Best known these days as the Spanish queen who funded Columbus’s discover of the “New World,” Isabella of Castile (later dubbed Isabella the Catholic by the pope of the time) was a lot more than just the just the lady holding the purse strings. While Christopher might get the credit in the history books for “proving” that the Earth is round, Isabella already knew it. She was a highly educated woman, and wasn’t about to throw her money and ships at an expedition that was destined to fall off the edge of the world into nothingness.
Isabella was more than just a smart cookie. She was also a mighty warrior queen who put on armor and led her troops into battle against the Moorish (Muslim) occupiers of her land. (You didn’t think St Joan of Arc was the only Catholic girl in armor, did you?)
In her own time, Isabella was known for her strategic and careful planning. She was no wallflower, preferring to help her generals with battle plans and tactics. When the time for fighting came, Isabella dressed in white so that her men could see she was with them, and rode into battle with her husband and their troops. They never lost a single fight when Isabella was there. If things started going against her forces, Isabella dropped from her horse and pulled out her rosary, praying for the success and safety of her men. God listened, and the battles turned in her favor.
Working together to reconquer their country for Christ, Isabella and Ferdinand ended the 780 year struggle to remove Muslim rule from Spain, and unified it under their rule.
Image credit: By New World Encyclopedia [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons