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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, April 11

1079
Assassination of Bishop Stanislaus of Krakow, Poland, murdered while he celebrates mass. He had incurred the enmity of King Boleslaw by excommunicating him for his many crimes.
1442
Repose (death) of James the Abbot of Zheleznoborov. An ascetic monk, he was famous for predicting the recovery of Sophia, wife of the Great Prince Basil, when she was seriously ill, and foretelling the safe birth of a son, which happened. He founded a monastery at Iron Pines, which was destroyed by Tatars in 1429. James and his monastic community survived by hiding in deep woods, rebuilt the place, and fed starving peasants.
1506
The foundation stone of the new St. Peter's Basilica was laid under the patronage of Julius II. (The church was not completed, however, until 1626.)
1816
Richard Allen of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, becomes the first African-American bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
1834
Birth of Marcus Dods, Scottish clergyman and biblical scholar. His published works in New Testament studies helped popularize modern biblical scholarship in Great Britain.
1836
English philanthropist George Mueller opened his famous orphanage on Wilson Street in Bristol. (By 1875, Mueller's orphanage was providing care for over 2,000 children.)
1878
Death in Lichfield, England, of George Augustus Selwyn, first bishop of New Zealand.
1933
Khotan rebels enter Yarkant, China. They soon round up Muslim converts to Christianity. The first killed is twenty-year-old Habil, a Christian teacher, who had come to protect his thirteen-year-old sister from rape. Before being executed he had drawn a cross on a mud wall and above it a crown, saying, "First the cross, then the crown." His sister Hava will be forced to marry a syphilitic Muslim and will contract the disease. When she is at the point of death, Swedish missionaries will rescue her, but she will die before she is twenty.
1941
French-born American Trappist monk Thomas Merton affirmed in his "Secular Journal": 'If we are willing to accept humiliation, tribulation can become, by God's grace, the mild yoke of Christ, His light burden.'
1963
Pope John XXIII issues his Pacem in Terris encyclical regarding the establishment of universal peace.

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