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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, May 13

609
Pope Boniface IV dedicates the Pantheon as a Catholic church and introduces the Festival of All Saints. The bones of martyrs from various Roman cemeteries are brought in a solemn procession of twenty-eight carriages to the new church.
1619
Execution in the Hague of John Barneveld, Dutch statesman, at seventy one years of age. He had advocated free states and taken the Arminian side against the Calvinists.
1643
An ordinance calling for the Westminster Assembly is introduced into the English House of Commons and will pass a month later.
1685
Cotton Mather, who will be an influential pastor in New England, is ordained in Boston's North Church.
1838
Death in London of Zachary Macaulay, who had been one of the evangelical social-action group known as the Clapham Sect, a slavery abolitionist, and governor of Sierra Leone (1794-1799).
1839
Death in Rome of Cardinal Joseph Fesch, uncle of Napoleon Bonaparte, influential figure in French religious politics and a collector of masterworks of art.
1874
Pope Pius IX issues an encyclical "On the Greek-Ruthenian rite," forbidding that any changes be made to Eastern Catholic liturgies, and in particular to the Ruthenian Rite.
1940
Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands arrives in England, fleeing the German invasion of the Netherlands. A Christian, she will rally her people through weekly radio broadcasts. Three years after the war, she will abdicate in favor of her daughter, taking the name Princess Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.
1981
A Turk named Mehmet Ali Agca, who belongs to the extremist group the "Gray Wolves," shoots Pope John Paul II as he waves to a crowd in St. Peter's Square. Bullets rip the pope's abdomen, right arm, and left hand.
2006
Death in Hamden, Connecticut, of Jaroslav Pelikan, a Christian scholar and church historian who had written nearly forty books and over a dozen reference works on numerous aspects of Christian history. Late in life he had joined the Eastern Orthodox Church.

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