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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, April 18

246
(probable date) Cyprian is baptized in Carthage on Easter eve. He will become a bishop and leading theologian, renowned for writing the treatise On the Unity of the Catholic Church.
1506
Pope Julius II lays the foundation stone of the second building of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
1587
Death in London of John Foxe, author of The Actes and Monuments of the Church (first published in 1563), better known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs.
1606
In Rome, Julius II laid the foundation stone of the second building of St. Peter's Basilica. Completed 20 years later by Urban VIII, St. Peter's today is the largest church in Christendom, with an overall length of 619 feet.
1753
Sophronius is consecrated Bishop of Irkutsk and Nerchinsk. Years earlier, at being made a monk, he had received a vision saying, "When you become bishop, build a church dedicated to all saints" - which he did. He will be considered an Orthodox saint.
1894
Nine hundred Syrian Sunday-school children assemble in Beirut to witness the unveiling of a column dedicated to female education which Christian missionary Sarah Huntington Smith had inaugurated on that site fifty-nine years earlier. The children represent Muslims, Druzes, Jews, Maronites, Catholics, Greeks, Armenians, and Protestants. Among the speakers is Alice Bisney, a daughter of Smith's first student.
1905
Eleven Catholics are murdered for their faith in Yanjing, Tibet. Their killers read a message from the Dalai Lama threatening death to Christian converts who will not return to Buddhism.
1929
Death in Hankow, China, of Eduard L. Arndt, pioneer Lutheran missionary.
1930
American pioneer linguist Frank C. Laubach, while serving as a missionary in the Philippines, wrote in a letter: 'After an hour of close friendship with God, my soul feels clean as new fallen snow.'
1989
Chinese Communist forces attack Catholic Christians at Youtong, beating hundreds, some so severely they are left unconscious. They knock out the eyes of a nun, and take other Christians into captivity. Pei Guoxin and Dong Zhouxiao will be beaten to death in detention.

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