Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, October 17

1483
Pope Sixtus IV launched the Spanish Inquisition, placing it under joint direction of the Church and state. Tomas de Torquemada, 63, was appointed Grand Inquisitor in charge of removing Jews and Muslims from Spain.
1582
Birth of German scholar Johann Gerhard, most influential of the 17th century Lutheran theologians. His writings attained a European circulation second only to the Bible and Thomas a Kempis' "Imitation of Christ."
1586
Death of Sir Philip Sidney from a wound recieved while fighting beside Dutch reformers. He had loaned his armor to a soldier without any. Tradition has it that, aflame with thirst from bleeding, he nonetheless gave his last water to a dying soldier on the battlefield.
1651
French scientist Blaise Pascal wrote in a letter: 'Jesus Christ suffered and died to sanctify death and suffering; he has been all that was great, and all that was abject, in order to sanctify in himself all things except sin, and to be the model of every condition.'
1760
John Fletcher is inducted into the Vicarage of Madeley. A Methodist of deep faith and purpose, he is designated to be Wesley's successor, but precedes him in death.
1792
Birth of John Bowring, English statesman, linguist, merchant, theologian and author of the hymn, "In the Cross of Christ I Glory."
1812
In Washington Co., PA, the first of seven eventual conferences convened, leading ultimately to the founding in 1836 of the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States.
1937
Martyrdom of Alexander Ivanovich Shchukin, Archbishop of Semipalatinsk, shot by the Soviets for preaching against destroyers of churches.
1979
Mother Teresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
2005
Death of Yokana Mukasa Balikudembe, Anglican bishop of Mityana in Uganda. At the time of his ordination, Mityana Diocese had only eight poor parishes but by his retirement had thirty rich parishes largely through his zealous efforts. In addition to organizing parishes, he had written Christian works in the Lugnanda language of his people and had won respect by urging all denominations of Christians to treat one another with respect.

Copyright Statement
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"