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Christian History

Today in Christian History

November 23

November 23, 101 (traditional date): Clement of Rome dies. According to spurious legend, he was tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea. Considered "the first apostolic father," his letter to the church of Corinth was regarded as Scripture by many Christians in the third and fourth centuries. He was also credited with the Apostolic Constitutions, the largest collection of Christian ecclesiastical law (though scholars now consider them to have been written in Syria around 380).

November 23, 615: Irish scholar and missionary Columbanus dies in Bobbio, Italy. One of the greatest missionaries of the Middle Ages, he established monasteries in Anegray, Luxeuil, and Fontaines (see issue 60: How the Irish Were Saved).

November 23, 1621: Poet and cleric John Donne is elected Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

November 23, 1654: French scientist and mathematician Blaise Pascal experiences a mystical vision and converts to Christianity. The creator of the first wristwatch, the first bus route, the first workable calculating machine, and other inventions then turned his life to theology (see issue 76: Christian Face of the Scientific Revolution).

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August 11, 1253: Clare of Assisi, a Benedictine nun known for her spiritual relationship with St. Francis and for founding the Poor Clares, dies. In 1958, citing a legend that Clare once saw and heard Mass being celebrated miles away, Pope Pius XII proclaimed her the patron saint of television (see issue 42: Francis of Assisi).

August 11, 1519: Johann Tetzel, the German Dominican priest whose peddling of indulgences inspired Martin Luther to write his 95 Theses, dies. Throughout Germany he infamously ...

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