Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, August 8

Death of Thomas Kempis, 91, Dutch mystic and devotional author. Though most of his years were outwardly uneventful, his book "The Imitation of Christ" remains in print today, a guide to cultivating the inner human spirit.
German reformer Martin Luther wrote in a letter: 'The Lord will provide with the trial a way out.'
Death of Antonie Arnauld, a Jansenist leader who had promoted an Augustinian version of grace similar to Calvinism. Authority for the date: Britannica.
The First African Baptist Church of Boston is organized with twenty members. Authority for the date: www.pbcboston.org/about-us/our-history
Birth of Thomas Koschat, Austrian sacred composer. One of his scores became the hymn tune POLAND, to which is commonly sung "The King of Love My Shepherd Is."
The roots of the Baptist General Conference were planted when Swedish immigrant pastor Gustaf Palmquist baptized his first three converts in the Mississippi River at Rock Island, Illinois. Today, the denomination numbers about 140,000.
Death in Portland, Maine, of Cyrus Hamlin, who had been a missionary to Turkey and founded Roberts College. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.
Death of Mary MacKillop, Australian nun, co-founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. She will be named a saint by the Roman Catholic church - Australia's first. Authority for the date: http://www.sosj.org.au
The Sacred Congregation of the Sacraments in the Vatican issued the decree "Quam singulari," which recommended that children be permitted to receive Holy Communion as soon as they reached the "age of discretion" (i.e., about age 7).
Communists convict the Orthodox priest Alexander Zaitsev of anti-Soviet agitation and handing over Soviet sympathizers to a resistance movement. He is sentenced to death and will be shot. Authority for the date: Moss, Vladimir. Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of the Urals, Siberia and Central Asia.
Death in Medford, Massachusetts, of Catholic layworker and evangelist Martha Gallison Moore Avery. Authority for the date: Hall, Timothy L. American Religious Leaders, American Biographies. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2002.
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