Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, October 17

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.
Pope Clement VII orders humane treatment of the Jews. Authority for the date: Durant, Will and Ariel. The Reformation. (The Story of Civilization.) New York: Simon and Schuster, 1957.
Death in Konigsberg, Prussia, (now Kaliningrad, Russia) of Andrew Osiander, a Lutheran theologian who had helped introduce the Reformation to Nürnberg. Fellow Lutherans had rejected his insistence on the need to be indwelt by Christ as essential for justification. Authority for the date: Britannica.
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."
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. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.
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.'
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. Authority for the date: Hurst, John Fletcher. The History of Methodism, Vol II. New York: Eaton & Mains, 1902.
Birth of John Bowring, English statesman, linguist, merchant, theologian and author of the hymn, "In the Cross of Christ I Glory."
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.
Martyrdom of Alexander Ivanovich Shchukin, Archbishop of Semipalatinsk, shot by the Soviets for preaching against destroyers of churches. Authority for the date: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Template:Saints20
Mother Teresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Authority for the date: Maalouf, Jean. If We Just See what they See. Authorhouse, 2007.
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. Authority for the date: Dictionary of African Christian Biography.
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