Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, October 31

1503
Election of Julian Rovere to be pope. He takes the name Julius II.
1772
Thomas and Samuel Green of New Haven publish "A Sermon" by Indian preacher Samson Occum which he had given the month before at the hanging of an Indian man for murder. The sermon becomes wildly successful, going through ten editions in eight years.
1816
Robert Moffat sails for South Africa where he will establish a mission work. Mission leaders had been reluctant to send him, believing he was unqualified. He will become a world-famed mission leader.
1852
Swiss moral philosopher Henry F. Amiel wrote in his journal: 'Every landscape is, as it were, a state of the soul, and whoever penetrates into both is astonished to find how much likeness there is in each detail.'
1877
Samuel Schereschewsky is consecrated Anglican Bishop of Shanghai. Developing Parkinson's disease, he will resign his position, and spend the rest of his life completing a translation of the Bible into Wenli (a Chinese dialect), typing hundreds of pages with the one finger that he could still move.
1920
Baptism of Spetume Florence Njangali in Saint Peter's Cathedral, Hoima, Uganda. She will become a leader in the effort to obtain theological education for women and their ordination as deaconesses in the Anglican church of Uganda.
1992
Pope John Paul II admits indirectly that the church erred three hundred and sixty years earlier when it condemned Italian astronomer Galileo.
1997
Bishop Shenouda is chosen by lot to be the 117th Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.
1999
Catholics and Lutherans issue a joint statement on justification in Augsburg, Germany, showing that "a consensus in basic truths of the doctrine of justification exists between Lutherans and Catholics."
2010
Al Qaida terrorists besiege Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Baghdad, massacring most of the 120 worshipers inside, including a three year old boy who pleads with them to stop killing.

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