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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, March 19

1222
On order of a superior, Anthony of Padua (Fernando de Bouillon), preaches his first, powerful sermon, the fruit of much reflection.
1563
The Edict of Amboise grants a narrow permission for the exercise of the Protestant religion in France.
1612
Sophia Olelkovich Raziwell died, the last descendent of the Olelkovich-Slutsk dynasty. Passionate for Orthodoxy, she had refused to convert to Catholicism and had obtained a law allowing landowners of the region (modern-day Belarus) to remain Orthodox. Because of her efforts, the region around Slutsk will become a bastion of Orthodoxy, and in 1983 she will be canonized by the Orthodox Church.
1641
A General Court ended which declared the Colony of Rhode Island a democracy. The Court also adopted a constitution granting religious freedom to all its citizens.
1730
Philip Doddridge is ordained as a nonconformist minister in England. His book The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul will be influential in converting English statesman William Wilberforce and many others to evangelical Christianity.
1797
Henry Nott and fellow missionaries conduct the first Christian service ever held in Tahiti. The meeting takes place under cover of some enormous trees with the king of Tahiti and many other Tahitians present.
1799
In Vienna, the first public performance of Franz Joseph Haydn's oratorio Creation takes place. Tickets have been sold out long in advance. A public rehearsal and a private performance for the elite had taken place almost a year earlier, also in Vienna.
1875
American poet William Cullen Bryant writes his Christmas hymn "Look from Thy Sphere of Endless Day" for the fiftieth anniversary of the Church of the Messiah in Boston.
1937
In the encyclical Divini redemptoris Pope Pius XI declares "There would be neither socialism nor communism today if the rulers of the nations had not scorned the teachings and material warnings of the Church."
1987
Following disclosures of a 1980 sexual liaison with church secretary Jessica Hahn, Jim Bakker steps down as head of the PTL ministry. He will later go to prison on charges of financial fraud.

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