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Today in Christian History
Dionysius is elected bishop of Rome. His commentaries had won many to faith, and his labors helped restore a church decimated by severe persecution.
(Probable date) Mellitus and associates leave Rome to travel to England by way of France, carrying letters from the pope and utensils for the church at Canterbury. Mellitus will become the first bishop of London and the third Archbishop of Canterbury.
Vasco da Gama and his sailors capture Kilwa, an African city state, granting the lives only of those Moors who do not resist. After marching through the city singing a Te Deum, they loot its wealth.
Don Fr. Francisco de Cisneros, archbishop of Toledo and general inquisitor of Spain, issues an order empowering all bishops in New Spain to investigate, imprison, prosecute, and punish heretics.
An executioner in Metz cuts off Jean Leclerc's right hand, tears his arms and chest with pincers, and encircles his head with a red-hot band of iron before consigning his body to flames. A wool-carder and Protestant, Leclerc had smashed Catholic images. His last words are, "Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands."
French mystic Madame Guyon claims she has achieved union with God on this, St. Mary Magdalene's Day.
Death of James Varick, first Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
Birth of Emily E. S. Elliott, Anglican missions supporter and hymnwriter. Nieceof Charlotte Elliott (who wrote the hymn 'Just As I Am'), Emily penned the words to the hymn'Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne.'
The first large company of Mormon immigrants entered the Salt Lake Valley, in whatwas still Mexican territory. Soon after, Mormon leader Brigham Young founded Salt Lake City,Utah.
Birth of Peter P. Bilhorn, sacred composer. He produced over 1,400 hymns in hislife, including 'I Will Sing the Wondrous Story' and 'Sweet Peace, The Gift of God's Love.'
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"