Birthdays on February 17
Supposed date of the birth of Constantine, who saw a vision of a cross in 312 which said "In this sign conquer." As a result he adopted the Christian faith. Persecution against true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ was lessened--but Christianity moved toward becoming the state religion, and pagan ideas invaded the professing church. After his conversion Constantine stood against the Arians at the Council of Nicea, but dedicated Constantinople to the sun god. He was baptized just before his death. (Some sources date this as February 27; the year 280 is conjectural.)
Ronald A. Knox was born at Kibworth, England. Raised an Anglican, Knox converted to Catholicism at the age of 29. Ordained a priest in 1919, he served as the Catholic chaplain at Oxford, 1926-39, after which he devoted himself to translating the Bible into English. He completed the New Testament in 1945, and the Old Testament in 1949. His version, while lacking the grace of the best-known modern English translations, is refreshing to read because of its choice of words.
Birth of Edward Hopper, American Presbyterian clergyman. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary, he ministered at various churches in New York state and city. His best known hymn, "Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me," was printed in The Sailor's Magazine and reflects his concern for sailors he met from around the world.
Jesus, Savior, pilot me Over life's tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll, Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass come from Thee; Jesus, Savior, pilot me.