The Mayflower Pilgrims, led by William Bradford, are said to have landed at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts (but was then Patuxet, a native American village), today in 1620, after their voyage from England (pictured above). The group were Puritan Calvinists who wanted to separate from the Church of England and had fled persecution.
The author of the hymn ‘Amazing Grace’, John Newton, died today in 1807. Newton had a dramatic and contradictory career, as a sailor, slave, evangelical convert, slave trader, Anglican cleric, slave trade abolitionist, and hymn writer. Disturbingly, his involvement in the slave trade continued long after he became a Christian.
Peter Canisius, the resourceful Dutch Jesuit scholar and preacher, died today in 1597. He worked in what is now Germany when the Protestant Reformation was in full swing, and evangelised for Catholicism through debate, writing and teaching. His travels, which were sometimes dangerous, earned him the nickname, ‘the Second Apostle of Germany’. He rejected Catholic polemic against Protestants, saying, ‘With words like these, we don’t cure patients, we make them incurable.’
Image: Michele Felice Cornè, Wikimedia Commons