Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, January 4

1286
Death of Eustathius I (aka Jevstatije), the sixth Serbian archbishop. He will be commemorated as a saint.
1528
Ferdinand of Austria, younger brother to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, issued the first secular mandate forbidding the Anabaptist religious movement.
1540
German Reformer Martin Luther testified in a sermon: 'Faith is the "yes" of the heart, a conviction on which one stakes one's life.'
1577
Execution by fire of Hans Bret, a young Anabaptist Protestant in Antwerp. He had been tortured for months in an attempt to force him to deny his faith but kept such a bold testimony his persecutors clamped and seared his tongue so that he could not preach to the crowd when taken to the stake.
1821
Death in Maryland of Mother Elizabeth Bayley Seton, first native-born American canonized by the Catholic church. She had founded the American Sisters of Charity and was behind the present system of Catholic parochial schools.
1915
Democrat Moses Alexander, 62, was sworn in as governor of Idaho. He was the first elected Jewish governor in the U.S., and served two terms (1915-19).
1947
Presbyterian clergyman Peter Marshall is elected chaplain of the United States Senate. He will die two years later and his wife will write his biography, A Man Called Peter, which will be made into a major motion picture.
1953
The Catholic Hour airs for the first time over NBC television.
1965
Death in London, England, of T. S. Eliot, the most influential English poet of the twentieth century, who had converted to Christianity and joined the Church of England.
1979
Anosisye Mwansombelo Jongo is elected bishop in Tanzania's Moravian Church after years of leadership, often despite serious opposition. He had been the first black African elected by the Moravians as a superintendent in the province of Southern Tanzania.

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