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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July 24, 1725: John Newton, author of "Amazing Grace" and other hymns, is born in London. Converted to Christianity while working on a slave ship, he hoped as a Christian to restrain the worst excesses of the slave trade, "promoting the life of God in the soul" of both his crew and his African cargo. In 1764 he became an Anglican minister and each week wrote a hymn to be sung to a familiar tune. In 1787 Newton wrote Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade to help William Wilberforce's campaign to ...

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