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Christian History

Today in Christian History

June 16

June 16, 1846: Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti is named Pope Pius IX. Roman Catholics remember him for his 31-year pontificate—the longest in history—for his declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and for the First Vatican Council's declaration of the infallibility of the pope.

June 16, 1855: William and Catherine Booth, founders of the Salvation Army, marry, having fallen in love the first night they met. William had escorted Catherine home, and she later wrote, "Before we reached my home, we both felt as though we had been made for each other" (see issue 26: William and Catherine Booth).

July 24, 1725: John Newton, author of "Amazing Grace" and other hymns, is born in London. Converted to Christianity while working on a slave ship, he hoped as a Christian to restrain the worst excesses of the slave trade, "promoting the life of God in the soul" of both his crew and his African cargo. In 1764 he became an Anglican minister and each week wrote a hymn to be sung to a familiar tune. In 1787 Newton wrote Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade to help William Wilberforce's campaign to ...

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