Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, 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.
1654
French thinker Blaise Pascal undergoes a profound religious conversion, which he records on paper, giving the date and time, followed by the mystical words: "Fire. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. Not of the philosophers and intellectuals. Certitude, certitude, joy, peace. The God of Jesus Christ..."
1742
English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter: 'Two things I would earnestly recommend to your constant study: the book of God, and your own heart. These two, well understood, will make you an able minister of the New Testament.'
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.
1906
Death of William Wrede, German Lutheran scholar who had taught New Testament at the universities of Gottingen and Breslau. He contended that the Gospels represented the theology of the primitive church rather than a true biographical history of Jesus and that the Paul was the real founder of first-century Christianity.
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.

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