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Today in Christian History
Death of St. Sava from pneumonia in Tmovo, Bulgaria. He had become ill after participating in a ceremony known as "Blessing of the Waters." From being a monk, he had risen to become archbishop of Serbia.
Death in Udine of Odoric, a Franciscan who had traveled to China and reported on the Far East, but whose credibility was low because he reported many details on hearsay.
Anabaptist preacher Leonhard Schiemer is beheaded and burned in Austria. Dreading death, he strengthens himself with the thought, "If I did not place all my confidence in the Lord I would fall; but the Lord is my comfort and my confidence; he forsakes none who trusts him." During his ministry, he had made about seventy converts in Rattenberg. In prison he had written letters that were held in high regard by other Anabaptists.
Death in Ely, England, of John Bois, one of the translators of the Authorized Version of the Bible, and a key editor of it. He had also assisted with an edition of John Chrysostom's writings. Significantly, he had been able to read the Hebrew Bible at age five and taught Greek at Cambridge for ten years.
Death in Oxford, England, of George Berkeley. Years earlier, as newlyweds, he and his wife had attempted mission work in America, but left when financial backing failed. After his return to England, he had gained fame for a theory of vision and for his philosophical system of idealism, which held that familiar objects were ideas in the mind and did not exist outside of our perception. (In a famous incident recorded in Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, when Johnson learned of Berkeley's philosophy he kicked a large stone until it hurt his foot and announced "I refute it thus.") Made bishop of Cloyne, he had shown consideration toward both Roman Catholics and Protestants.
Pope Leo XIII appointed Archbishop Francesco Satolli as the Vatican's first Apostolic Delegate to the United States.
French-born American trappist monk Thomas Merton wrote in a letter: 'The best way to solve the problem of rendering to Caesar what is Caesar's is to have nothing that is Caesar's.'
American Presbyterian apologist Francis Schaeffer wrote in a letter: 'I have come to the conclusion that none of us in our generation feels as guilty about sin as we should or as our forefathers did.'
Death of Sipho Mncube, a South African evangelist who had once been an alcoholic, drug addict, and thief. Many had come to Christ through his humility and charitable efforts.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"