February 1: Today in Christian History

February 1: Today in Christian History

February 1, 409

By imperial command, all astrologers were exiled from the Roman Empire unless they convert to Christianity and burn their books in the presence of a bishop.

February 1, 523

Death of Brigit, one of the most beloved Irish saints, legendary as a miracle worker, and allegedly the founder of a double monastery at Kildare.

February 1, 1516

Erasmus dedicates his New Testament to Pope Leo X. His work is politically risky, so he assures the pontiff, “We do not intend to tear up the old and commonly accepted edition [the Vulgate] but amend it where it is corrupt and make it clear where it is obscure.”

February 1, 1656

Authorities in the New Netherlands (New York) decree that all “conventicles and meetings” held in the province, “whether public or private,” are “absolutely and expressly forbidden”; and that “only the Reformed Divine service, as this is observed and enforced according to the Synod of Dortrecht,” should be held.

February 1, 1822

Mother Javouhey sails from France, bound for Senegal as a missionary. Through her strong character, deep love of people, and powerful faith, she will accomplish much good in Africa and in South America.

February 1, 1903

Death in Cambridge of George Gabriel Stokes. A brilliant and innovative mathematician, he was also known for his faith and delivered the Gifford Lectures in 1891, taking as his theme natural theology.

February 1, 1912

Bishop Walter Lambuth of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, and his friend Dr. Gilbert, risking sleeping sickness from tsetse fly bites, arrive safely at the village of Chief Wembo-Niama (in what was then called the Belgian Congo), where they will select land on which to situate a mission station.

February 1, 1916

At the appeal of Basil Malof, a committee meets in the United States to consider providing religious instruction to East European prisoners of war held in Western nations. Successful ministry will follow.

February 1, 1918

Death in London, England, of hymnwiter, author, and evangelistic worker Ada Ruth Habershon best known for her hymn “Will the Circle be Unbroken?” She had been associated with C.H. Spurgeon and D.L. Moody.

February 1, 1918

Patriarch Tikhon of the Russian Orthodox Church excommunicates “the enemies of Christ”—the atheistic rulers of Russia. He will be imprisoned for his defense of the church he leads.

February 1, 1933

German Lutheran clergyman Dietrich Bonhoeffer gives a radio speech warning about the consequences of putting blind trust in any man (i.e. Hitler). His address is abruptly cut off at the warning.


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