Today in Christian History
(traditional date - the event may have taken place as early as 209.) Alban becomes the first Christian known to have been martyred in the British Isles. A pagan, he had been converted by a fleeing priest, and gave himself up in the man's place.
John Fisher is beheaded by command of King Henry VIII of England because he has openly rebuked Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon and refused to accept Henry as head of the Church of England.
In England, Queen Elizabeth's Prayer Book was issued. During her 45-year reign, Elizabeth I rejected the Catholic faith, adopting instead the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican Church.
Pope Gregory XV publishes the bull Inscrutabili Divinae, which reminds the Church of its mission to take the gospel to newly discovered native populations in the Americas.
Scottish Covenanters publish the Declaration of Sanquhar, disavowing allegiance to King Charles II and the government of Scotland because of governmental interference in religious affairs. This action will soon bring Covenanter rebel Richard Cameron and his followers into trouble.
Colonial missionary to the American Indians David Brainerd wrote in his journal: 'I am often weary of this world, and want to leave it on that account; but it is more desirable to be drawn, rather than driven out of it.'
Jonathan Edwards is dismissed from his pulpit in Northampton, Massachusetts, because he has rejected the "halfway covenant" which allows individuals who have made no confession of salvation to baptize their children. His calls for holiness do not sit well with his congregation either. One hundred and fifty years later, Northampton Church will erect a monument to Edwards.
The society known today as the Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) was first organized. Its purpose is to provide information about the archaeology, the history and the people of the Holy Land.
Scholars began translation work on the English Revised Version of the Bible. Released in 1881, the ERV became the textual basis for the American Standard Version (ASV), first published in the United States in 1901.
Kateri Takakwitha is beatified, the first American Indian so honored by the Roman Catholic Church.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"