Welcome to Concordia Historical Institute, Department of Archives and History for the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod.

Today in History

January 25

The Conversion of Saint Paul

98 On the sudden death of Emperor Nerva, Trajan (53117) took the throne. In 110 he asked Pliny the Younger (61/63ca. 113) to investigate a new superstition, “Christianity.” Pliny's report of a relatively harmless though widespread cult led to moderate persecution and the first recognition that Christians were distinct from Jews.

389 Gregory of Nazianzus, theologian and Patriarch of Constantinople, died (b. 329).

1554 Jesuit priests José de Anchieta (15341597) and Manoel da Nóbrega (15171570) established a mission at São Paulo dos Campos de Piratininga, which grew to become São Paulo, Brazil.

1586 Lucas Cranach the Younger, artist, died (b. 4 October 1515).

1627 Noted physicist and chemist Robert Boyle was born in Ireland (d. 30 December 1691). After a lifetime of writing about science, religion and the harmony between the two, he provided in his will for an annual eight-lecture series defending Christianity against unbelievers.

1740 Christopher Emanuel Schultze, Lutheran pastor in Pennsylvania and son-in-law of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, was born in Saxony, Germany (d. 9 March 1809).

1762 Johannes Stauch (John Stough), president of the Ohio Synod and a pioneer Lutheran pastor in Ohio and Kentucky, was born in York County, Pennsylvania (d. 25 July 1845).

1807 William Adams, American Presbyterian and president and professor of sacred rhetoric and pastoral theology at Union Theological Seminary, was born at Colchester, Connecticut (d. 31 August 1880).

1825 Edward H. Bickersteth, Anglican clergyman and hymnist, was born in Islington, England (d. 16 May 1906).

1841 Anglican clergyman John Henry Newman (18011890) published Tract 90 (in a series begun in 1833), an argument for a catholic interpretation of the Anglican Thirty-nine Articles. It was the pinnacle of the Oxford Movement but the last straw for the bishop of Oxford and others. Newman was forced to resign his parish, and he converted to Roman Catholicism four years later.

1858 The Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn (18091847) became a popular wedding recessional after it was played on this day at the marriage of Queen Victoria's daughter, Victoria, and Friedrich of Prussia.

1863 Rufus M. Jones, American Quaker philosopher and educator, was born at South China, Maine (d. 16 June 1948).

1871 Oscar F. Rusch, teacher and professor, was born in Germany (d. 25 November 1940, Chicago). He graduated from the Missouri Synod teacher seminary at Addison, Illinois, in 1889 and served as a teacher at Ottawa, Ontario (18891891), and Chicago, Illinois (18911916). He became a professor at Concordia Teachers College (River Forest, Illinois) in 1916.

1887 Rowland Prichard, Welsh hymnist, died at Holywell, North Wales (b. 14 January 1811, Graienyn [near Bala], North Wales).

1897 Johannes Deinzer, assistant to J. K. Wilhelm Loehe, died (b. 2 September 1842).

1897 In an encyclical of Leo XIII (18101903), Officiorum et Munerum, all versions (of the Bible) in the vernacular, even by Catholics, are altogether prohibited, unless approved by the Holy See, or published under the vigilant care of the bishops, with annotations from the Fathers of the Church and learned Catholic writers.

1905 Andrew J. Buehner was born at Clayton, South Dakota (d. 4 May 1984, Saint Louis). He attended Concordia College (Saint Paul, Minnesota), graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1928 and spent most of the next twenty-two years as a missionary in India. He was secretary for the Trivandrum District (1928-1929, 1945-1947) and director of education in Kerala (1945-1950). After returning to the United States, he served on the Board of Directors for the Northern Nebraska District (1954-1957) and as an editor at Concordia Publishing House (1961-1973).

1907 Social reformer and author Julia Ward Howe (18191910), composer of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, became the first woman elected to the National Institute of Arts & Letters.

1944 Florence Li Tim-Oi (19071992) of Macao became the first woman in the Anglican Church to be ordained a priest.

1959 At St. Paul's Outside the Walls, Pope John XXIII (18811963) first announced his intention to summon the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.

1960 The Nigeria Bible Institute was dedicated.

1964 Jacob Tanner, professor at Concordia College (Moorhead, Minnesota) and Luther Seminary (Saint Paul, Minnesota), died (b. 15 October 1865, Molde, Norway).