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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Saturday, December 22

1216
Pope Honorius III officially approved the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), founded in 1216 by St. Dominic. During the Middle Ages, many leaders of European thought were Dominicans; and a good number followed Portuguese and Spanish explorers to the Americas as missionaries.
1560
After three years imprisonment with torture, Julian "The Little" Hernandez is burned to death in Seville, Spain, for distributing Spanish language Bibles and Protestant literature and rejecting fasts and mortifications as a means of salvation.
1646
Death of Peter Mogila, Metropolitan of Kiev, who had established an educational program that defended Orthodox teachings and had written many books that would remain influential into the twenty-first century, including a Russian catechism.
1770
Birth of Father Demetrius Gallitzin, a Dutch Catholic priest. Arriving in America in 1792, he spent his remaining years as a frontier missionary, building up the Catholic church in parts of PA, MD, VA and WV. Gallitzin became known as the "Apostle to the Alleghenies."
1804
Anglican missionary to Persia Henry Martyn wrote in his journal: 'I look forward to a day of prayer; for my soul hath great need of quickening and restoration, that it may act more in the view of eternity.'
1850
Henry Budd becomes the first person of First Nations ancestry ordained to the Anglican priesthood. He will work a large area of Western Canada and translate the Bible and Prayer Book into the Cree language.
1854
Death in Oxford of Martin Joseph Routh, who until three years earlier had been president of Magdalen College. A notable scholar who compiled and published the works of early church fathers, he was in his hundredth year when he died, but clear-minded - and the owner of a personal library of 16,000 volumes, some very rare.
1888
Death in New York City of Isaac Hecker, an influential American convert to Roman Catholicism, who had founded the order of Paulists in the United States and edited Catholic World.
1917
Italian-born Francesca Xavier Cabrini, founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, dies in Chicago's Columbus Hospital. In 1946 she will be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, becoming the first American citizen declared a saint.
2011
Authorities close a Baptist church in Neftechala, Azerbaijan, saying "without registration you cannot pray."

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