February 7: Today in Christian History

February 7: Today in Christian History

February 7, 543

Benedict of Nursia visits his twin sister Scholastica. According to Pope Gregory I, knowing that she will soon die, Scholastica asks her brother to stay beside her. Benedict refuses. Scholastica lowers her eyes in prayer and such a severe thunderstorm comes up that Benedict cannot leave. Three days later, his sister dies.

February 7, 1451

Death of Peter of Mladonovice, friend of Jan Hus and recorder of that martyr’s mistreatment and death at the hands of the Council of Constance.

February 7, 1497

Girolamo Savonarola and his followers burn works of art in Florence.

February 7, 1528

The Swiss Canton of Bern officially embraces Protestantism, passing an edict abolishing Romish bishops.

February 7, 1569

Philip II, king of Spain, decrees the establishment of the Inquisition in Lima. Among its many victims will be Jews.

February 7, 1642

Death of Anglican prelate William Bedell, bishop of Kilmore, Ireland, as the result of torture and exposure. Although he had been popular with both Roman Catholics and Protestants because of his fair dealings and insistance on presenting the gospel in Gaelic, Roman Catholics seized him because he would not hand over refugees to be murdered.

February 7, 1649

The British Parliament ratifies the Westminster Confession which had been accepted by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland the previous August.

February 7, 1672

Solomon Stoddard accepts a call as pastor of Northampton Church, Massachusetts. He will minister there for fifty-five years. Among his most famous innovations will be the so-called “Halfway Covenant” that will allow people who are unsure of their salvation to partake of Communion. He will also become the grandfather of famed theologian Jonathan Edwards.

February 7, 1856

Rev. Daniel Bliss lands in Syria where he will work as a missionary for close to fifty years, seven years in traditional activities and the remainder as an educator.

February 7, 1876

Death in Illinois of Frances Gaines Cartwright, who had shared the itinerant ministry of her husband Peter Cartwright and lost a daughter when a tree crashed on the girl in the wilderness.

February 7, 1876

Moody and Sankey commence a New York evangelistic “crusade” at the Great Roman Hippodrome on Madison Avenue.

February 7, 1916

The Orthodox monk Hermogenes is tonsured at the Belogorsk monastery. Two and a half years later he will be shot by Bolsheviks.

February 7, 1938

Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller is put on trial by the Nazis because of his outspoken opposition to their policies and will be incarcerated for seven years, most of it in a concentration camp.

February 7, 1943

David H. Youngdahl becomes the first chaplain endorsed by the Baptist General Conference to die in military service, going down on a transport en route to Europe during World War II.

February 7, 1977

Rhodesian terrorists kill seven white Roman Catholic missionaries, including four nuns, at St. Paul’s Mission, Musami. They ignore black Christians and staff.

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