Prof. Christopher Check
February 28, 2009
St. John the Beloved Catholic Church, McLean, VA
Americans know the defeat of the Spanish Armada as the victory of the heroic Francis Drake and the sailors of a nascent navy standing up to and defeating the superior forces of the great sea power of Spain determined to arrest religious and economic freedom with vessels laden with the torture devices of the Spanish Inquisition. The reality is that Drake, the son of a heretic preacher, was a pirate whose resume included looting and burning Catholic convents on the Spanish Main and putting before a firing squad priests who admonished him for his behavior. Worse, the queen for whom he worked was more conniving and sinister than her father. Listen to this program to learn the truth of the Armada story—why Philip II was justified in launching the invasion, what really brought down the Spanish force, and the remarkable heroism of the Spanish seamen.