Christian History Institute

Sharing our story of faith across the ages

Today in

Prev Tuesday, August 15, 2017 Next

Christian History

Francis Xavier

It Happened Today: Francis Xavier Reaches Japan (1549)

Hard-working Jesuit took the gospel to the far east.

Read More
The Royal Invitation

Devotional (2016 church year): We are commanded to come to Christ (1887)

“[B]ring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best...

Read More

Pope John Paul II addresses the role and importance of women in an apostolic letter, but reaffirms the male-only priesthood for certain church rituals such as the mass.

Authority for the date:



A truck-load of rebel soldiers takes over the hospital compound at Nobobongo, Congo, which they will occupy for five months. Among the women held by them is medical missionary Dr. Helen Roseveare who will live to tell a tale of severe abuse and terror. (For example, she will be repeatedly raped and a local chief will be found “guilty” by a “people’s court” and flayed alive and eaten.)

Authority for the date:

Roseveare, Helen. Give Me This Mountain. InterVarsity Press, 1995.


An All-Russian Church Council convenes in Moscow. It will restore the Patriarchial form of church government abolished by Peter the Great almost two hundred years earlier in 1721.

Authority for the date:

Ware, Timothy. The Orthodox Church.


Death of poet Julie Katharina von Hausmann near Wösso, Estonia. She was the author of the hymn “So nimm denn meine Hände” (“O Take My Hand, Dear Father”).

Authority for the date:



Death, from inflammation of the brain, of Frederick W. Robertson, a prominent Anglican clergyman. His ministry had been mainly among the working classes but his writings were widely read and especially cherished by evangelicals. He had been ordained bishop of Winchester in 1840.

Authority for the date:

Dictionary of National Biography.


Father John Carroll is ordained by Bishop Charles Walmesley in Dorset, England, as the first Roman Catholic bishop of the United States. Eighteen years later he will become the nation’s first archbishop.

Authority for the date:

Standard encyclopedias.


Repose (death) of the venerable Gerasimus, a much-traveled ascetic, priest, and abbot of the Orthodox church.

Authority for the date:

Agnes Prest is burned to death at Southern Hay by Queen Mary’s government because of her rejection of the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.

Ignatius of Loyola founds “the company of Jesus,” describing their organization as similar to that of fur traders but focused on God’s will, not beaver skins. In 1540 it will gain the approval of the pope, who will name it the Society of Jesus. More often they will be known as “Jesuits.”

Authority for the date:

Vincent, Benjamin. Haydn’s Dictionary of Dates. Putnam, 1911.


Arabs abandon a thirteen-month seige of Constantinople on the day of the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. Because of the date, the Byzantines ascribe their victory to the mother of Christ. After forsaking the siege, many of the Arab ships involved will be destroyed by a storm and others will burn when ashes from the volcano of Santorini fall on them.

Authority for the date:


The proconsul of Africa proclaims unity of the African church under Gratus after years of conflict between the Catholic Church and the stricter Donatists. Donatus withdraws into exile.

Authority for the date:

Frend, W. H. C. The Early Church. Philadelphia: Fortress Pr., 1965.