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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, November 18

Pope Urban II opened the Council of Clermont. Summoned to plan the First Crusade, it was attended by over 200 bishops. Among its official policies, the Council decreed that a pilgrimage to Jerusalem made every other penance superfluous.
Pope Boniface VIII publishes the bull Unam Sanctam, "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" outside of which there is "neither salvation nor remission of sins," making subjugation to the pope a requirement for salvation.
Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz and George Blaurock are sentenced to bread and water in the tower by Zwingli and other Zurich authorities because of their Anabaptist beliefs and practices.
In Rome, the newly completed St Peter's Basilica was consecrated by Urban VIII. St. Peter's is presently the largest church in Christendom, with a length of 619 feet.
Sixteen-year-old Henry Alford, who will become a theologian, textual critic, hymnwriter, and dean of Canterbury, writes in his Bible, "I do this day, as in the presence of God and my own soul, renew my covenant with God, and solemnly determine henceforth to become His, and to do His work as far as in me lies."
Saxon immigrants sail from Bremen on the ships Olbers and Amalia bound for America where they will form Lutheran churches and colleges in Midwestern states.
Death at St. Charles, Missouri, of Rose Philippine Duchesne, a pioneer in Catholic education in the Louisiana territory. Late in life she had worked with American Indians, earning the nickname Quah-kah-ka-num-ad, "Woman-Who-Prays-Always." Pope John Paul II will canonize her in 1988.
English devotional writer Katherine Hankey, 32, penned the verses that we sing today as the hymn, "I Love to Tell the Story."
Baron Paul (Pavel) Nicolay brings the St. Petersberg Student Christian Movement into being. Paul will organize discussions, give lectures, and preach in university cities on the need to make Christianity a practical reality in life. The movement will be crushed by the Communists in 1917.
This was the last required meatless Friday for American Roman Catholics, in accordance with a decree made by Pope Paul VI earlier this year.

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