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Today in Christian History
[probable date] Death at Novara of Saint Bernard of Menthon (Bernard of Savoy) who evangelized in the Alps. He was famed for founding monasteries in the mountains to succor travelers - monasteries that sent out monks with large dogs to seek people lost in winter snows.
English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'I can't think that when God sent us into the world He had irreversibly decreed that we should be perpetually miserable in it.'
Former president Thomas Jefferson set forth in a letter to a Jewish journalist his opinion of religious intolerance: 'Your sect by its sufferings has furnished a remarkable proof of the universal point of religious insolence, inherent in every sect, disclaimed by all while feeble and practised by all when in power. Our laws have applied the only antidote to this vice, protecting our religions, as they do our civil rights, by putting all on equal footing. But more remains to be done.'
Death at Newhaven, Connecticut, of Noah Webster, author of an American speller and other works, including a dictionary, that distinguished American English from British. He had been a conservative in politics and religion.
In Italy, the Shroud of Turin was first photographed by Secundo Pia in Turin's Cathedral, where it had rested for 320 years.
Death at Bangassou, Africa, of Baptist missionary William Haas from a fever. He and his wife had done much to create Baptist Mid-Missions, recruit personnel, and establish the station at Bangassou.
Death in Aberdeen, Scotland, of Alfred Adler, a Jewish convert to Christianity who had gained fame as a neurologist and psychiatrist. He considered man's "will to power" a primary motivator in human behavior and also addressed the role of inferiority feelings.
Father Maximillian Kolbe is transferred to the concentration camp at Auschwitz where he will be executed, offering himself in place of a man who has a family.
The Presbyterian Church in the U.S. merged with the Presbyterian Church of North America to form the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (UPCUSA).
Wu Weizun, a staunch Christian, who has suffered severely for his faith in Chinese prisons and camps, is formally released from prison. Because of his persistence in faith and refusal to pretend he has accepted the communist line, the authorities decide to take care of him, giving him a hut, official registration, and a monthly allowance.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"