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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February 20, 1469: Thomasso de Vio Cajetan, the most learned of the Roman Catholic dignitaries sent to silence Martin Luther in the early years of the Protestant Reformation, is born. He was also one of the cardinals who convinced Pope Clement VII to reject Henry VIII's request to divorce Catherine of Aragon (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).

February 20, 1895: Abolitionist Frederick Douglass, the first African-American to hold high political office, dies. After escaping to freedom in 1838, he ...

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