An American Thanksgiving Story: How a Catholic Saved the Pilgrims Who Celebrated the First Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is a great holiday in the United States, going back to the coming of the Pilgrims, Protestants, to the unsettled new world in the early 1600s. But even Americans don’t knew how a Catholic Indian, Squanto, saved them from starvation. The Pilgrims were ill-prepared for survival, had little food and didn’t knew how to grow it. But an English-speaking Catholic Indian came out go the woods and taught them.


Is there really any proof of this or is this just assumed due to his time in Spain? Wikipedia says,

"The English Separatists may have comforted themselves by believing that Squanto had become a convert, but it is doubtful that he subscribed to Christianity in any orthodox way. "

Also, apparently when Squanto was near death he asked the Englishmen to pray for him that he might “go to the Englishmens God.”


From what I know it’s an assumption. He did spend time in a monastery in Spain, and it’s unlikely he understood or could appreciate the theological or cultural differences between the Pilgrims and Catholics.

Just as an addendum, the Pilgrims were not the most…orthodox individuals. There’s a reason they didn’t get on well with others.


“it is doubtful that he subscribed to Christianity in any orthodox way.”

–The article in Wikipedia simply says this without providing any justification. If you can say more to show that this is true, feel free it put it on here.
–Wikipedia sometimes isn’t a good source when it comes to Catholicism. Anyone can write anything on wikipedia.


Thank you Squanto. I loved the sharing of Squanto deed.

What is important is that Squanto’s heart was filled with goodness and kindness. And he shared his knowledge with the Pilgrims. He did help feed the hungry…and helped the needy…

It is highly possible he understood our God’s spirit essence. His culture would have given thanks to the Great Spirit for everything - taking nothing for grant.

I read recently that a Christian is a person of gratitude [understanding everything is a blessing from God; perhaps Squanto understood his Great Spirit was God. Who knows. With individuals like Squanto and others where would we all be today?
Only God knows


Thanks Squanto. I wouldn’t be here w/o you.

I had an ancestor on the Mayflower. But, he wasn’t a Pilgrim he was the ship’s cooper and was an Anglican.

Being they were coming here to colonize. I’m quite certain they had seeds and farm animals aboard to do so. You couldn’t claim colonization in those times w/o growing and harvesting crops on the new land. Seeds, shovels, plows were vital for a legitimate legal colonial land claim.


There is no evidence that Squanto became a Christian when he lived with the English monks in Spain. He did learn to speak english and he was taught the gospel story by the monks.

Also, he alone didn’t help the Pilgrims to survive, they were already catching fish, lobsters and doing some hunting of the local game animals by the time Squanto showed up. Squanto’s importance was that he was able to speak English and help bridge the friendly relationship the Pilgrims had with the natives, especially the head sachem, Massasoit, who’s Wampanoag Tribe were the main source of helping the Pilgrims to survive. Also, the Pilgrims survival when they first arrived, which was out in what is now Provincetown on Cape Cod, was by steeling the corn that a native had stored for his family in an underground bunker. They later compensated the man with modern goods of the time, i.e. pots, pans and steel knife.

Squanto also tried to use his knowledge of English in order to become the head sachem and used deceit to try and accomplish this, He plan was discovered by both the Pilgrims and Massasoit and the latter wanted his head. The Pilgrims actually saved Squanto from the death sentence.

Also the OP article is wrong in that the Pilgrims, were not Calvinists, but Religious Separatists with a belief system of their own. Of the 102 who arrived on the Mayflower, only half were Separatists, the other half, were merchant adventurers who belonged to the Church of England back in their homeland.

It was because of the differences in religious beliefs that both the Separatists and Merchant Adventurers, after arguing about what laws would be followed once they got off the Mayflower, ended up creating a compromise known as the Mayflower Compact. This meant that William Bradford head of the Separatist, would enforce laws according to the Separatists beliefs, once they landed, and only within their own settlement. This meant that the Merchant Adventurers would quickly seek to set up their own settlement further north, near what is now Boston,

As a result of the Separatists beliefs, Christmas on December 25th in 1620, was celebrated by the Merchant Adventurers, not the Separatists who did not celebrate the holiday, because it wasn’t in the Bible to do so.

Anyway, read the book, “Mayflower,” by Nathaniel Philbrick for a accurate history of the Pilgrims arrival and through the Indian Wars.



Oh. So they never had a valid colonial claim b/c they stole. I guess the Acadians that were deported there in 1755 made it a valid claim for the French–given their farming skills. So, the United States is actually subject to the King of France.

Now it makes sense (after two beers).

Ce’st la vie.

Let us celebrate our Catholic Monarch of the United States!!!


The only thing the Pilgrims stole was the corn as in my post.

Even the English who followed them traded with the natives for land.

However, eventually, Metacomet, aka King Philip, because of his lust for modern European goods, traded much of his tribe’s land. He went against the agreement his father Massasoit had made with William Bradford at Plymouth Colony, to not trade land with the English without going through them, The last thing the Separatist wanted was to have the English , whom they fled from, populating the area. They feared that once the English populated the New World, everyone would become a subject of the King in England.

Acadians ? I’m 100% Acadian Descent and have studied the history. There were three ships which landed in Boston after being removed from what is now Nova Scotia. The ships had mostly women, children and elderly who were suffering from illness and starvation. They were allowed to disembark, however, because they were Catholic, they were forced to live in the wilderness areas of Massachusetts. At that time Catholicism, along with anything other than Congregationalism, was illegal. Either way, they made up a very small part of the population around Boston at the time. Many also ended up serving in the American Revolution. France wouldn’t have any claim being France essentially abandoned them in Nova Scotia after the French Indian War.



Well, I guess that makes me Monarch–due to my lack of Dutch ancestry. Just as I had suspected all these years.


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