November 29: Today in Christian History

November 29: Today in Christian History

November 29, 257

Bound to a bull, Saturninus was Dragged To Death. SATURNINUS was one of the early Christians we wish we knew more about. Although we have many legends, facts themselves are scarce. We know that he was martyred for his faith, and how he died, but not much more. The temple leaders seized and bound Saturninus as he passed by the Capitol. He was given an ultimatum: Worship the idols or die. 
Saturninus refused to worship. A later hagiography quotes him as saying, “I adore only one God and to him I am ready to offer a sacrifice of praise. Your gods are devils and are more delighted with the sacrifice of your souls than with those of your bullocks.” He then asked why he should worship a deity which trembles and falls silent when a Christian passes by? 

Furious that Saturninus would not worship their gods, the pagans took him to a high point and tied him to a bull. When the bull was set loose it ran madly down the steps, dragging the bishop behind so that his brains were dashed out. The terrified beast continued to run through the town, dragging the body behind it until the ropes broke. 

Two faithful women gathered the broken body and buried it in a deep ditch. 

November 29, 851

Muslims in Spain release Eulogius, a supporter of a number of recent Christian martyrs, but require sureties that he will remain in Córdoba. Eventually they will execute him because of his anti-Islamic agitation.

November 29, 1226

Louis IX of France is crowned at Rheims. Because of the sanctity of his life, he will be declared a saint in 1297, twenty-seven years after his death.

November 29, 1530

Death of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, who had been Lord Chancellor of England. He says, “If I had served God as diligently as I have done the King, he would not have given me over in my grey hairs.”

November 29, 1643

Death of Renaissance Italian composer and clergyman Claudio Monteverdi, who served as maestro di cappella at St Mark’s Cathedral, Venice. An innovator, he developed techniques that flourished in baroque music. He wrote an opera that is still produced, secular madrigals, and many sacred pieces, including several serene masses.

November 29, 1683

Thomas Delaune is committed to prison on a charge of libel because of his book A Plea for the Nonconformists. Fined one hundred marks, he will be held in Newgate when he is unable to pay. There his only income will be chance gifts of visitors. His wife and two children will die because of poor conditions and hunger, and he will follow them to death a few weeks later.

November 29, 1757

Henry Steele, father of hymn writer Anne Steele, records in his diary “This day Nanny sent a part of her compositions to London to be printed. I entreat a gracious God, who enabled and stirred her up to such a work, to direct her in it, and to bless it for the good and comfort of many. I pray God to make it useful, and to keep her humble.” One of her hymns, “When I survey life’s varied scene, / Amid the darkest hours,” is believed to have been written in reaction when her bridegroom drowned the morning that was to have been their wedding day.

November 29, 1780

The Congregational Church of Connecticut licenses African-American Lemuel Hayes to preach, making him the first African-American minister certified by a predominantly white denomination. He will later become the first African-American minister to pastor a white church in the United States.

November 29, 1847

Indians massacre missionary-physician Marcus Whitman and twelve others at Walla Walla. Immigrants had brought measles. Resentment against white incursions came to a head: the natives accused Whitman and other missionaries of black magic and killed them.

November 29, 1921

Death in Rochester, New York, of Augustus H. Strong, known for his work in systematic theology..

November 29, 1937

Death of Agnes Ozman, the first student who had spoken in tongues at Charles Parham’s Kansas school in 1901, sparking what would grow into a worldwide Pentecostal movement.

November 29, 1950

A convention begins in Cleveland at which The Federal Council of Churches in America merges with seven other Protestant organizations to become the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.

November 29, 1952

The Vatican announces that Archbishop Aloysius Stepanic, under house arrest in Yugoslavia, will be made a cardinal. This infuriates Tito’s communist regime which protests vigorously, having convicted Stepanic of war crimes and collaboration with Nazis. The ceremony making Stepanic a cardinal will nonetheless take place on January 12, 1953

November 29, 1958

Chinese missionary John Ding and his wife Zhu Yiming are captured by Communists in Tibet where they had been evangelizing. They are incarcerated. Zhu will die before her husband and he will not be notified for three years. Then he will be given her clothes and will find the toes of her shoes and the knee area of her dress are worn out from much prayer on her knees. Released after twenty-three years in prison, Ding will return to preaching and will remarry. 

November 29, 1970

In Nagpur, India, six church bodies—the Anglicans, the United Church of Northern India, the Baptists, the Methodists, the Church of the Brethren and the Disciples of Christ—merge to form the Church of North India.

November 29, 1979

A mentally-unstable Jew hacks to death the monk Philoumenos (Sophocles Hasapis), whom the Orthodox Church had appointed as igumen (abbot) of their monastery at Jacob’s Well a week after a committee of Jewish settlers had demanded removal of Christian symbols from the well.

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