Today in Christian History

December 26

December 26, 1065: The first building of Westminster Abbey is dedicated, though legend holds that the abbey was founded as early as 616.

December 26, 1194: Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II is born today near the town of Jesi, in the Marche region of Italy. Frederick claimed to be a direct successor to the Roman Emperors of old and united the kingdoms of Italy, Germany, Sicily, and Jerusalem (by marriage and crusade). He was frequently at war with the popes of his era, mostly for geopolitical reasons, and was excommunicated four times during his reign.

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March 26, 655: Deusdedit becomes the first English-born Archbishop of Canterbury. He served until 664.

March 26, 752: Stephen III assumes the papacy after Stephen II dies. But Stephen III is sometimes called Stephen II, since the real Stephen II hardly counts: he died a mere four days after his election!

March 26, 1831: Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the first black bishop in America, dies at age 71 (see issue 62: Bound for Canaan).

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