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Today in Christian History

February 6

February 6, 891: Photius, patriarch of Constantinople from 858-867, dies after a series of excommunications and restorations. His 867 encyclical, which denounced the presence of Latin missionaries in Bulgaria as an intrusion and objected to the filioque clause in the creed ("the Holy Ghost . . . who proceeds from the Father and the Son"), was significant in the East-West conflict that eventually led to the "Great Schism" (see issue 54: Eastery Orthodoxy).

February 6, 1564: Carried to church in a chair, John Calvin preaches his last sermon three months before his death (see issue 12: John Calvin).

February 6, 1820: Eighty-six free black colonists sail from New York to Sierra Leone, Africa. Though white abolitionists initially supported such emigration efforts, most free blacks (and eventually more radical white abolitionists) denounced the effort as racist and ultimately proslavery (see issue 62: Bound For Canaan).

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December 5, 220 (traditional date): Clement of Alexandria, the first early church theologian to show an extensive knowledge of pagan and Christian writings (in his refutations of pagan criticisms), dies.

December 5, 532: Sabas, a monk since childhood, dies at age 91, five days after returning from a diplomatic mission to Constantinople. Though his primary desire was always for solitude with God, he founded a monastery in Palestine, Mar Saba, that still stands today (see issue 64: Antony and the Desert ...

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