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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, May 13

609
Pope Boniface IV dedicates the Pantheon as a Catholic church and introduces the Festival of All Saints. The bones of martyrs from various Roman cemeteries are brought in a solemn procession of twenty-eight carriages to the new church.
1248
Sentence is pronounced against the Talmud in Paris. Following this decision, fourteen cartloads of books will be burned, followed by another six. The Inquisition had taken note of blasphemies of Christ in Jewish writings, prompting the pope in 1239 to order the rulers of several European nations to seize Jewish books.
1607
Jamestown settlers attend their first prayer service in Virginia after their Anglican minister builds a makeshift church by "nailing a piece of timber between two trees," and stretching "a square of sailcloth over it."
1665
A statute was enacted in Rhode Island, offering freemanship with no specifically Christian requirements, thus effectively enfranchising Jews.
1704
Death in Paris of Louis Bourdaloue, one of the most famous French preachers of his day, "king of preachers and preacher of kings" (he was called to preach frequently at court).
1831
A meeting in London for the proposed union of Congregational churches adjourns. It had authorized the creation of a plan for union to be amended by the affected British churches and submitted for adoption the following year.
1839
Death in Rome of Cardinal Joseph Fesch, uncle of Napoleon Bonaparte, influential figure in French religious politics and a collector of masterworks of art.
1917
Three children claim to have seen the Virgin Mary in the town of Fatima in Portugal.
1940
Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands arrives in England, fleeing the German invasion of the Netherlands. A Christian, she will rally her people through weekly radio broadcasts. Three years after the war, she will abdicate in favor of her daughter, taking the name Princess Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.
2006
Death in Hamden, Connecticut, of Jaroslav Pelikan, a Christian scholar and church historian who had written nearly forty books and over a dozen reference works on numerous aspects of Christian history. Late in life he had joined the Eastern Orthodox Church.

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