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Nov. 18 in Christian History

Nov 18, 2010 05:05 AM EST

1095 - Pope Urban II opened the Council of Clermont. Summoned to plan the First Crusade, it was attended by over 200 bishops. Among its official policies, the Council decreed that a pilgrimage to Jerusalem made every other penance superfluous.


1302 - Pope Boniface VIII published the bull "Unam Sanctam." It was the first papal writing to decree that spiritual power took precedent over temporal power, and that subjection to the pope was necessary to salvation.


1626 - In Rome, the newly completed St Peter's Basilica was consecrated by Urban VIII. St. Peter's is presently the largest church in Christendom, with a length of 619 feet.


1866 - English devotional writer Katherine Hankey, 32, penned the verses that we sing today as the hymn, "I Love to Tell the Story."


1966 - This was the last required meatless Friday for American Roman Catholics, in accordance with a decree made by Pope Paul VI earlier this year.


© 1987-2010, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church