The Nativity of Our Lord —
1144 Muslims captured
Edessa, Turkey, from Christian crusaders.
Francis of Assisi (1182–1226)
staged history’s first
living nativity scene, complete with live animals, in a cave
near Greccio, Italy.
Ignatius of Loyola, ascetic founder of the Jesuits, was
born in Guipuzcoa, Spain (d. 13 July 1556).
1534 Martin Luther wrote
“From Heaven Above to
Earth I Come” for his
children's Christmas gift.
Andreas Karlstadt (b. 1486), German Protestant reformer,
Johann Rudolph Ahle, composer, was born in Muehlhausen,
Thuringia (d. 8 July 1673).
was held at Baltimore for the purpose of forming the
Methodist Episcopal Church.
1784 American statesman James Madison published
Remonstrance against Religious Assessments in
Henry W. Greatorex, American sacred music organist, was
born in Derbyshire, England (d. 10 September 1858).
from the Realms of Glory”
was published for the first time. This hymn of
(1771–1854) was printed
in the Iris, a Sheffield, England, newspaper edited
by Montgomery himself.
(1792–1848), the young
assistant priest at St. Nikolaus Church in Oberndorf,
Austria, brought the six-stanza text of
“Silent Night, Holy
parish organist and teacher in the village school, with the
request that he set it to music. Gruber composed a guitar
tune, and the beloved carol was sung for the first time at
the Christmas Eve service.
1840 The first Christmas tree was placed in an
American church by
(1804–1868), a Lutheran
pastor in Rochester, New York.
(1819–1905), later to
become third president of the Missouri Synod, set up a
Christmas tree in his church in Cleveland, Ohio, and helped
popularize this practice in America.
Henry Bernard Hemmeter, professor and president at
Concordia College (Conover, North Carolina), vice-president
of the Eastern District of the Missouri Synod and chairman
of the Mission Board of the English District, was born in
Baltimore, Maryland (d. 22 July 1948, Baltimore).
Barnes (b. 1 December 1798), American Presbyterian
clergyman and Bible expositor, died.
1871 The Northside Tabernacle in Chicago was
Dwight L. Moody
tabernacle was the original structure of what is today the
Moody Memorial Church.
1878 Felix Marie Abel, Dominican priest, biblical
scholar and geographer of Palestine, was born in Saint-Uze
(Droame), France (d. 1953). After studies in Jerusalem he
was ordained a Dominican priest in 1902 and remained there
to become a foremost expert on Palestinian geography and
history, extending his talents to a tourist guide for 1932.
He taught at the Ecole Biblique of Jerusalem for more than
fifty years, being named by Pius XII Consultor to the
Pontifical Biblical Commission in 1940.
Adolph Theodore Esaias Haentzschel, professor at
Concordia College (Conover, North Carolina), Saint Paul’s
College (Concordia, Missouri), the University of Wisconsin
(Madison) and Valparaiso (Indiana) University, was born in
Addison, Illinois (d. 5 June 1971).
Edmund Bohm, director of the school that became
Concordia College (Bronxville, New York), died (b. 30 August
1840, Allstedt, Germany).
1902 Howard Earl Miller was born in Hagerstown,
Maryland and graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis)
in 1928 (d. 11 June 1978, Richmond, Indiana). He served most
of his career in India as a missionary in the Penamber Field
and Kolar Gold and as professor and president of Concordia
Heinrich H. Succop, vice-president of Missouri Synod and
president of Illinois District (LCMS), died (b. 13 July
1845, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).
1922 Religious radio broadcasting began in the
British Isles when the Rev. J. A. Mayo gave a ten-minute
just forty days after its first commercial installation in
1933 The famous ancient Greek Bible manuscript
arrived in London.
William C. Poole (b. 14 April 1875), American Methodist
clergyman and Gospel song writer, died.
Amahl and the Night Visitors, a Christmas musical,
had its TV debut.
astronauts became the first men to orbit the moon. In the
midst of their ten orbits, they read the first ten verses of
Genesis 1, the creation story, to listeners on earth.
Archbishop Theodosios (Hanna) of Sebastia (b. 1965) was
ordained as the Archbishop of
Sebastia from the
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the second
Palestinian to hold the position of Archbishop in the
history of the diocese.