Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Saturday, May 23

Metropolitan Cyprian of Moscow is received with rejoicing after long being denied the position because he is a Serbian. He will be declared a saint by the Russian church. Authority for the date: Obolensky, Dmitri. Six Byzantine Portraits. Clarendon, 1988.
Joan of Arc is taken captive by Burgundians during a sally from Compiegne, where she was besieged. For a large payment, the Burgundians will surrender her to the English who will execute her. Authority for the date: Michelet, Jules. Trial and Execution of Jeanne d'Arc, A.D. 1431.
Italian reformer Girolamo Savonarola, who had preached aggressively against the corruption of northern Italy’s church and society, is hanged for heresy in Florence; then his body is burned. Authority for the date: Durant, Will and Ariel. The Reformation.
Philip Neri, who has already been doing spiritual work for many years in Rome, is ordained. He will found the Oratian order and develop the musical form known as the oratorio. Authority for the date: New Catholic Encyclopedia.
Battle at Heiligerlee. Dutch Protestant rebels beat the forces of Catholic Spain in Friesland. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.
By French edict, only Catholic settlers were permitted permanent residence within the country known as New France (called "Canada" today), thus ending 30 years of attempted colonization by Huguenots (Protestants).
Execution of Baptist deacon and ex-slave Samuel Sharpe, who had led a recent uprising (the Baptist War) against slavery in Jamaica in which as many as 60,000 slaves participated. Authority for the date: www.jnht.com/site_sam_sharpe_square.php
As Seventh-day Adventist evangelist James Waggoner prepares to board a train in Jackson, Michigan, with his wife Ellen, she feels a premonition of danger. A group of friends prays. Aboard the train, Ellen feels compelled to leave their car and move to the rear of the train. Soon afterward, the train derails, killing engineer and fireman instantly and injuring many passengers. The Waggoners' car is unharmed, having inexplicably uncoupled from the wreck without breaking the chain or bolt that secured it to the other cars. Authority for the date: Lest We Forget: Adventist Pioneer Library, Vol. 4 No. 1 (1994).
Birth of Hermann Gunkel, the German Protestant biblical scholar who pioneered the analytical approach to understanding Scripture afterward known as "form criticism." Gunkel applied its formulas primarily to the Old Testament, in his commentaries on Genesis (1901) and on the Psalms (1926-28).
Death in St. Louis, Missouri, of Pierre-Jean De Smet, a frontier missionary in the United States and Canada. Authority for the date: Wikipedia.
Death in Christiana, Norway, of Ludvig Mathias Lindeman. He had contributed greatly to the cause of good church music among the Scandinavians, so that it was said he had taught the Norwegian people to sing. Authority for the date: Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal.
Birth of Mary Susanne Edgar, a Canadian YWCA leader who wrote a number of hymns during her years of leading a Christian camping ministry with girls. Her best-remembered hymn: "God, Who Touchest Earth with Beauty."
Evangel, the first of several Baptist rail cars was dedicated in Cincinnati Ohio. Ten feet wide and sixty feet long, it will seat one hundred worshippers. Northern Pacific Railroad’s General Manager orders his workers to take the car on any of the company’s trains at no charge. Authority for the date: McKernan, Mary. “How the West Was Really Won.” Christian Reader (September - October, 1996).
Death of American Congregational missionary Henry Blodget, 78. He served 40 years in China (1854-94), and helped translate the New Testament into the colloquial Mandarin language of Peking.
Death of Ludwig Nommensen, Lutheran missionary to Sumatra, Indonesia, where he won many converts. Authority for the date: www.elca.org/dgm/country_packet/indonesia/hkbp.html
Birth of Wilbur Nelson, Christian broadcast personality and for many years the host of "The Morning Chapel Hour," a radio ministry originating in Paramount, California.
The scarred and disfigured body of the Orthodox bishop Platon of Banja Luka is found in the village of Kumsale, Croatia. Along with thousands of others he was killed in ethnic cleansing by the Ustashe, a Croatian fascist organization. Authority for the date: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Platon_of_Banja_Luka
The Nepal Defense Army, advocating for a Hindu state in Nepal, bombs the Catholic Church of the Assumption in Kathmandu. Six days later the organization will release a statement demanding that all one million Christians in Nepal leave the country, under threat of having each of their homes bombed. Authority for the date: Persecuted: the global assault on Christians.
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