Christianity is a faith with a long and detailed history, with numerous events of lasting significance occurring throughout the ages.
Each week brings the anniversaries of great milestones, horrid tragedies, amazing triumphs, telling tribulations, inspirational progress, and everything in between.
Here are just a few things that happened this week, Oct. 7-13, in Church history. They include the opening of Second Vatican, the banishing of Roger Williams from Massachusetts, and the official opening to the public of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer Statue.
Roger Williams Banished From Massachusetts – October 9, 1635
This week marks the anniversary of when religious dissenter Roger Williams was banished from the Puritans’ Massachusetts colony over his views on church-and-state separation and the treatment of Native Americans.
Following his banishment, the Narragansett tribe helped Williams establish a new settlement that later became the state of Rhode Island. It became a hub for religious minorities and dissidents.
“Among those who found a haven in the religious and political refuge of the Rhode Island Colony were Anne Hutchinson–like Williams, she had been exiled from Massachusetts for religious reasons–some of the first Jews to settle in North America, and the Quakers,” noted History.com.
“In Providence, Roger Williams also founded the first Baptist church in America and edited the first dictionary of Native-American languages.”
Second Vatican Council Officially Begins – October 11, 1962
This week marks the anniversary of the opening of the still controversial Second Vatican Council, which was convoked by Pope John XXIII.
John XXIII gave an address on the first day of the Council at St. Peter’s Basilica, in which the pontiff explained that the biggest focus of the gathering was “that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously.”
“… it is necessary first of all that the Church should never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers,” said the pope.
“But at the same time she must ever look to the present, to the new conditions and new forms of life introduced into the modern world, which have opened new avenues to the Catholic apostolate.”
Rio de Janeiro’s Massive Jesus Statue Officially Opened – October 12, 1931
This week marks the anniversary of when Rio de Janeiro’s famed Christ the Redeemer, the large statue that stands prominently over the Brazilian city, was opened to the general public.
Standing nearly a 100 feet tall with open arms that stretch to over 90 feet, Christ the Redeemer was built on the 700-meter-tall Corcovado mountain in Tijuca Forest National Park.
“As it was first imagined, it has also become one of the most memorable images of Christianity on the planet – with even papal visits occurring,” noted the Daily Mail in a 2016 article.
“The statue has become one of the Seven New Wonders of The World – alongside far older structures such as The Colosseum in Rome and the Great Wall of China.”