Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, May 30

Death of Eusebius, 74, Father of early church history. He attended the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325, and his "Historia Ecclesiastica" contains an abundance of detail on the first three centuries of the Early Church found nowhere else in ancient literature.
Death of Hubert, the "Apostle to the Ardennes" (a region now comprised of Northern France, Belgium, and Luxembourg). Authority for the date: Butler, Alban. Lives of the Saints.
Pope Gregory IX canonizes Anthony of Padua, the "Wonder Worker." Authority for the date: www.ewtn.com.
Jerome of Prague is burned for heresy by the Council of Constance. He had been a follower of reformer Jan Hus. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.
French heroine Joan of Arc, 19, a prisoner of the English, was burned at the stake for heresy. (She was later canonized in 1920 by Benedict XV.)
Last preserved letter of Conrad Grebel, written from Zurich, to his brother-in-law Vadian, is a vigorous plea against attempts to suppress Anabaptists by fines, confiscation of property, imprisonment, or death. Authority for the date: Wenger, John Christian. Even Unto Death. John Knox Press, 1961.
Philip of Hesse opens the University of Marburg. Authority for the date: Dallmann, William. Patrick Hamilton. St. Louis, MO: Concordia, 1918.
Death of King Charles IX of France, haunted by superstitious terrors because of the Huguenots he had ordered to be massacred in the infamous St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.
Death of Metrophanes Kritopoulos, Orthodox patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt. His discussions with Protestants prompted him to write an exposition of Eastern Orthodox doctrine, based on the early church fathers, in an attempt to achieve Christian unity. Authority for the date: Encyclopedia Britannica.
Death at Bulstrode of Elizabeth Elstob, who had broken sex barriers to learn Anglo-Saxon. Among her translations was An English-Saxon Homily on the Birthday of St. Gregory, anciently used in the English-Saxon church, giving an account of the conversion of the English from paganism to Christianity. She had been a fervent defender of the Church of England. Authority for the date: Alexander Chalmers, General Biographical Dictionary
William Carey preaches a famous sermon on Isaiah 54:2-3, before the Baptist Association meeting in Nottingham, England, at the Friar Lane Baptist Chapel, urging his listeners to "expect great things, attempt great things." Authority for the date: Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals.
Anglican bishop Reginald Heber, 36, penned the words to the missionary hymn, "From Greenland's Icy Mountains."
A slave betrays plans for a massive uprising planned by African Methodist preacher Denmark Vesey in Charleston, South Carolina. One hundred and thirty one African Americans are arrested and Vesey's church is closed. Some of the plotters will be executed and others deported. Authority for the date: Christian History 62 (1999).
Ordination in Maryland of Charles Grafton as a priest in the Episcopal Church. He will found the Sisters of the Holy Nativity and later, as a bishop, will stir controversy because of his fondness for ritual and vestments. Authority for the date: Episcopal Church. Holy Women, Holy Men.
In a letter, Father Weld accepts Gerard Manley Hopkins into the Jesuits. Hopkins will work as a priest among the poor, writing, but not publishing, the poems for which he is famous today, which the world will first see after his death. Authority for the date: Ballinger, Phillip A. The Poem as Sacrament: The Theological Aesthetic of Gerard Manley Hopkins. 1977
Death in Boga, Congo, of African evangelist Apolo Kivebulaya. Authority for the date: Gordon, Ernest. Book of Protestant Saints. Chicago: Moody, 1946.
The two-day Barmen Synod ended in Germany. The resulting Barmen Declaration affirmed that the German Confessing Church recognized Jesus Christ to be the only authoritative voice of God, in clear contrast to all other (i.e., Nazi) powers representing divine revelation.
Death of Martin Noth, 66, German Old Testament scholar. Noth was the first authority to note that 1&2 Samuel and 1&2 Kings contain virtually no mention of the classic prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos and Hosea.
Death in prison of Watchman Nee, famed Chinese evangelist. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.
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