Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, May 25

1085
Death at Salerno, Italy, of Pope Gregory VII “Hildebrand,” one of the most powerful medieval popes, who had excommunicated the German emperor, Henry IV.
1141
(probable date) Synod of Sens opens. At the insistence of Bernard of Clairvaux, this council pronounces selections from theologian Peter Abelard's writings erroneous and heretical.
1521
Holy Roman Emperor Charles V pronounced Martin Luther an outlaw and heretic for refusing to recant his teachings while at the Diet of Worms (held the previous month).
1793
Stephen T. Badin, 25, was ordained in Baltimore, MD ÀÀ the first Catholic priest to be ordained in the newly independent United States of America. Badin afterward served as a frontier missionary, and played a key role in establishing Catholicism in Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee during the early nineteenth century.
1805
Death in Lincolnshire of William Paley. He had developed an influential apologetic based on natural history. He will become closely associated with the argument from design, using the analogy of a clockmaker and watch.
1825
Death in Bristol, England, of Baptist hymnwriter John Ryland after saying “no more pain.” He had helped William Carey organize the first Baptist mission and had written the hymn “Lord, teach a little child to pray.”
1855
Frederick Barker arrives in Australia where he will become the second Anglican bishop of Sydney.
1868
Death in Cornwall, England, of Billy Bray, once a profligate, but after his conversion a powerful Methodist evangelist in his native Cornwall. His most effective soul-winning had been done among fellow miners.
1909
Over 5,000 Knights Templar (a US organization that has taken the name of a Medieval order) march through Philadelphia to the stirring hymn of “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” They are accompanied by sixty music bands and cheered by hundreds of thousands of onlookers.
1996
Thirty-six-year-old Zhang Xiuju is dragged from bed and beaten all night because of her Christian faith. Her dead body, with rope marks and signs of torture is returned two days later with the claim she died trying to jump from a moving police car.

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