Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, December 12

1199
Because Philip Augustus has taken a second wife without properly divorcing his first, Pope Innocent III lays the entire nation of France under an interdict that goes into effect the 12 January 1200 and lasts until 7 September, when Philip will divest himself of the unlawful second wife.
1562
Death in Zurich of Peter Martyr Vermigli, an Italian theologian with reformation tendencies. He had fled to England from Italy and, with the restoration of Catholicism under Mary Tudor, had fled again to Switzerland.
1666
The Council of Moscow deposes Russian Orthodox Patriarch Nikon, whose autocratic ways and liturgical reforms had resulted in strife between church and state.
1733
Ordination of Stephen Parker, Ebenezer Hinsdell, and Joseph Seccombe at Old South Church in Boston to be missionaries to the American Indians.
1739
Death at Marienborn of Anna Schindler Dober who, with Anna Nitschmann, had formed the band of unmarried sisters at Herrnhut, the Moravian center. She also wrote hymns and, following her marriage to Bishop Dober, labored beside him to convert Jews.
1767
Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'The Lord himself is our Keeper. Nothing befalls us but what is adjusted by His wisdom and love. He will, in one way or another, sweeten every bitter cup, and ere long He will wipe away all tears from our eyes.'
1808
The Bible Society of Philadelphia was organized, the first of its kind in America. Rev. William White was elected first president of the new organization, whose purpose it was to promote and distribute the Scriptures.
1931
Ordination in Basutoland of its first Black African Roman Catholic priest, Raphael Mohasi.
1971
Ordination of Ezekiel Ogunniran Oyatumo in the Nigerian Baptist Convention. Because he was in his twenties before he was able to obtain regular schooling, he had been taunted by younger students. Nonetheless, through hard work and persistence he will become one of the most notable pastors in Nigeria, a prayer warrior, and a defender of conservative values. His church will grow steadily and he will write several books, including a history of the Nigerian Baptists.
1974
Pope Paul VI announced his intention of canonizing Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton (1774-1821), who had founded the first free Catholic school in the U.S. as well as the religious order known as the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph.

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