December 8: Today in Christian History

December 8: Today in Christian History

December 8, 1649

Death of Martin Rinkart, an extraordinary pastor who wrote the beloved hymn “Now Thank We All Our God” in the midst of the sufferings of the Thirty Year’s War.

December 8, 1672

Jesuit explorer-missionary Jacques Marquette reaches St. Ignace on the straits of what will become the state of Michigan.

December 8, 1691

Death of the English non-conformist pastor, Richard Baxter, considered the greatest preacher and probably the best-known religious author of his day.

December 8, 1808

Adoniram Judson, formerly an infidel, writes in his journal: “This day I made a solemn dedication of my life to God.” He will go on to become one of America’s most famous missionary pioneers.

December 8, 1854

Pope Pius IX declares that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is now an article of Catholic faith.

December 8, 1856

Death in Queenstown, Cork, Ireland of Father Theobald Mathew, a Roman Catholic priest notable for persuading tens of thousands in Ireland and England to pledge themselves to abstain from alcohol.

December 8, 1869

The First Vatican Council begins. It will declare papal primacy over the entire church (not just Roman Catholicism) and papal infallibility.

December 8, 1896

Death from blackwater fever of Peter Scott, pioneer missionary to Africa and a founder of the African Inland Mission.

December 8, 1900

Rose Lathrop and Alice Huber found the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne, also known as Servants of Relief for Incurable Cancer.

December 8, 1903

The brothers Vladimir and Alexis Korotkov enter the Belogorsk monastery. In 1918 the Soviets will torture and kill them and destroy the monastery.

December 8, 1932

Dorothy Day prays at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for inspiration for her future work. She goes back to her New York apartment to find Aristide Pierre (Peter) Maurin awaiting her in the kitchen; He had been told to look her up. They will found the Catholic Worker Movement the following year.

December 8, 1941

Japanese police arrest some students and fifteen faculty members at the Christian school Yanjing University in Beijing.

December 8, 1953

Anglican scholar and apologist C. S. Lewis reads his paper “Petitionary Prayer” to the Oxford Clerical Society. The paper raises issues about praying in complete confidence (which the Bible seems to command) versus praying with the caveat “Thy will be done,” of which we have no less an exemplar than Jesus himself.

December 8, 1957

Ordination of 22-year-old Omar Cabrera in Argentina. Already president of an Assembly of God youth organization and secretary for the national Assembly of God, he will become an internationally-known evangelist, leader of revival in Argentina, and pastor of one of the world’s largest churches—Vision of the Future Church.

December 8, 1966

In Bogotá, Colombia, Argentine-born Luis Palau leads his first city-wide evangelistic meeting. It includes a parade and lasts five days with considerable success. Inspired by the techniques of Billy Graham, large-scale evangelistic events will become a hallmark of Luis Palau’s ministry.

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