January 31: Today in Christian History

January 31: Today in Christian History

January 31, 314

Silvester becomes bishop of Rome (i.e.: pope) after Miltiades, but few genuine records will survive from his years.

January 31, 366

Athanasius returns to Alexandria where he spends the last seven years of his life after having been exiled five times for his faith.

January 31, 828

The relics of Gospel-writer Mark, brought from Alexandria, Egypt, for safekeeping, are landed in Venice where they are received with pomp by the Doge, Giustiniano Particiaco. Venice will adopt Mark as their patron saint.

January 31, 1561

Death of Menno Simons near L├╝beck, Holstein, Germany. This gentle Anabaptist leader will give his name to the Mennonites. Surprisingly, considering the rewards on his head, he dies a natural death.

January 31, 1752

The profession ceremony for Sister Martha Turpin is held at the Ursuline Convent in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is the first North-American-born woman to become a nun in the Catholic Church.

January 31, 1854

Death in Turin, Italy, of Silvio Pellico, a Catholic writer best-known for his autobiographical account of ten years in Austrian prisons, and for the tragedy Francesca da Rimini.

January 31, 1888

Death of Giovanni “Don” Bosco, Roman Catholic priest, educator, and founder of the Salesian order. He will be canonized in 1934.

January 31, 1892

Death near Nice, France, of Charles Spurgeon, a Baptist minister considered one of the greatest preachers of all time.

January 31, 1939

Josiah Mtekateka is ordained as a deacon. He will overcome racism to become the first black African bishop of the Anglican Church in Malawi.

January 31, 1955

Death in Orlando, Florida, of John Mott, whose missions ministry had spanned the globe.

January 31, 1990

Ninety-year-old Catholic priest Philip Wang Ziyang dies after forty years in Chinese labor camps. He had been offered release in 1978, but refused, because the terms of release violated his conscience. 


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