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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, January 14

1236
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.
1331
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.
1528
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.
1529
Juan Vald
1643
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.
1753
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.
1893
Pope Leo XIII appointed Archbishop Francesco Satolli as the Vatican's first Apostolic Delegate to the United States.
1966
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.'
1972
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.'
2003
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.

Copyright Statement
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"