Today in Christian History
On command of Pope Alexander IV, Thomas Aquinas is reluctantly admitted as a doctor of theology by the University of Paris. The university had denied mendicant friars (Dominicans and Franciscans) the privilege of occupying university chairs because they had refused to take an oath relating to the autonomy of the university. School leaders had also opposed the friars on a number of other grounds.
During the French Revolution, a decree orders the evacuation of all religious houses that are still occupied by "religious men and women" (meaning monks and nuns), except those that provide medical services or charities. The occupants have until October 1st to comply.
Archibald Alexander becomes the first professor of Princeton, filling its theology chair. Like many of America's premiere colleges and universities, Princeton had been founded to train ministers.
Birth of Joseph Barnby, English organist and choirmaster. He composed nearly 250 hymn tunes during his life. Of these the most enduring include LAUDES DOMINI ("When Morning Gilds the Skies"), LONGWOOD ("Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart"), MERRIAL ("Now the Day is Over") and ST. ANDREW ("We Give Thee But Thine Own").
Edith Nathan, May Nathan, and Mary Heaysman, three women who had been working as missionaries in the Chinese city of Ta-ning, are captured by Boxers. They will be executed the next morning.
Bolsheviks arrest the Orthodox spiritual father of the Belogorsk monastery, Hieromonk Vyacheslav, whom they will execute.
American missionary and martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: 'I must come to be aware of Satan. He may never get me into hell, but he may cause God shame in defeating me. Preserve me from the lion, Lord. Let him not swallow me up.'
In Rome, the first papal funeral ever held outdoors was conducted for Pope Paul VI in St. Peter's Square.
In Hollywood, the controversial religious movie "The Last Temptation of Christ" was released, sparking protests from evangelical church groups across the nation.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"