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Today in Christian History
Death of John Chrysostom, considered the greatest preacher of his era. He was being forced to march into remote exile despite severe illness.
Francis of Assisi has a vision of a Seraph. Filled with joy, he discovers wounds have appeared on his hands, feet, and side (the stigmata).
Death of Dante Alighieri, author of the greatest epic of medieval Christianity, The Divine Comedy.
Consuming many cups of coffee, George Frederick Handel completes the oratorio The Messiah, begun only twenty-four days earlier. The manuscript is remarkably free of errors considering its length, the speed with which it is composed, and his own infirmity - he has already suffered a stroke.
Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'How unspeakable are our obligations to the grace of God.'
Francis Scott Key, an Episcopalian layman and cofounder of the American Sunday School Union, is inspired to write the song that becomes America's national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," when he sees that Fort McHenry has not struck its colors after a night of heavy bombardment by British ships during the war of 1812.
Death of hymnwriter Jane Fox Crewdson at Summerlands, England. Among her hymns (most of which were written during a long illness) was "I've Found a Joy in Sorrow."
The Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Wisconsin, Ohio and Other States was formed from the merger of several smaller synods. In 1930 this denomination merged with two other synods to form the American Lutheran Church (ALC).
Mother Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is canonized by Pope Paul VI, becoming the first person born in the United States to be declared a saint of the Catholic Church.
Shi Lishi and Shi Wuting are executed in Henan Province on the pretext of having committed murder. Well-known as house church leaders, the Shi family had expected reprisals after they prayed over and cared for a terminally ill woman.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"