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The Current Week in 2015:

November 22

November 22, 1220: Pope Honorius III crowns Frederick II Holy Roman Emperor in an attempt to reestablish relations between emperor and pope. But Frederick's reign would become increasingly anti-papal, messianic, and eschatological. His supporters hailed him as a messiah; his enemies branded him Antichrist. When he died in 1250, both sides were shocked (see issue 61: The End of the World).

November 22, 1873: The French ship Ville du Havre sinks in the north Atlantic, killing all four daughters of Chicago lawyer Horatio G. Spafford. His wife survived, and Spafford immediately booked passage to join her in England. While passing over the spot where his daughters died, he began writing what would become the famous hymn "It Is Well with My Soul.

November 22, 1963: British scholar and author C.S. Lewis dies, the very same day as Aldous Huxley and John F. Kennedy (see issue 7: C.S. Lewis).

November 23

November 23, 101 (traditional date): Clement of Rome dies. According to spurious legend, he was tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea. Considered "the first apostolic father," his letter to the church of Corinth was regarded as Scripture by many Christians in the third and fourth centuries. He was also credited with the Apostolic Constitutions, the largest collection of Christian ecclesiastical law (though scholars now consider them to have been written in Syria around 380).

November 23, 615: Irish scholar and missionary Columbanus dies in Bobbio, Italy. One of the greatest missionaries of the Middle Ages, he established monasteries in Anegray, Luxeuil, and Fontaines (see issue 60: How the Irish Were Saved).

November 23, 1621: Poet and cleric John Donne is elected Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

November 23, 1654: French scientist and mathematician Blaise Pascal experiences a mystical vision and converts to Christianity. The creator of the first wristwatch, the first bus route, the first workable calculating machine, and other inventions then turned his life to theology (see issue 76: Christian Face of the Scientific Revolution).

November 24

November 24, 1531: Johannes Oecolampadius, a leader in the Swiss Reformation, dies at 49. He sided with Ulrich Zwingli in disputing Martin Luther on the Lord's Supper and also helped Erasmus edit the New Testament in Greek (see issue 4: Ulrich Zwingli).

November 24, 1572: Scottish reformer John Knox dies in Edinburgh (see issue 46: John Knox)

November 24, 1713: Junipero Serra, "the Apostle of California," is born. The Spanish missionary established nine of the first 21 Franciscan missions in "New Spain," baptizing about 6,000 American Indians (see issue 35: Christopher Columbus).

November 24, 1771: Methodist Francis Asbury begins preaching in America. For the next 45 years, he was the main figure in establishing the Methodist church here (see issue 2: John Wesley and issue 45: Camp Meetings and Circuit Riders).

November 25

November 25, 2348 BC:: According to Anglican Archbishop James Ussher's Old Testament chronology, Noah's flood began on this date.

November 25, 1742: The Scottish Society for the Propagating of Christian Knowledge approves David Brainerd as a missionary to the New England Indians (see issue 77: Jonathan Edwards).

November 25, 1881: Angelo Roncalli is born in Sotto il Monte, Italy. In 1958 he would become one of the most popular popes of all time, John XXIII (see issue 65: The Ten Most Influential Christians of the Twentieth Century).

November 26

November 26, 1862: President Abraham Lincoln meets Harriet Beecher Stowe, the abolitionist author of Uncle Tom's Cabin and daughter of prominent minister Lyman Beecher. "So," Lincoln said upon meeting her, "you're the little woman that wrote the book that made this great war!" (see issue 33: Christianity and the Civil War).

November 26, 1883: Evangelist and abolitionist Sojourner Truth (whose real name was Isabella Van Wagener), dies in Battle Creek, Michigan. Born a slave, Truth experienced visions and voices, which she attributed to God, and was one of the most charismatic abolitionists and suffragists of her day (see issue 62: Bound for Canaan).

November 27

November 27, 1095: After nine days of sessions among clerics, Pope Urban II addresses the public to proclaim the First Crusade. The goals were to defend Eastern Christians from Muslim aggression, make pilgrimages to Jerusalem safer, and recapture the Holy Sepulcher. "God wills it! God wills it!" the crowd shouted in response (see issue 40: The Crusades).

November 27, 1970: On a trip to the Philippines, Pope Paul VI is attacked by a dagger-wielding Bolivian painter disguised as a priest. Though the Vatican announced the pontiff was unhurt, he suffered a chest wound in the assault.

November 28

November 28, 1628: English preacher John Bunyan, author of more than 60 books, including the famous Pilgrim's Progress, is born in Elston, England (see issue 11: John Bunyan).

November 28, 1757: English Christian mystic William Blake is born in London. A poet, sculptor, and engraver, he was unschooled but fascinated with Milton, Shakespeare, Dante, and the Bible. He experienced visions all his life, beginning at age 4 when he saw God looking in his window.

November 28, 1863: The the first annual national Thanksgiving Day is celebrated. Back in October, President Lincoln had proclaimed the fourth Thursday of each November from that time forward as a national day of thanks.

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