Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, November 13

287
Death in Ostia, Italy, of Monica, prayerful mother of Augustine of Hippo.
354
Birth of St. Augustine of Hippo, greatest of the Early Latin Church Fathers. Of his many writings, two have endured: "Confessions" describes the circumstances leading to his conversion to the Christian faith, and "The City of God" was written as a Christian view of the sacking of Rome by the Visigoths in the year 410.
619
Opening of the Second Council of Seville, the largest ever held in Spain. Among its many decisions was a ruling that baptism only required a single dipping and that hymns by authors such as Ambrose, with texts not taken directly from Scripture, are allowable in church services.
1317
(probable date) Death of Yaballah III, originally known as Rabban Markos from Beijing, who traveled west with Bar Sauma, and became a Patriarch of the East Syrian Church.
1564
Pius IV ordered his bishops and scholars to subscribe to "Professio Fidei," the Profession of the Tridentine Faith recently formulated at the Council of Trent (1545-63) as the new and final definition of the Roman Catholic faith.
1606
Johann Gerhard, who will become perhaps the most influential 17th-century Lutheran theologian, takes his doctorate of theology at the University of Jena.
1618
In the Dutch commune of Dordrecht, the Synod of Dort convened to discuss the Arminian controversy vexing the Reformed faith. In the end, about 200 Arminian (Remonstrant) ministers were deposed and fifteen were placed under arrest and later expelled from the country.
1804
Anglican missionary to Persia, Henry Martyn wrote in his journal: 'God and eternal things are my only pleasure.'
1913
Lenin writes to Maxim Gorki, "Every religious idea, every idea of God, even flirting with the idea of God, is unutterable vileness...."
1962
The name of St. Joseph was added to the canon of the Roman Catholic mass. It constituted the first alteration made to this canon since the seventh century.

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