten Catholic Hero of the First Thanksgiving


Most people know the basic story of the first Thanksgiving: the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth rock, the Native Americans helped them grow food, and they all gathered together in a feast of thanksgiving.

But what most tellings of the story leave out is the crucial role played by Squanto, the English-speaking Catholic Native American hero.

Wait, what? Why was there an English-speaking Catholic Native American near Plymouth when the Pilgrims landed? Here’s the amazing story.

In the early 17th century, Squanto’s tribe came in contact with some of the earliest English colonist in the Americas. He was captured and taught English so he could serve as an interpreter. But in 1614, as he was being transported by John Smith (of Pocahontas fame), one of Smith’s lieutenants, Thomas Hunt, kidnapped him.

Hunt took Squanto to Spain to sell him as a slave. But some Franciscan friars saw what was happening and saved Squanto. The Franciscans taught Squanto the Catholic faith and he was apparently baptized.

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