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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, February 18

676
Death of St. Colman of Lindisfarne. Involved in the controversy between the Roman church and the Irish as to when to date Easter, he had left England and established a monastery in Ireland.
1564
Death in Rome of sculptor Michelangelo. At the end, he asks his friends only to remember the death of Christ.
1678
John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" was first published, in England. Bunyan was frequently imprisoned for preaching without a license. During these sequestered times, between 1660-72, Bunyan collected the ideas enabling him to pen this masterpiece of Christian literature.
1781
Birth of Henry Martyn, Anglican missionary to Persia. Martyn first sailed for the East in 1805. His great linguistic gifts led him to translate the New Testament both into Hindustani and Arabic, before his premature death at 31.
1862
Five Catholics are executed in Guizhou Province, China, for refusing to renounce their faith. They include missionary Jean-Pierre NĂ©el; Lucy Yi Zhenmei, a virgin; Martin Wu Xueshang; John Zhang Tianshen; and John Chen Xianheng.
1867
The Augusta Institute was founded in Georgia. Established as an institution of higher learning for black students, it moved to Atlanta in 1879, and in 1913 changed its name to Morehouse College.
1874
Death in London of William Sandys, English lawyer and the composer of "The First Noel." He had done a good deal to popularize Christmas carols.
1946
Pope Pius XII makes American Roman Catholic Archbishop Francis Joseph Spellman a cardinal.
1948
Father Butrus Sowmy of St. Mark's Syrian Orthodox Monastery in Jerusalem phones John Trever, asking that he examine an old manuscript. It will turn out to be the first discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
1984
Death in London of D.C.K. Watson, an Anglican priest, evangelist, and charismatic. He had been instrumental in greatly expanding attendance at the churches over which he presided and was an active promoter of world missions.

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