March 13: Today in Christian History

March 13, 452

Roman Emperor Marcian issues an edict against the Eutychians, whose teachings are seen to undermine Christ’s humanity and his ability to stand in our place.

March 13, 536

Pope Agapetus issues a synodical letter in which he announces he has deposed Anthimus, the monophysite patriarch of Constantinople. Emperor Justinian I appoints Menas patriarch of Constantinople in his place. Menas will be actively engaged in the issues of his day as an opponent of monophysitism and of Origen’s teachings, but will be largely subservient to the Roman popes.

March 13, 846

Eighteen years after the death in exile of Patriarch  Nicephorus, who had defended the use of icons, Empress Theodora has his body brought back to Constantinople with great pomp.

March 13, 857

Ruderic and Salomon are executed in Cordoba on the charge of apostatizing from Islam.

March 13, 1569

At the Battle of Jarnac, Marshal Gaspard de Tavannes defeats the Huguenots, whose leader, the prince de Condé, is killed in the aftermath.

March 13, 1604

Death in Rome of Cardinal d’Ossat who had served as a diplomat in behalf of France. He was instrumental in reconciling King Henry IV, formerly a Huguenot, to the pope, and his well-crafted diplomatic letters will serve as models to aspiring civil servants.

March 13, 1785

At the Burg-theatre, Vienna, Mozart’s cantata Davidde Penitente receives its first performance. This is called a “half-mass” because its ten movements include a Kyrie and Gloria. The work had been commissioned by the committee of the Society for the Relief of the Widows and Orphans of Musicians.

March 13, 1895

Death in England of Robert William Dale who worked vigorously to improve health, housing, sanitation and living conditions in Birmingham, England. The clergyman had been an advocate of free public education, social improvement, the extension of the voting franchise, the recognition of trades unions, and understanding the links between poverty and crime.

March 13, 1904

Located on the Argentina-Chile border as a memorial to peace, the bronze Christ of the Andes statue is dedicated.

March 13, 1925

The State of Tennessee passes House Bill No. 185, the “Butler Bill” prohibiting any teaching that contradicts the Genesis creation account. It will be signed by the governor on March 25th and will lead to the Scopes Monkey Trial the following July.

March 13, 2002

Death of Yusuf Jatau, a popular radio preacher in the Hausa language and for fifty years a mission leader of the Nigerian Baptist Convention. He had extended Baptist work in the northern regions of the country, many times escaping death at the hands of enemies only through the grace of God.

March 13, 2012

Although it is a government-approved church, the Three-Self Church in Dafeng County, Jangsu Province, China, is demolished by the Chinese government. A Christian woman at the site is beaten so severely her back is broken. 

March 13, 2013

Conclave elects Argentine-born Jorge Mario Bergoglio to be pope of the Roman Catholic Church, the first pope from the Americas. He takes the name Francis.

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