Today in Christian History

January 3

January 3, 1521: Pope Leo X creates a bull of excommunication for Martin Luther that would have deprived him of civil rights and protection, but before its execution, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V allows Luther the opportunity to recant his beliefs at the Diet of Worms. When Luther instead affirms his beliefs, the bull is carried out (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).

January 3, 1785: The Methodist "Christmas Conference" concludes at Baltimore, Maryland, having created the Methodist Episcopal Church in America and elected Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke its two first "general superintendents" (see issue 2: John Wesley and issue 69: Charles and John Wesley).

January 3, 1840: Joseph de Veuster, who, as Roman Catholic Missionary Father Damien gave his life ministering to lepers in Hawaii, is born in Tremelo, Belgium.

January 3, 1892: Literature professor J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and a devout Catholic, is born in Bloemfontein, South Africa (see issue 7: C.S. Lewis).

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August 20, 1153: Bernard of Clairvaux, French theologian, monastic reformer, and hymn writer (O Sacred Head Now Wounded), dies. His motto was "To Know Jesus and Jesus Crucified" (see issue 24: Bernard of Clairvaux).

August 20, 1745: Francis Asbury, one of the two first Methodist bishops in America (the other was Thomas Coke), is born in Birmingham, England (see issue 45: Camp Meetings and Circuit Riders).

August 20, 1912: William Booth, founder and first General of the Salvation Army, dies (see issue ...

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