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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, December 22

1216
Pope Honorius III officially approved the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), founded in 1216 by St. Dominic. During the Middle Ages, many leaders of European thought were Dominicans; and a good number followed Portuguese and Spanish explorers to the Americas as missionaries.
1560
After three years imprisonment with torture, Julian "The Little" Hernandez is burned to death in Seville, Spain, for distributing Spanish language Bibles and Protestant literature and rejecting fasts and mortifications as a means of salvation.
1646
Death of Peter Mogila, Metropolitan of Kiev, who had established an educational program that defended Orthodox teachings and had written many books that would remain influential into the twenty-first century, including a Russian catechism.
1770
Birth of Father Demetrius Gallitzin, a Dutch Catholic priest. Arriving in America in 1792, he spent his remaining years as a frontier missionary, building up the Catholic church in parts of PA, MD, VA and WV. Gallitzin became known as the "Apostle to the Alleghenies."
1804
Anglican missionary to Persia Henry Martyn wrote in his journal: 'I look forward to a day of prayer; for my soul hath great need of quickening and restoration, that it may act more in the view of eternity.'
1837
Mercer University was chartered in Penfield, Georgia under Baptist support. In 1871 the college moved its campus to Macon, Georgia.
1871
Death in Richmond, Virginia, of James Barnett Taylor, a Baptist clergyman, especially noted for his role in creating and preserving Richmond College. He had also written a biography of Lott Cary.
1888
Death in New York City of Isaac Hecker, an influential American convert to Roman Catholicism, who had founded the order of Paulists in the United States and edited Catholic World.
1917
Italian-born Francesca Xavier Cabrini, founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, dies in Chicago's Columbus Hospital. In 1946 she will be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, becoming the first American citizen declared a saint.
1994
Gilberto Orellana, an El Salvadorean Christian composer teaching in Morocco, is arrested along with five Muslims he has led to Christ. An international outcry obtains his release after he is sentenced to eight months in prison. His converts also face prison, but three recant.

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