April 11: Today in Christian History

April 11: Today in Christian History

April 11, 548

Pope Vigilius issues his Judicatum against the Three Chapters. As a result, the Bishops of Africa, Illyria, and Dalmatia, with two of his own confidential deacons, withdraw from his communion. Two years later, the African bishops will anathemize him and he will eventually withdraw the Judicatum.

April 11, 714

Death at Croyland, England, of Guthlac, who after several years of warfare had felt remorse, entered a monastery, and gained fame for his austerities. Tales of miracles at his tomb soon will make it a site for pilgrimages.

April 11, 1079

Assassination of Bishop Stanislaus of Krakow, Poland, murdered while he celebrates mass. He had incurred the enmity of King Boleslaw by excommunicating him for his many crimes.

April 11, 1442

Repose (death) of James the Abbot of Zheleznoborov. An ascetic monk, he was famous for predicting the recovery of Sophia, wife of the Great Prince Basil, when she was seriously ill, and foretelling the safe birth of a son, which happened. He founded a monastery at Iron Pines, which was destroyed by Tatars in 1429. James and his monastic community survived by hiding in deep woods, rebuilt the place, and fed starving peasants.

April 11, 1782

Moravians missionaries David Zeisberger and John Heckewelder arrive at Fort Detroit, brought there by British Colonel De Peyster. They will be tried for treason on suspicion that they sent information to colonial rebels but will be found not guilty.

April 11, 1816

Richard Allen of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, becomes the first African-American bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

April 11, 1842

Death of John England, the first Roman Catholic bishop of Charleston, with a see embracing North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, where he had planted numerous churches and left a well-organized clergy.

April 11, 1861

Sarah Platt Haines Doremus of New York City becomes the first president of the Women’s Union Missionary Society of America for Heathen Lands. She will become known as the “Mother of Missions.”

April 11, 1878

Death in Lichfield, England, of George Augustus Selwyn, first bishop of New Zealand.

April 11, 1879

The Handel and Haydn Society of Boston gives a full performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Passion according to St. Matthew.

April 11, 1931

Death at Salem, India, of K.T. (Kanakarayan Tiruselvam) Paul, first Indian-born National General Secretary of the National Council of YMCAs of India. He had been a promoter of rural construction, Chairman of the National Christian Council of India, and the holder of other prominent positions.

April 11, 1933

Khotan rebels enter Yarkant, China. They soon round up Muslim converts to Christianity. The first killed is twenty-year-old Habil, a Christian teacher, who had come to protect his thirteen-year-old sister from rape. Before being executed he had drawn a cross on a mud wall and above it a crown, saying, “First the cross, then the crown.” His sister Hava will be forced to marry a syphilitic Muslim and will contract the disease. When she is at the point of death, Swedish missionaries will rescue her, but she will die before she is twenty.

April 11, 1963

Pope John XXIII issues his Pacem in Terris encyclical regarding the establishment of universal peace.


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