Birthdays on November 25
Birth of Angelo Roncalli in Sotto il Monte, Italy. In 1958 he became Pope John XXIII, one of the best-loved of all pontiffs. Jovial and gifted with the common touch, he spent much time in visiting the poor and sick.
Franz Gruber was born near Hochburg, Austria. Becoming a German school teacher and church organist, Gruber penned more than 90 music compositions, but his fame endures for the single tune he wrote in December 1818: Stille Nacht "Silent Night, Holy Night."
Gerhardt Tersteegen was born at Mors, Westphalia, Prussia. His plans forseminary were thwarted by his father's death, and he became an apprentice to his brother, a shopkeeper. Converted to Christ at age 16, he gave himself to prayer, fasting and almsgiving. For several years he lived alone as a ribbon weaver, suffering bouts of deep spiritual depression. Recovering in 1724, he began ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of others, preparing food and simple medicines for the poor. He shared with Neander the feeling that the reformed Church had become too engrossed in mechanics, and had lost its evangelical fervor. He made no attempt to set up a new sect, but quietly lived and served others, translating French Quietist works. He wrote the hymn "God Calling Yet; Shall I Not Hear?" and other devotional material.