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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, March 13

452
Roman Emperor Marcian issues an edict against the Eutychians, whose teachings are seen to undermine Christ's humanity and his ability to stand in our place.
536
Pope Agapetus issues a synodical letter in which he announces he has deposed Anthimus, the monophysite patriarch of Constantinople. Emperor Justinian I appoints Menas patriarch of Constantinople in his place. Menas will be actively engaged in the issues of his day as an opponent of monophysitism and of Origen's teachings, but will be largely subservient to the Roman popes.
846
Eighteen years after the death in exile of Patriarch Nicephorus, who had defended the use of icons, Empress Theodora has his body brought back to Constantinople with great pomp.
857
Ruderic and Salomon are executed in Cordoba on the charge of apostatizing from Islam.
1569
At the Battle of Jarnac, Marshal Gaspard de Tavannes defeats the Huguenots, whose leader, the prince de Condé, is killed in the aftermath.
1604
Death in Rome of Cardinal d’Ossat who had served as a diplomat in behalf of France. He was instrumental in reconciling King Henry IV, formerly a Huguenot, to the pope, and his well-crafted diplomatic letters will serve as models to aspiring civil servants.
1687
Father Eusebio Kino, 42, an Italian-born Jesuit in the service of Spain, began missionary labors in the American Southwest. In all, Kino established 25 Indian missions in the area now divided between northern Mexico and Arizona.
1785
At the Burg-theatre, Vienna, Mozart's cantata Davidde Penitente receives its first performance. This is called a "half-mass" because its ten movements include a Kyrie and Gloria. The work had been commissioned by the committee of the Society for the Relief of the Widows and Orphans of Musicians.
1804
Birth of James W. Alexander, American Presbyterian clergyman and hymn writer. It was Alexander who, in 1830, rendered the English text of Paul Gerhardt's immortal German hymn, "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded."
1868
Birth of Charles E. Cowman, American missionary pioneer. In 1901 he sailed to Japan with his wife Lettie (who later authored "Streams in the Desert"), where in 1910 they founded the Oriental Missionary Society.
1895
Death in England of Robert William Dale who worked vigorously to improve health, housing, sanitation and living conditions in Birmingham, England. The clergyman had been an advocate of free public education, social improvement, the extension of the voting franchise, the recognition of trades unions, and understanding the links between poverty and crime.
1904
"The Christ of the Andes", a bronze statue of Christ located on the Argentina-Chile border, was formally dedicated.
1925
Tennessee Governor Austin Peay signed legislation prohibiting the teaching of evolution within the state's public school system. (A celebrated violation of this law led to the famous July Scopes Monkey Trial.)
2002
Death of Yusuf Jatau, a popular radio preacher in the Hausa language and for fifty years a mission leader of the Nigerian Baptist Convention. He had extended Baptist work in the northern regions of the country, many times escaping death at the hands of enemies only through the grace of God.
2012
Although it is a government-approved church, the Three-Self Church in Dafeng County, Jangsu Province, China, is demolished by the Chinese government. A Christian woman at the site is beaten so severely her back is broken.
2013
Conclave elects Argentine-born Jorge Mario Bergoglio to be pope of the Roman Catholic Church, the first pope from the Americas. He takes the name Francis.
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