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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, February 13

1200
Death of Venerable Stephen the Myrrh-gusher. As king of Serbia, he had united Serbian groups and striven for the political independence of Serbia from the Byzantine Empire. In his old age he became an ascetic monk. His remains are supposed to have exuded the fragrant odor of myrrh.
1236
Death by drowning in the Mediterranean Sea of Jordan of Saxony, a noted Dominican preacher who had written a biography of St. Dominic and whose sermons moved Albertus Magnus to join the Dominican order.
1413
A national synod is convoked in Bohemia to discuss John Wycliffe's teachings. Jan Hus, the chief exponent of Wycliffe's teachings, is not present, having been exiled. The synod will adjourn without coming to agreement.
1728
Death in Boston of Cotton Mather. A New England minister, he was a strong advocate of smallpox vaccination and a prolific author, but became notorious for his strong support of the Salem witch trials.
1793
Death in Tanjore, India, of Christian F. Schwartz, “Apostle of India.”
1826
The American Temperance Society (later renamed the American Temperance Union) was organized in Boston. It quickly grew into a national crusade, and within a decade over 8,000 similar groups had been formed, boasting a total of 1.5 million members.
1849
Otterbein College was chartered in Westerville, Ohio, under sponsorship of the United Brethren Church.
1888
Death in Santa Fe, New Mexico, of Jean Baptiste Lamy, the first archbishop of Santa Fe.
1904
Death in Krishnagiri, India, of pioneer Lutheran missionary Theodore Karl Naether, from bubonic plague.
1914
King George V receives Wilson Carlile—head of the Church Army—at Buckingham Palace, and expresses sympathy for the vagrants and criminals the Army is trying to reclaim. Carlile had founded the organization in 1882 and has worked with Church of England approval since 1883.
1936
The Lutheran Army and Navy Commission was organized by the Missouri Synod for the purpose of commissioning chaplains for military service and to minister to Lutheran personnel among the military overseas. In 1947 its name was changed to the Armed Services Commission.
1949
Death in Dundee, Scotland, of Minnie Cumming Watson, the first female missionary of the East Africa Scottish Mission. She had established a system of Christian schools for the Kikuyu people of Kenya.
1951
Death of Lloyd C. Douglas, 74, American Congregational clergyman and novelist. He published his first religious novel "Magnificent Obsession" in 1929, followed later by "The Robe" (1942) and "The Big Fisherman" (1948).
1973
The National Council of U.S. Catholic Bishops announced that anyone undergoing or performing an abortion would be excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.
1985
Death of Ji Zhiwen, who had conducted a notable evangelistic work in China. He established the Bethel Evangelistic Band in Shanghai, followed by the Chinese Evangelization Society and an orphanage (also in Shanghai), and, when driven from mainland China, founded churches in Taiwan. He had extended his ministry to Southeast Asia, founding kindergartens, orphanages and day care centers, and had developed a Christian press before retiring to Los Angeles.
2001
Vietnamese authorities arrest Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly for his calls for religious freedom. He has been arrested many times before.
2011
Police raid a Baptist church service in Gomel, Belarus, and detain pastor Nikolai Varushin for trial for “holding an unauthorized religious service.”
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