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Christian History


It Happened Today: Eligius Consecrated Bishop of Noyon-Tournai (641)

Eligius showed what it takes to become a beloved saint.

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Johann Arndt

Devotional (2016 church year): Guide My Ship (1914)

Ah Lord, unto whom all hearts are open, You can govern the vessel of my soul...

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Death of Jaroslav Pelikan, a Christian scholar and church historian who had written nearly forty books and over a dozen reference works on numerous aspects of Christian history. Late in life he had joined the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Authority for the date:

Christian History 91 (2006).


A Turk named Mehmet Ali Agca, who belongs to the extremist group the “Gray Wolves,” shoots Pope John Paul II as he waves to a crowd in St. Peter’s Square. Bullets rip the pope’s abdomen, right arm, and left hand.

Authority for the date:


Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands arrives in England, fleeing the German invasion of the Netherlands. A Christian, she will rally her people through weekly radio broadcasts. Three years after the war, she will abdicate in favor of her daughter, taking the name Princess Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.

Authority for the date:

Princess Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. Lonely but Never Alone.


Three children claim to have seen the Virgin Mary in the town of Fatima in Portugal.

Authority for the date:

Eternal Word Television Network.


Pope Pius IX issues an encyclical “On the Greek-Ruthenian rite,” forbidding that any changes be made to Eastern Catholic liturgies, and in particular to the Ruthenian Rite.

Authority for the date:

Eternal Word Television Network.


Death in London of Zachary Macaulay, who had been one of the evangelical social-action group known as the Clapham Sect, a slavery abolitionist, and governor of Sierra Leone (1794–1799).

Authority for the date:

Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals.


A meeting in London for the proposed union of Congregational churches adjourns. It had authorized the creation of a plan for union to be amended by the affected British churches and submitted for adoption the following year.

Authority for the date:

Dale, R. W. History of English Congregationalists.


Evangelist David Marks asks his audience what they want him to preach on. Someone shouts “nothing” and so Marks preaches on “nothing” to an Ancaster, Ontario, crowd, showing them that they would be nothing and have nothing without Christ.

Authority for the date:

Morgan, Robert J. On This Day. Nelson, 1997.


Cotton Mather, who will be an influential pastor in New England, is ordained in Boston’s North Church.

Authority for the date:

Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals.


An ordinance calling for the Westminster Assembly is introduced into the English House of Commons and will pass a month later.

Authority for the date:

Leith, John H. Assembly at Westminster. Richmond, Va., John Knox Press, 1973.

Execution of John Barneveld, Dutch statesman, at seventy one years of age. He had advocated free states and taken the Arminian side against the Calvinists. Authority for the date: White, Andrew Dickson. Seven Great Statesmen in the Warfare of Humanity with Unreason. Kessinger Publishing, 2004.

King Philip the Fair of France addresses a letter to the seneschal of Carcassonne in which he denounced the inquisitors for cruelly torturing innocent men, whereby the living and the dead were fraudulently convicted. Among abuses he mentions particularly “tortures newly invented.”

Authority for the date:

Vacandard, E. The Inquisition.


Pope Boniface I dedicates the Pantheon as a Catholic church and introduces the Festival of All Saints. The bones of martyrs from various Roman cemeteries are brought in a solemn procession of twenty-eight carriages to the new church.

Authority for the date:

Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church.