Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, April 1

1229
Martyrdom of Abraham of Bulgaria. While living as an Islamic merchant, he converted to Christianity and is killed by Muslims for changing religions.
1375
Catherine of Siena, an Italian mystic and peacemaker, claims to have received the stigmata (body marks corresponding to Christ's wounds on the cross), visible only to herself. She will be known for persuading Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome and for The Dialogue of Divine Providence, written (according to friends) while conversing with God in ecstatic states. In 1970, Pope Paul VI will declare her a doctor of the church.
1693
Colonial clergyman Cotton Mather's first-born son died at the age of four days. Mather suspected witchcraft as the cause, and had previously published "Wonders of the Invisible World," affirming his belief in spectral phenomena.
1787
Richard Allen, an ex-slave and African-American preacher, organizes the Free African Society, a self-help and mutual aid organization.
1820
Death at Kensington Gore (London) of Isaac Milner, a clergyman, mathematician, educator, and theological writer. His ardent evangelicalism had impelled him to make Queen's College “a nursery of evangelical neophytes” when he was its president; his educational fervor had given the school good standing; and his love of fun had made him the life of every party.
1868
Hampton Institute opens in Virginia to begin its task of training freed slaves “hand, head, and heart,” that is, with a vocation, academics, and faith.
1872
Death in London of Christian Socialist F. D. Maurice who had a strong influence on his generation, including men like James Clerk Maxwell.
1925
On Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem, British statesman Lord (Arthur James) Balfour dedicated Hebrew University.
1927
Death in São Paolo of Solomon Ginsberg, missionary to Brazil.
1956
Death of William Reed Newell, author of the gospel hymn “At Calvary.” He will be buried in Flordida.

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