Today in Christian History

November 27

November 27, 1095: After nine days of sessions among clerics, Pope Urban II addresses the public to proclaim the First Crusade. The goals were to defend Eastern Christians from Muslim aggression, make pilgrimages to Jerusalem safer, and recapture the Holy Sepulcher. "God wills it! God wills it!" the crowd shouted in response (see issue 40: The Crusades).

November 27, 1970: On a trip to the Philippines, Pope Paul VI is attacked by a dagger-wielding Bolivian painter disguised as a priest. Though the Vatican announced the pontiff was unhurt, he suffered a chest wound in the assault.

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May 2, 373: Church father Athanasius, "the father of Orthodoxy," dies. He attended the Council of Nicea, and after becoming bishop of Alexandria, he fought Arianism and won. He was also the first to list the New Testament canonical books as we know them toDay (see issue 51: Heresy in the Early Church).

May 2, 1507: Reformer Martin Luther is consecrated a priest, a role in which he would serve for 13 years before being excommunicated (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).

May 2, 1559: John Knox, having ...

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