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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, April 4

814
Death in Constantinople of Platon, an uncle of Theodore the Studite. The funeral oration Theodore composes for his uncle will become one of the most important sources for the history of Theodore's family. (Theodore will be famous as a champion for the restoration of icons.)
896
Death of controversial Pope Formosus. His bones will be exhumed and his corpse tried by Pope Stephen VI but he will be reburied with full honors in St. Peter's the following year under Pope Romanus.
1507
Future German reformer Martin Luther, at age 21, was ordained a priest in the Roman Catholic church.
1523
Leonard Kopp helps twelve nuns escape from their cloister at Nimschen in Saxony, hidden in his fish barrels. One of them, Katherina von Bora, will wed Martin Luther.
1541
Spanish ecclesiastic reformer and mystic Ignatius Loyola, 50, was elected the first General of the Jesuit Order, which he had helped establish the previous year.
1889
Death from pneumonia of Asa Mahan, an American holiness leader and the first president of Oberlin College and of Adrian College. One of the last things he said to his wife Mary was, "Let us praise God, my dear, for all his goodness today before you go."
1944
The BBC broadcasts "The New Man," the seventh and last of C.S. Lewis's pre-recorded fifteen-minute talks known as "Beyond Personality," all of which will later be included in his book Mere Christianity.
1964
Brazil's leading Catholics side with dictator General Castelo Branco against the social democrat João Goulart, issuing a manifesto entitled "Brazil Has Decided for Freedom" in which they denounce atheistic communism.
1965
German theologian Jurgen Moltmann revealed in a letter to Karl Barth: 'Polemics always makes one a little one-sided.'
1995
Death of Sun Yanli, a hymn-writer and an eminent leader in the Three-Self Patriotic Church, the government-sanctioned church of China. Despite his associations, he was cruelly persecuted for several years during the Cultural Revolution.

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