Today in Christian History

August 5

August 5, 642: Oswald, the king of Northumbria who first began the official establishment of Christianity in England, is "martyred" in battle against the pagan Penda of Mercia. Converted at Iona, Scotland, Oswald erected a wooden cross before one of his earliest battles and commanded his soldiers to pray. When he defeated the English king in that battle, Oswald commissioned the Irish monk Aidan to begain establishing Christianity(see issue 60: How the Irish Were Saved).

August 5, 1570: Spanish Jesuits, intent on converting the Native Americans, arrive in Chesapeake Bay, Virginia. Six months later, Native Americans massacred the group, and the Jesuits ended their work in the region.

August 5, 1604: John Eliot, the "Apostle to American Indians," is baptized. He succeeded in converting over 3,600 Native American, publishing the Bay Psalm Book (the first book printed in America), and forming the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.

August 5, 1656: Eight Quakers from England arrive in Boston, where Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony immediately imprisoned them without trial. They were held until the ships that brought them were ready to take them back to England (see issue 41: The American Puritans).

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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: ...

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