Feb. 11 in Christian History

Feb 11, 2011 03:55 PM EST

1650 - Death of Ren‚ Descartes, 53, French philosopher and mathematician. His last words were: 'My soul, thou hast long been held captive; the hour has now come for thee to quit thy prison...; suffer, then, this separation with joy and courage.'

1779 - English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'Chance has no share in the government of the world. The Lord reigns, and disposes all things, strongly and sweetly, for the good of them that love him.'

1858 - In Lourdes, France, 14-year-old French peasant Bernadette Soubirous experienced her first vision of the Virgin Mary. By July 16th of this year, she had experienced 18 such visions.

1948 - U.S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall prayed: 'We ask Thee not for tasks more suited to our strength, but for strength more suited to our tasks.'

1989 - Rev. Barbara C. Harris, 58, was consecrated in Boston as the first woman bishop in the Anglican Church. (In 1988 the Church of England passed the first legislation which began opening the Anglican priesthood to women.)

© 1987-2011, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church