A devout Protestant minister just observed to me that the Reformation had the good effect, in the 16th and 17th centuries, of an unprecedented spread of Christianity caused by the flight of persecuted Christians from Europe. They ventured to the New World and other distant regions. Once again the huge achievements of Catholic missionaries before 1500 were unknown by a well-educated Christian. If you want to feel overwhelmed by the straight record, listen to these stories of the early Franciscans, Jesuits, other clergy, and one great Catholic layman. They were giants full of courage, toughness, and profound reverence.