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Christian History

Today in Christian History

May 26

May 26, 1521: The Edict of Worms formally condemns Martin Luther's teachings and he is put under the ban of the Holy Roman Emperor. Those who fear for his life then kidnap Luther and hide him in Frederick’s Wartburg castle (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).

May 26, 1232: Pope Gregory IX sends the first Inquisition team to Aragon (in present-day Spain).

May 26, 1647: Massachusetts enacts a law forbidding any Jesuit or Roman Catholic priest from entering Puritan jurisdictions. Second-time offenders could face execution.

May 26, 1664: Increase Mather becomes minister of Boston's Second Church, a position he held until his death 59 years later. He became one of the leading clergymen in the colonies (see issue 41: The American Puritans).

May 26, 1700: Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, founder of the Moravian church and a pioneer of ecumenism and mission work, is born in Dresden, Germany (see issue 1: Nicolaus Zinzendorf).

May 26, 1926: Church of the Foursquare Gospel founder Sister Aimee Semple McPherson disappears from a California beach. Her mother claimed Aimee must have drowned, telling supporters, “Sister Aimee has gone,” and planning an elaborate funeral for her in Los Angeles. But, three days after her funeral on June 20, Mcpherson reappeared in Arizona, saying she had escaped from kidnappers. Rumors swirled that the disappearance was actually the result of a romantic tryst, allegations that McPherson denied, but her public image never fully recovered.

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July 2, 1489: English reformer Thomas Cranmer is born at Aslockton, Nottinghamshire. The archbishop of Canterbury wrote the Book of Common Prayer and was burned at the stake in 1556 (see issue 48: Thomas Cranmer).

July 2, 1505: A rain storm in Germany helps launch the Protestant Reformation. While returning from a trip to visit his parents, Martin Luther (then a law student) was caught in a violent thunderstorm near Stotternheim. Fearing for his life, he cried, "Help me, St. Anne! I will become ...

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