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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.
1521
German reformer Martin Luther, at the Diet of Worms, proclaimed that a biblical foundation supported the theological position of his "Ninety-Five Theses." Luther ended his defense with the famous words: 'Here I stand! I can do nothing else! God help me! Amen.'
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.
1784
Thomas Charles's career as a Church of England clergyman ends when he is dismissed as curate of Llanymawddwy because of his support of Methodists. He will be influential in establishing Welsh schools and the British and Foreign Bible Society.
1874
In England, the remains of Scottish missionary David Livingstone (who had died the previous year in Africa at age 60) were interred in London's Westminster Abbey.
1882
Birth of George S. Schuler, American music educator. Affiliated with Moody Bible Institute for 40 years, Schuler is remembered today for composing the melody to the hymn, "Make Me a Blessing."
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.
1909
Mattiya Leonard Kamungu becomes the first Anglican priest of the Chewa people in the diocese of Nyasaland. He will be misunderstood by both Europeans and his own people as he tries to walk a line between European paternalism and African expectations. He dies in 1913, possibly poisoned, and will be considered a martyr.
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.
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