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Christian History

Today in Christian History

April 11

April 11, 1079: Stanislaus, Polish bishop of Krakow, is martyred. Whether or not he attempted to overthrow King Boleslaw II (called Boleslaw the Cruel) is debatable; he certainly excommunicated the evil king. In return, Boleslaw deemed him a traitor and had Stanislaus murdered.

April 11, 1506: Pope Julius II lays the foundation for the new St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Builders delayed its completion until 1626 due to its immense cost, size, and other factors. Indulgences sold to fund the construction drew criticism from Protestant reformers, most memorably Martin Luther (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).

April 11, 1836: George Mueller, leader of the Plymouth Brethren movement, opens his famous orphanage on Wilson Street in Bristol. By 1875, Mueller's orphanage provided care for over 2,000 children, a work sustained not by regular fundraising but by thousands of "answers to prayer.

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June 15, 1215: King John signs the Magna Carta, which begins, "The Church of England shall be free.

June 15, 1520: In the papal encyclical "Exsurge Domine," Leo X condemns Martin Luther on 41 of counts of heresy, branding him an enemy of the Roman Catholic Church. After the encyclical, Luther's works were burned in Rome (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).

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