A concise review of big events August 11 – 17
August 17, 1635: Richard Mather arrives in Boston. He began the “Mather Dynasty” in New England Puritanism that also included his son, Cotton, and grandson, Increase.
August 17, 1761: William Carey, who would become a tremendously influential and effective Baptist missionary to India, is born in Northamptonshire, England.
August 16, 1773: Pope Clement XIV dissolves the Jesuit Order, fearing its growing power. Pius VIII restored the order 41 years later.
August 16, 1875: American evangelist Charles Grandison Finney, the leading revivalist of the nineteenth century, dies.
August 15, 1096: The First Crusade sets out from Europe to “rescue” Jerusalem from the Muslim Turks).
August 15, 1195: Anthony of Padua is born in Lisbon, Portugal. The most popular and effective preacher of his day (he had studied under Francis of Assisi), attracting crowds of up to 30,000, Anthony earned the title “hammer of the heretics” for converting so many of the dualistic Cathari. “He is truly the Ark of the Covenant and the treasury of Holy Scripture,” said Pope Gregory, who added that if all the Bibles of the world were lost, Anthony could surely rewrite them.
August 15, 1534: Ignatius of Loyola founds “the company of Jesus,” which he described as similar to a group of fur traders, only focused on God’s will. In 1540 they gained the approval of the pope, who named them the Society of Jesus. The vision and disciplines of the “Jesuits,” as they came to be called, caught the imagination of Europe. Soon Jesuits flocked to Europe’s major cities as well as the new world: Goa, Mexico City, Quebec, Buenos Aires, and Bogota. They opened hospices for the dying, sought financial support for the poor, founded orphanages, and opened schools.
August 15, 1549: Spanish Jesuits led by Francis Xavier become the first Christian missionaries in Japan. Xavier went to Japan hoping to eventually reach China. He figured once he evangelized China, Japan’s conversion would be much easier because, he believed, Japan looked to China for wisdom.
August 15, 1846: Addressing rumors that he mocked Christianity, Abraham Lincoln publishes a broadside on his religion: “That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular . . . ” .
August 14, 1248: Construction of the Cologne Cathedral begins. Workers completed it on the same date in 1880.
August 13, 523: John I is consecrated pope. Shortly after his appointment, John became the first pope to leave Italy—with unfortunate results. He traveled to Constantinople, the center of Eastern Christianity, but on his return was imprisoned by the Arian king of Italy, Theodoric, who suspected John of conspiring with the king’s Byzantine antagonists.
August 13, 662: Maximus Confessor, the Eastern leader in the fight against Monothelitism (the heresy that Christ had divine, but no human, will), dies after being tortured for his beliefs.
August 13, 1587: Members of Sir Walter Raleigh’s expedition to Roanoke baptises Manko, the first American Indian convert to Protestantism.
August 13, 1667: Jeremy Taylor, English scholar, theologian, and author of Holy Living and Holy Dying, dies at 54.
August 13, 1727: Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, at age 27, organizes Bohemian Protestant refugees into the Moravian community of “Unitas Fratrum” (united brotherhood).
August 13, 1908: Ira D. Sankey, best known as the music leader in D.L. Moody’s evangelistic crusades, dies .
August 12, 304: Euplius, a Christian deacon from Sicily, is martyred for owning the Scriptures and proclaiming himself a Christian (loudly and repeatedly). Martyrdom was so common under Emperor Diocletian that many Christians expected it and some, like Euplius, actively sought it out .
August 12, 1553: Pope Julius III orders all copies of the Talmud to be confiscated and burned.
August 12, 1942: William Cameron Townsend and Rev. L.L. Legters incorporate the Wycliffe Bible Translators in California.
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.
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 preached, “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs.” Even the papal envoy eventually criticized him. As for Luther, though he once called Tetzel “the primary author of this tragedy,” when he heard Tetzel lay dying, wrote the friar a letter of comfort: “Don’t take it too hard. You didn’t start this racket” .
August 11, 1890: John Henry Newman dies. Ordained an Anglican in 1824, he later helped lead the Oxford Movement, aiming to restore the Church of England to its high church principles. In 1843 he left the church and became a Roman Catholic.