Cyril and Methodius, Missionaries to the Slavs

330 Roman emperor Constantine (ca. 280337), the first Christian emperor, inaugurated Constantinople as his capital on the site of the Greek city of Byzantium and dedicated it as a Christian city.

341 Eleven years after it dedication, Constantinople was officially made the capital of the Roman empire, a dramatic switch from Rome.

597 or 602 Comgall, founder and first abbot of Bangor in present-day Northern Ireland, died (b. ca. 510520). He was considered the founder of Irish monasticism, and by the time of his death he had three thousand monks under him, including the famous missionary Columbanus.

1530 Philipp Melanchthon (14971560) completed the first revision of the Augsburg Confession and submitted it to Martin Luther for approval. Several other revisions would follow before it was presented to the emperor on 25 June.

1610 Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci, the first Catholic missionary to China, died (b. 6 October 1552).

1621 Johann Arndt, German Lutheran devotional writer, died (b. 27 December 1555). [German Wikipedia article]

1682 The General Court of Massachusetts repealed two two-year-old laws: (1) a ban on the celebration of Christmas and (2) capital punishment of banished Quakers who returned to the colony.

1744 Andrew Sandel, early Swedish American Lutheran pastor, died (b. 30 November 1671, Hallnas parish, Roslagen, Sweden).

1781 Anthony Philip Heinrich, Bohemian-American composer, was born (d. 1861).

1807 Johann Jakob Gönner, professor at the Saxon immigrants’ college in Perry County, Missouri, was born (d. 25 June 1864). The school was the forerunner of Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis).

1825 The American Tract Society was organized in New York City as an amalgamation of several smaller societies.

1873 The “May Laws” limiting church power in Germany were passed.

1879 Samuel Gobat, Lutheran missionary to Africa (Abyssinia and Malta) for the C.M.S. and later bishop in Jerusalem, died in Jerusalem (b. 26 January 1799).

1881 Zenas Sanford Loftis, missionary to Tibet, was born in Gainsboro, Tennessee (d. 12 August 1909, Batang, China).

1887 Ion Keith-Falconer, a Britisher carrying the Gospel to Aden, died of a fever (b. 5 July 1856, Edinburgh, Scotland).

1933 Jacob William Miller, pastor at Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Missouri Synod vice-president, died (b. 16 September 1860, Cove, Maryland).

1949 Henry P. Eckhardt, vice-president of the Missouri Synod, died (b. 31 January 1866, Reisterstown, Maryland).

1963 Olive Dorothy Gruen, missionary to China and Taiwan from 1920 to 1960, died (b. 20 June 1883, Saint Louis).

2002 Five Togolese candidates were ordained  on this day in Dapaong, Togo. These men were the first French-speaking national pastors who completed studies at a Lutheran theological training center started by LCMS missionaries. Men come from Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and the Congo to train to be pastors.

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