Today in Christian History
Death of Rashi (b.1040), medieval Jewish Bible scholar. His name is a Hebrewacrostic for Rabbi Shelomoh ben Isaac. Rashi was the leading rabbinic commentator in hisday on the Old Testament and Talmud.
Death in Reading, Pennsylvania, of Conrad Weiser, a Lutheran peacemaker and negotiator, who had learned the Mohawk language and customs in order to communicate and make treaties with them. He was the father-in-law of notable Lutheran pastor Henry Melchior Muhlenberg and will be remembered in the Episcopal Church calendar on the date of his death.
Birth of Thomas Kelly, Irish Episcopal clergyman and author of 765 hymns,including 'Praise the Savior, Ye Who Know Him.'
Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'It is perhapsthe highest triumph we can obtain over bigotry when we are able to bear with bigotsthemselves.'
President John Adams wrote in a letter: 'The Hebrews have done more to civilizemen than any other nation. If I were an atheist,... I should still believe fate had ordainedthe Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations.'
Birth of Father Edward Flanagan, American Catholic parish priest. Believing therewas 'no such thing as a bad boy,' in 1922 he organized Boys Town near Omaha, Nebraska.
In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Orthodox archbishop, Abune Mateos, tries the evangelical preacher Onesimus Nesib and finds him guilty on trumped up charges, calling down the curse of heaven on him. Onesimus is sentenced to lose all his property. However the emperor's agent investigates and clears Nesib of all charges except refusal to accept a belief in the mediating role of Mary and the saints.
Three children in Fatima, Portugal, report seeing visions of the Virgin Mary. The appartion gives them letters to take to the Pope.
Death in Oxford of Joy Davidman Lewis, wife of C.S. Lewis.
Death of Wycliffe Bible Translators missionary Henry F. Blood from pneumonia and malnutrition while a captive in Vietnamese hands. He had been captured in the Tet offensive six months earlier. His character won a fellow captive, Mike Benge, to become a Christian.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"