Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, November 15

1621
In his bull Aeterni Patris Gregory XV prescribes that in the future only three modes of papal election are to be allowed: scrutiny, compromise, and quasi-inspiration. A later bull "Decet Romanum Pontificem" contains a ceremonial which regulates these three modes of election in every detail.
1626
The original Mayflower "pilgrims" (Separatists), having lived in their American colony for six years, bought out their London investors for 1,800 pounds.
1760
Anglican hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'Our love to Him is the proof and measure of what we know of His love to us.'
1804
Anglican missionary to Persia, Henry Martyn wrote in his journal: 'Corruption always begins the day, but morning prayer never fails to set my mind in a right frame.'
1836
Death of the Russian Orthodox monk Herman, one of ten original monks sent to open a mission at Kodiak, Alaska. He had become the mission's steward, and had been notable for his gentle disposition and his attempts to protect the native population.
1839
Scottish clergyman Robert Murray McCheyne wrote in a letter: 'I know well that when Christ is nearest, Satan also is busiest.'
1848
An assassin stabs Pope Pius IX's premier, Count Pellegrino Rossi, in the neck, killing him. Rossi was detested because of how slowly he introduced democratic reforms into the papal states.
1878
Death of Jane Montgomery Campbell, who translated a number of hymns from German into English, including "Silent Night," "We Plow the Fields," and others.
1885
Mwanga, ruler of Buganda (now part of Uganda), beheads the recent Anglican convert and member of the royal family Joseph Mukasa. Mukasa opposed killing the Anglican missionary bishop James Hannington and his colleagues. Mwanga's bloodbath continued through January 1887. Collectively, the martyrs of Uganda will be canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1964.
1957
Patriarch Ignatius Yacoub III officially establishes the Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in the U.S. and Canada. Archbishop Mar Athanasius Yeshue Samuel is appointed primate of the new archdiocese, and will take up residence in Hackensack, New Jersey.

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