October 18: Today in Christian History

October 18: Today in Christian History

St. Luke the Evangelist

October 18th is the Feast Day of St. Luke the Evangelist in the Christian calendar. St. Luke is traditionally believed to be the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament. He is also one of the four Evangelists who wrote the Gospels. St. Luke's contributions to the New Testament provide valuable insights into the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the early Christian community.

October 18, 1405

Enea Silvio Piccolomini (a.k.a. Pope Pius II) is born at Corsignano, Italy. Though faulted for taking radical and sometimes contradictory positions on issues, he was one of the best popes of his age: he wrote an important study of geography and ethnography, a popular love story, and an autobiography. He died in 1464 while planning a battle against the Turks, who controlled Constantinople.

October 18, 1511

William Sweeting and John Brewster are burned at Smithfield, England, for heresy.

October 18, 1534

During the “Affair of the Placards,” pamphlets appear in Paris denouncing the mass and other Roman Catholic practices. Because of the violent and abusive terms on these tracts, Protestants will be persecuted.

October 18, 1667

Death of Fasiladas, emperor of Ethiopia, who had made strenuous efforts to remove Jesuit influence and return his nation to its traditional Orthodox roots.

October 18, 1685

Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV. The edict had allowed Huguenots (French Calvinists) to worship. With its protections gone, thousands of Protestants will flee France.

October 18, 1814

British Granted Amnesty to Godly Mutineer on Pitcairn Island 

October 18, 1826

Nineteenth-century England offers its last state lottery, having concluded that, although it brought in large revenues, it was evil because it induced many poor people to gamble, and had impoverished many of them. (In 1994 the lottery will be brought back.)

October 18, 1855

Francis McDougall was officially named leader of Anglican work in Labuan and Sarawak. He had initially turned down an opportunity to go to Borneo as a missionary. Later, he repented of that decision and in December 1847 sailed for the mission field. Francis was a pioneer in medical missions. His supervisors actually thought he was stepping out of line when he began to tend the sick. He had little success among the Muslim Malays who were overlords to much of Borneo. He did better among the Chinese traders who had settled Borneo, but best among the indigenous Dyaks. Among McDougall's achievements was a Book of Common Prayer and Catechism in Malay.

October 18, 1867

The United States purchases Alaska for $7.2 million, or about 2 cents an acre. Ten years later, after lax military administration had only worsened the territory's moral condition, an army private stationed in Alaska begged, "Send out a shepherd who may reclaim a mighty flock from the error of their ways, and gather them into the true fold." Presbyterian missionary Sheldon Jackson answered the call and spent decades raising funds, building schools and churches, and crusading for better laws 

October 18, 1938

Spetume Florence Njangali is converted and becomes an active member of the East African revival movement within the Anglican Church. She will overcome barriers that had prevented women from obtaining a theological education and ordination as deacons.

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