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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, December 12

Because Philip Augustus has taken a second wife without properly divorcing his first, Pope Innocent III lays the entire nation of France under an interdict that goes into effect the 12 January 1200 and lasts until 7 September, when Philip will divest himself of the unlawful second wife.
Death in Zurich of Peter Martyr Vermigli, an Italian theologian with reformation tendencies. He had fled to England from Italy and, with the restoration of Catholicism under Mary Tudor, had fled again to Switzerland.
The Moscow Council deposed Russian Orthodox Patriarch Nikon, 61. The church synod had sought to bring an end to the struggle between Czar Alexis and Patriarch Nikon, but the antagonism, begun as a call for liturgical reform, ultimately grew into a struggle over the relationship between church and state.
The South Carolina colony passed a "Sunday Law" requiring "all...persons whatsoever" to attend church each Sunday, to refrain from skilled labor, and to do no traveling by horse or wagon beyond the necessary. Infractions of this law were met with a 10-shilling fine and/or a two-hour lock-up in the village stocks.
Ordination of Stephen Parker, Ebenezer Hinsdell, and Joseph Seccombe at Old South Church in Boston to be missionaries to the American Indians.
Death at Marienborn of Anna Schindler Dober who, with Anna Nitschmann, had formed the band of unmarried sisters at Herrnhut, the Moravian center. She also wrote hymns and, following her marriage to Bishop Dober, labored beside him to convert Jews.
Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'The Lord himself is our Keeper. Nothing befalls us but what is adjusted by His wisdom and love. He will, in one way or another, sweeten every bitter cup, and ere long He will wipe away all tears from our eyes.'
The Bible Society of Philadelphia was organized, the first of its kind in America. Rev. William White was elected first president of the new organization, whose purpose it was to promote and distribute the Scriptures.
Ordination in Basutoland of its first Black African Roman Catholic priest, Raphael Mohasi.
Ordination of Ezekiel Ogunniran Oyatumo in the Nigerian Baptist Convention. Because he was in his twenties before he was able to obtain regular schooling, he had been taunted by younger students. Nonetheless, through hard work and persistence he will become one of the most notable pastors in Nigeria, a prayer warrior, and a defender of conservative values. His church will grow steadily and he will write several books, including a history of the Nigerian Baptists.
Pope Paul VI announced his intention of canonizing Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton (1774-1821), who had founded the first free Catholic school in the U.S. as well as the religious order known as the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph.
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