November 23: Today in Christian History

November 23: Today in Christian History

November 23, 615

Death of the Irish scholar and missionary Columbanus at Bobbio, Italy, in one of the many monasteries he had founded.

November 23, 857

Patriarch Ignatius of Constantinople is deposed and banished, having refused Holy Communion to the Emperor's uncle “Cesar” Bardas because he was living in incest with his daughter-in-law Eudocia. Photius is made Patriarch in his place, although Ignatius will eventually be restored.

November 23, 1406

Death of Nicodemus of Tismana. As a young nobleman he had gone to Mt. Athos in Greece where he became a monk and priest. Upon his return to Romania, he had established a monastic community, then moved to Vodita where he built a church. He attempted to reconcile Serbian and Byzantine churches and founded another monastery at Tismana whose monks copied books.

November 23, 1585

Death in London of Thomas Tallis, composer of fine Christian music, including the highly regarded Lamentations of Jeremiah and a number of psalm settings.

November 23, 1654

French thinker Blaise Pascal undergoes a profound religious conversion, which he records on paper, giving the date and time, followed by the mystical words: “Fire. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. Not of the philosophers and intellectuals. Certitude, certitude, joy, peace. The God of Jesus Christ...”

November 23, 1826

Myra Wood writes in her journal that a number of single women have united in prayer and fasting to find a more useful sphere of action so as not to be guilty of “standing here idle.” She will become a missionary in India.

November 23, 1846

James Evans, having served as a missionary to Canadian Indians, collapses unexpectedly while in England and dies instantly at forty-five years of age. He had been under tremendous strain from sexual allegations brought against him by liquor traders furious at his preaching. A memorable incident in his life had been his accidental shooting of an Indian convert. Friends urged him to flee. James, however, located the man’s family, explained what had happened and offered himself for adoption in the man’s place. The mother was so impressed that a white man would care about the feelings of an Indian family, she let James live. For the rest of his short life, James shared his income with her.

November 23, 1872

Death of John Bowering who wrote the hymn “In the cross of Christ I Glory.”

November 23, 1906

Death of William Wrede, German Lutheran scholar who had taught New Testament at the universities of Gottingen and Breslau. He contended that the Gospels represented the theology of the primitive church rather than a true biographical history of Jesus and that Paul was the real founder of first-century Christianity.

November 23, 1938

Jeremiah Mahalu Kisula was sent to Kitengule-Mwibara where he began his ministry as an ordained minister. He will become the first bishop of the Africa Inland Church of Tanzania.

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