March 17: Today in Christian History

March 17, 1479

Pope Sixtus IV grants the rector and dean of the University of Cologne the authority to censure printers, sellers, and readers of “heretical” books.

March 17, 1483

Death of Macarius, the abbot and wonderworker of Kalyzin, where he had founded a monastery.

March 17, 1498

Local authorities, frightened by the pope’s threat to interdict the city of Florence, ask Girolamo Savonarola to stop preaching. He will not and soon afterward is executed.

March 17, 1649

Martyrdom in Ontario of Jesuit priest Gabriel Lalemant, who prays for the souls of the Iroquois as they slowly torture him to death with ingenious torments.

March 17, 1840

Death in Shropshire, England, of Lady Lucy Whitmore, author of prayers and hymns. The most famous of the latter is “Father, again in Jesus’ name we meet.”

March 17, 1856

Amanda Smith, living in Pennsylvania, goes to a cellar and prays, saying she will be saved or die. She soon experiences the glory of the Lord.

March 17, 1902

Death in New York City of George W. Warren, an outstanding organist who served at several large Episcopal churches in Albany, Brooklyn, and New York City in the second half of the nineteenth century. One of his hymn tunes is still in use, that to which we sing “God of Our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand.”

March 17, 1960

Bishop Kung Ping Mei of Shanghai is sentenced to life imprisonment because he refuses to head a Communist church-control movement.

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