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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, December 23

Magnentius Hrabanus Maurus, who will become one of the most brilliant scholars of his era, is ordained a priest.
Death of Thorlac Thorhallssohn, founder of Iceland's first monastery.
Two hundred citizens of Basel assemble and present a petition, drawn up by the reformer Oecolampadius, for the suppression of the mass.
Heinrich Bullinger accepts the pulpit of Zurich, vacated by the death of Zwingli in battle.
Birth of Robert Barclay, Scottish Quaker theologian. He published his most famous work, "An Apology for the True Christian Divinity," in 1676, making him the most prominent theologian in the early Quaker Church.
Death of John Cotton, an eminent minister in colonial Massachusetts and "father of New England Congregationalism."
In an Auto da fé (Act of faith) Inquisitor Cristóval Sánchez Calderón of Lima, Peru, burns Dona Ana de Castro alive, on the accusation of practicing a Jewish mourning ritual and other Jewish rituals that she did not consider in conflict with Christianity. The Inquisition also burns in effigy a Jesuit who had been suspected of practicing Quietism (a form of Christian mysticism tending toward passivity and annihilation of one's own will) and another Jesuit who may have been insane. They are burned in effigy because they had already died.
Birth of Jean Francois Champollion, French Egyptologist. In 1822 he successfully decoded the hieroglyphics of the Rosetta Stone (uncovered in 1799), and is recognized today as the founder of modern Egyptology.
Birth of Handley C.G. Moule, Anglican theologian. He succeeded B.F. Westcott in 1901 as Bishop of Durham. A profound scholar, he could nevertheless speak and write for ordinary people, and published commentaries on nearly all of Paul's letters in the New Testament.
Birth of Amos R. Wells, American Christian educator. He was first editorial secretary of the newly organized Christian Endeavor Society (forerunner of modern church "youth fellowships") from 1891 until his death in 1933.
Death of Sarah Grimké at West Newton, Massachusetts. She had been a sturdy opponent of slavery.
Peru passes a law empowering Alcades (mayors) of provincial councils to solemnize marriages, thus enabling non-Catholics to wed.
Edith Warner's remains are laid to rest. She had been a missionary for thirty-three years in Niger and explored areas never before seen by a white person.
Pope Pius XII declared that the tomb of St. Peter had been discovered beneath St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
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