Today in Christian History

November 13

November 13, 354: Augustine of Hippo, the greatest of the Latin church fathers and author of Confessions and City of God, is born in Thagaste—modern Souq Ahras, Algeria (see issue 15:Augustine and issue 67:Augustine).

November 13, 867: Nicholas I, one of the strongest proponents for Rome's primacy in the church, dies. Though a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, he is not to be confused with the bishop of Myra who is also called St. Nicholas and was popularized as Santa Claus.

November 13, 1618: The Dutch Reformed Church convenes the Synod of Dort to "discuss" the Arminian controversy. Of course, the synod's condemnation of Arminianism was a forgone conclusion—Arminians weren't even invited for another month. By April, 200 Arminian ministers (known as Remonstrants) were deposed by the Calvinist Synod, 15 were arrested, and one was beheaded for high treason.

November 13, 1938: The Roman Catholic church makes Francis Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, the first American saint.

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October 25, 431: The Council of Ephesus replaces Nestorius with a new patriarch of Constantinople. Nestorius was anathematized for holding the belief that two separate persons indwelled the incarnate Christ (see issue 51: Heresy in the Early Church).

October 25, 1400: English poet Geoffrey Chaucer dies in London, having abruptly stopped writing his famous Canterbury Tales some time before. Though not a religious writer, his characters aptly illustrate the best and worst of the church in his day. ...

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