The Epiphany of Our Lord
1412 Joan of Arc, French heroine, was born in Domremy (traditional date; d. 30 May 1431).
1493 Olavus (Olaus) Petri, Swedish reformer, was born at Örebro, Sweden (d. 1552).
1494 The first Roman Catholic mass in North America was celebrated on the island now known as Hispaniola during Christopher Columbus’s second voyage and was probably celebrated by Franciscan friars (O.F.M.) who accompanied him on this journey.
1505 Martin Luther received his master of arts degree and began the study of law.
1525 Caspar Peucer, Reformation physician and a Melanchthonian, was born at Bautzen, Germany (d. 25 September 1602).
1536 The Tlateloco school for Indian children opened in the suburbs of Mexico City.
1542 Martin Luther wrote his last will and testament.
1579 The Union of Arras in the Low Countries of Europe was signed. Catholics, outraged by Calvinist destruction of their churches and images, resubmitted to Spain, breaking the unity of the Dutch resistance against the Spaniards.
1699 Philipp Friedrich Hiller, pastor and writer of hymns and devotions, was born at Mühlhausen on the Enz, Germany (d. 24 April 1769).
1714 John Christopher Hartwick, Lutheran pastor who helped organize the Pennsylvania Ministerium, was born in Saxe-Gotha, Germany (d. 17 July 1796).
1719 William Hammond, hymnist, was born in Battle, Sussex, England (d. 19 August 1783, London).
1740 John Fawcett, Baptist clergyman and educator, was born in Yorkshire, England (d. 25 July 1817, Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, England).
1793 The Virginia Special (Lutheran) Conference was organized.
1800 James Cameron, missionary to Madagascar, was born in Scotland (d. 3 October 1875).
1804 Johan N. Brun (1745–1816), hymnist, became bishop of Bergen.
1827 Johann Christoph Wilhelm Lindemann, president of the Evangelical Lutheran Teachers Seminary (Addison, Illinois), was born in Goettingen, Hanover (d. 15 January 1879).
1832 French artist Gustave Doré was born in Strasbourg, France (d. 23 January 1883).
1835 The Swedish Missionary Society was founded.
1835 John Henry Wilburn Stuckenberg, professor at Wittenberg College (Springfield, Ohio), was born in Bramsche, near Osnabrueck, Hannover, Germany (d. 28 May 1903).
1851 John Nicum, professor at Wagner Lutheran College (Staten Island, New York), was born in Winnenden, Wuerttemberg, Germany (d. 1 November 1909).
1852 Louis Braille, developer of the printing system for the blind, died (b. 4 January 1809).
1853 The first conference of Swedish Lutheran congregations was held in Moline, Illinois.
1858 Sick in bed on Epiphany while convalescing from a serious illness, William C. Dix (1837–1898) read the Gospel for the day and by evening had composed “As with Gladness Men of Old” based on that Gospel.
1870 Ambrose Henkel, founder of the Henkel Press and translator of Luther’s Small Catechism into English, died (b. 11 July 1786).
1875 Enno A. Duemling, Synodical Conference institutional missionary in Milwaukee, was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana (d. 22 October 1946).
1884 Gregor Johann Mendel (b. 20 July 1822), Austrian-born (modern Czechoslovakia) Roman Catholic Augustinian monk whose observations became the basis of the theory of heredity, died.
1887 Virgil P. Brock, American music evangelist, was born (d. 1978).
1896 Vergilius T. A. Ferm, American Lutheran theologian, was born in Sioux City, Iowa. As professor of philosophy for many years at the College of Wooster in Ohio, Ferm authored and edited many important works on religion, including The Encyclopedia of Religion (1945).
1906 Legal separation of church and state in France began.
1911 Samuel Alfred Ort, president of the General Synod, died (b. 11 November 1843 at Lewistown, Pennsylvania).
1921 Alexander Whyte, who was influential in the Free Church of Scotland, died (b. 13 January 1836, Kirriemuir, Forfarshire).
1934 Peter Deyneka and four other men founded the Slavic (Russian) Gospel Association in Chicago.
1948 Janani Luwum was converted to Christianity in Uganda. Eventually he became an archbishop and was killed by the brutal dictator Idi Amin in 1977.
1957 The first baptisms took place in the Missouri Synod mission at Irelya, New Guinea. There were seventy-nine of them.
1966 Harold Robert Perry became the auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans. He was the second African American since 1875 to be elevated to a bishopric in the U.S.
1977 Bishop Hanns Lilje, Lutheran World Federation president and ecumenist, died in Hanover, Germany (b. 1899).
1979 Frederick W. Lorberg, president of Missouri Synod’s Florida-Georgia District (1957–1963), died in Orlando, Florida (b. 18 October 1907). In 1931 Lorberg began a mission congregation in Jacksonville, Florida. He served as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church for thirty-three years. He was executive secretary of missions and church extension of the Florida-Georgia District from 1964 to 1973. During his retirement from 1973 to 1976, Lorberg served as assistant pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Orlando. After his full retirement in 1976, Lorberg served many Florida congregations as vacancy pastor. He was a 1926 graduate of Saint John’s College (Winfield, Kansas) and a 1931 graduate of Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis).
1982 Jonathan Udo Ekong, founding father of the Lutheran Church of Nigeria, died in Ibesikpo, Nigeria.