Today in Christian History
The Persian armies of Cyrus the Great captured Babylon. (Babylon, under Nebuchadnezzar, was the former military scourge which had taken Judah into exile in 586 BC (see 2 Kings 25).
Philip IV the Fair arrests all Templars of France without warning and has them tortured. He hopes to force them to incriminate themselves so that he can confiscate their wealth.
Death of Theodore Beza, a French-born theologian, who had been widely recognized as Calvin's successor.
In Virginia, slavery was banned for Negroes who arrived in the American colonies as Christians. (The law was repealed in 1682.)
Murder of the Coptic king Iyasu I of Ethiopia. He had been a successful warrior, a conciliator of religious differences, and a great builder of churches.
Theodore Fliedner opens his first deaconess training center, at Kaiserswerth. Among those who will be trained there is Florence Nightingale, the "Lady with a Lamp."
English hymnwriter Frances Havergal writes the words to the hymn "Who Is on the Lord's Side?"
The Church of the Nazarene organizes in Texas.
The Virgin Mary last appeared to three shepherd children near Fatima, Portugal. Six visions had occurred between May and October, each on the 13th of the month. (This last vision was attended by over 50,000 pilgrims.)
The Bishop of Turin, Italy announced that the Shroud of Turin, long believed to be Christ's burial sheet, did not withstand scientific testing. It dated back only to 1280, and not to the time of Jesus' crucifixion (ca. AD 30-33).
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"