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Today in Christian History
Death of Pope St. Leo IX. He had been notable for efforts to end the practice of simony (buying of religious offices) and the practice of priests marrying. He had also spent ten months in prison after his capture while leading an army against the Germans.
In Germany at the Diet of Spires (Speyer), a document signed by Lutheran leaders in fourteen cities lodged a "protest" which demanded a freedom of conscience and the right of minorities. Henceforth, the German Lutheran Reformers were known as "Protestants."
Death of Olaus Petri, a leading reformer of Sweden. Olaus and his brother Laurentius (Sweden's first Protestant archbishop) had converted much of the nation through their writings, hymns, and examples.
Death of German reformer Philip Melanchthon. He had composed the Augsburg Confession of 1530. More of a peacemaker than Luther, he called for Lutherans and Zwinglians to put aside their differences for the sake of the reformation of the church. In addition, he led extensive efforts to develop the German educational system. The universities at Marburg, Koenigsberg, and Jena arose under his advice and Leipzig was reorganized.
Birth of Anna L. Waring, Welsh Anglican hymnwriter. "In Heavenly Love Abiding" is one of her best-known hymns, and is still sung today.
Nineteen-year-old English Baptist preacher, C.H. (Charles Haddon) Spurgeon, is called to pastor the New Park Chapel in London, one of the city's largest churches.
The Catholic University of America was chartered in Washington, D.C.
American pioneer linguist Frank C. Laubach, while serving as a missionary in the Philippines, wrote in a letter: 'Fellowship with God is like a delicate little plant, for a long nurturing is the price of having it, while it vanishes in a second of time, as soon as we try to seat some other unworthy affection beside Him.'
Nomination of a priest named Mina El-Baramousy to become Pope of the Coptic Church of Egypt. His name is drawn. Mina, who has always preferred solitude and once ran away rather than become a bishop, breaks into tears. In May he will be installed as Kyrillos VI, the 116th Patriarch of the Coptic church.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"