Today in Christian History
The bishops of London, Ely, and Worcester pronounce Pope Innocent III's interdict on England, then flee the country. King John had promised to mutilate them if they pronounced the ban, which was issued because he refused to accept Stephen Langton as archbishop. Churches are closed and religious services discontinued. However, the baptism of children will continue, as will confession of the dying and administration of last rites.
Cardinal Reginald Pole is consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury, restoring Catholicism to England for a brief time between the Protestant reigns of Edward VI and Elizabeth I.
Arrest of John Penry, an independent Welsh pastor, who will be hanged for sedition. He had criticized Church of England leaders for their neglect of Wales and among his papers was found the draft of a strongly worded letter to Queen Elizabeth.
Hugo Grotius, a Dutch Arminian imprisoned by Calvinists, after spending an hour on his knees praying, steps into a book box by which he will escape prison.
The Archbishop of Armagh convenes a provincial synod at Kells which almost unanimously pronounces the war undertaken by the Catholics of Ireland against the English "just and lawful."
Beheading of the Orthodox monk Euthymius in Constantinople. He had abandoned Christianity for Islam in his youth but soon regretted it, returned to faith, became a monk on Mt. Athos, and practiced great austerities. Eventually he traveled to Constantinople where he testified of his faith.
Birth of Joseph P. Webster, American sacred music writer. During his lifetime, Webster composed over 1,000 pieces of music, including the still-popular hymn tune SWEET BY AND BY ("There's a Land That is Fairer Than Day").
The first meeting of the newly established Young Men's Hebrew Association was held in New York City. Other early "Y's" were founded in Philadelphia (1875), St. Louis (1880) and San Francisco (1885). (The YMHA became the forerunner of the modern Jewish Community Center.)
Death in Berlin of Alexander Merensky, who had served as a missionary to the Transvaal, South Africa, and written many books about missions.
Birthday of Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson, religious broadcaster, politician and founder in 1963 of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"