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Christian History

Today in Christian History

February 3

February 3, 865 (traditional date): Anskar, the first archbishop of Hamburg and called the "Apostle of the North," dies. Missionary to Denmark and Sweden, he converted many, including the King of Jutland (see issue 63: Conversion of the Vikings).

February 3, 1468: Johannes Gutenberg, who developed a printing press with movable type that helped the Protestant Reformation (by allowing the easy dissemination of reformers' writings), dies at age 67 (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).

February 3, 1809: German composer Felix Mendelssohn, a very devout Lutheran, is born in Hamburg. His "Elijah" oratorio is considered second only to Handel's "Messiah," and he is responsible for rediscovering Bach, whose music had been forgotten for 80 years.

February 3, 1864: The Christian Union, composed of Protestant congregations opposed to "political preaching" during the Civil War, is formed in Columbus, Ohio.

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April 15, 1415: Jerome of Prague, a friend of Bohemian reformer Jan Hus, is seized by church authorities meeting at the Council of Constance. Under duress, Jerome recanted his Wycliffe-influenced beliefs and accepted the authority of the pope. However, when a crowd was assembled to hear him repeat the recantation, he changed his speech and eloquently defended both Wycliffe's teachings and the recently executed Hus. Jerome was subsequently burned at the stake (see issue 68: Jan Hus).

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