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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, November 23

615
Death of the Irish scholar and missionary Columbanus at Bobbio, Italy, in one of the many monasteries he had founded.
857
Patriarch Ignatius of Constantinople is deposed and banished, having refused Holy Communion to Emperor "Cesar" Bardas because he was living in incest with his daughter-in-law Eudocia. Photius is made Patriarch in his place, although Ignatius will eventually be restored.
1406
Death of Nicodemus of Tismana. As a young nobleman he had gone to Mt. Athos in Greece where he became a monk and priest. Upon his return to Romania, he had established a monastic community, then moved to Vodita where he built a church. He attempted to reconcile Serbian and Byzantine churches and founded another monastery at Tismana whose monks copied books.
1729
German-born John Philip Boehm, 46, was formally ordained a pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church. Boehm had previously come to America in 1720, where he began organizing religious services among German Reformed immigrants in Pennsylvania.
1826
Myra Wood writes in her journal that a number of single women have united in prayer and fasting to find a more useful sphere of action so as not to be guilty of "standing here idle." She will become a missionary in India.
1846
James Evans, having served as a missionary to Canadian Indians, collapses unexpectedly while in England and dies instantly at forty-five years of age. He had been under tremendous strain from sexual allegations brought against him by liquor traders furious at his preaching. A memorable incident in his life had been his accidental shooting of an Indian convert. Friends urged him to flee. James, however, located the man's family, explained what had happened and offered himself for adoption in the man's place. The mother was so impressed that a white man would care about the feelings of an Indian family, she let James live. For the rest of his short life, James shared his income with her.
1872
Death of John Bowering who wrote the hymn "In the cross of Christ I Glory."
1938
Jeremiah Mahalu Kisula is sent to Kitengule-Mwibara where he begins his ministry as an ordained minister. He will become the first bishop of the Africa Inland Church of Tanzania.
1947
E. L. Sukenik of Jerusalem's Hebrew University first received word of the existence of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The documents, dating between 200 BC and AD 70, had been accidentally discovered the previous winter (1946-47) by two Bedouin shepherds in the vicinity of Qumran.
1970
Pope Paul VI issued a decree barring cardinals over the age of 80 from voting for a new pope.

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