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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, September 27

1177
Pope Alexander III writes a letter to the legendary Prester John, supposedly Christian king over much of central Asia. He entrusts this to Philip, his physician, to deliver. Philip does not survive the attempt to convey it.
1557
Philippina Graveron, a young Huguenot widow, is martyred at Paris.
1604
The Seminario de San Bartolome is established by the Jesuits, their first college in Columbia. Classes will commence January 1st the following year with seventy students.
1660
Death of St. Vincent de Paul. After giving his life to serving the poor, he had founded the first Confraternity of Charity, the Congregation of the Mission, and the Daughters of Charity (the first non-monastic women's order completely given to care of the sick and poor).
1674
Death of Thomas Traherne. His poetry, considered worthless at his death, will be rediscovered by William T. Brooke who will point them out to Alexander Grosart much later at an outdoor book stall. Bertram Dobell later proved they were the work of Trahern. Trahern's poems will come to be recognized as among the best of the seventeenth century minor poets, brimming with childlike delight in God's works.
1715
Death at Charterhome, London, of Dr. Thomas Burnet, an English theologian, and author of Sacred Theory of the Earth, popular in its day. He had tried to explain Noah's flood by describing the antedeluvian world as a hollow, oval-shaped object filled with water.
1785
The Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S. was founded on this date, following the American Revolutionary War, when U.S. Anglicans met in Philadelphia to create a denomination independent from and autonomous of the Church of England.
1787
Thought to be a runaway slave, George White is arrested while searching for his mother. He will become a famous itinerant African-American preacher.
1839
G. Tradescant Lay, an English physician, asserts at the first annual meeting of the Medical Missionary Society in Canton, China, that he will endeavor while he has life, to create a nearly universal system to freely give the benefits of "rational medicine" (as opposed to pre-scientific medicine) to the world's poor.
1947
The Church of South India is inaugurated at Madras by the merger of three denominations: Anglicans, Methodists, and the South India United Church (Presbyterian/Congregationalist).

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