February 22: Today in Christian History

February 22: Today in Christian History

February 22, 1072

Death of Peter Damian, in Faenza, Italy. A reforming monk of the Benedictine order, he will be remembered chiefly for De divina omnipotentia which questioned the limits of the omnipotence of God (e.g.: can God change the past?) and will be declared a doctor of the church in the nineteenth century.

February 22, 1225

Hugh of St. Cher dons the habit of the Dominican order. He will become a notable Bible scholar and head a team that will create the first really useful Bible concordance.

February 22, 1297

Death in Cortona, Italy, of St. Margaret of Cortona, a Franciscan tertiary, who had established a hospital for the poor.

February 22, 1632

Zuni Indians kill Father Francisco de Letrado and dance with his scalp on a pole. He had been among Spanish missionaries attempting to impose a Christian regime on the Pueblo Indians.

February 22, 1649

The Westminster Assembly adjourns, having held one thousand one hundred and sixty three sessions over a period of five years, six months, and twenty-two days. They were known for their solemn fasts and long hours of prayer.

February 22, 1703

General Codrington bequeaths two plantations in Barbados for medical mission work to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, on condition that professors and scholars be maintained there to study and practice medicine, surgery, and divinity in order to “endear themselves to the people and have the better opportunities of doing good to men’s souls whilst they are taking care of their bodies.”

February 22, 1822

Samuel and Catherine Clewes Leigh sail into a New Zealand Bay to begin work among the Maori. Samuel’s Ill health will force them to leave the following year, but the mission will continue under other workers.

February 22, 1845

Death in London of Rev. Sydney Smith, wit and literary critic, author of The Letters of Peter Plymley. He had once tied some antlers to donkeys to pretend they were deer when an aristocratic lady was visiting. His daughter wrote, “My father died in peace with himself and with all the world; anxious to the last to promote the comfort and happiness of others. He sent messages of kindness and forgiveness to the few he thought had injured him. Almost his last act was bestowing a small living of £120 per annum on a poor, worthy, and friendless clergyman, who had lived a long life of struggle with poverty on £40 per annum.”

February 22, 1870

Missionary James Gilmour sails from Liverpool to work in China and Mongolia. Made chaplain of the ship on which he is sailing, he shares the gospel with every member of the crew during the night watches.

February 22, 1892

W. T. Satthianadhan, a leader of the Church Mission Society in Madras, relapses into a serious medical condition and will die within days. He had been a representative to Anglican councils in England, author of books in Tamil and English, an educator at Madras University, vice-president of the Tamil Central Church Council, and founder of benevolent associations.

February 22, 1901

Charles and Lettie Cowman arrive in Japan where they will become co-founders of the Oriental Mission Society.

February 22, 1911

Death in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, of Frances E. W. Harper, an African-American woman who had labored in the anti-slavery cause alongside workers such as Julia Ward Howe and Frederick Douglas. She had published a volume of poems when twenty-one years of age.

February 22, 1930

Soviet agents arrest more than sixty Orthodox clergy and laity in Tomsk for “counter-revolutionary agitation” and “grouping of church people.” They will execute fifty of these individuals.

February 22, 1954

The first “Voice of Tangier” program airs over a 2,500-watt transmitter. Programming is broadcast in Spanish and English. Within two years, the station will be broadcasting in more than twenty languages.



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