March 9: Today in Christian History

March 9: Today in Christian History

March 9, 320

(traditional date) Agricola, governor of Armenia, sentences forty soldiers to die on ice for refusing to renounce Christ. They strip off their own clothes, saying, “What is death for us but an entrance into eternal life?”

March 9, 395

Death of Gregory of Nyssa, one of the three great Trinitarian Cappadocian fathers.

March 9, 1463

Death of St. Catherine of Bologna who wrote a popular Treatise on the Seven Spiritual Weapons Necessary for Spiritual Warfare in which she recorded her visions of Christ and Satan. 

March 9, 1498

The signory of Florence [nine-member council] holds a public meeting to decide what action should be taken with Girolamo Savonarola, whom Pope Alexander VI had censured. Eight days later the signory will command Savonarola to cease preaching.

March 9, 1509

Martin Luther receives his Bachelor of Bible degree from the University of Erfurt.

March 9, 1661

Death in Vincennes of Cardinal Jules Mazarin. He had been noted for diplomacy and high taxation while he served as First Minister of France. His delegates helped negotiate the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.

March 9, 1761

The Boston Gazette prints criticism against the feasting and boisterous merrymaking which had taken place after the recent ordination of Dr. Cummings to the Old South Church. The criticism was sharpened by the fact the festivities took place at the home of Dr. Sewall who two years earlier had moderated a meeting to discourage such ordination revelries.

March 9, 1833

Melville Cox, coming from the United States, reaches Liberia where he hopes to do mission work but will die within four months. His courageous and intrepid attitude, and his heroic death will give an impetus to the Methodist missionary spirit.

March 9, 1886

[or the 7th] Baptism of Mamiyeri Mizeka Gwambe by Anglican fathers in South Africa. He takes the name Bernard Mizeki and will become a missionary in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) where in 1896 he will be martyred.

March 9, 1901

Death at Cannes, France, of Methodist missionary and author William Arthur. A notable missionary to India he also wrote several successful books on his work and on the faith and was an internationally-known leader in his denomination.

March 9, 1913

Death in Stuttgart, Germany, of Eberhard Nestle, Bible scholar, who compared early texts of the Bible and prepared a thoughtful reconstruction of the probable original text.

March 9, 1948

Death in Atlanta, Georgia, of hymn writer Civilla Durfee Martin whose many gospel songs include “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power,” “God Will Take Care of You,” and “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.”

March 9, 1954

Pentecostal evangelist Tommy Hicks arrives in Argentina and requests a large stadium. Local ministers, who have had little success winning souls, try to dissuade him, saying it is impossible to obtain a large stadium and more impossible to fill it. Hicks insists and is able to obtain consent from Argentina’s president Juan PerĂ³n after healing him of a skin condition. After weeks of healing services in April and May, a larger stadium will be needed to handle the huge crowds.

March 9, 1956

The British send into exile Makarios III, archbishop of Cyprus, considering his outspokeness a threat to the island’s peace.

March 9, 2011

Muslim gangs assault Christian garbage collectors in Cairo’s Mokatam district this night, wounding at least one hundred and thirty people. They burn homes and destroy garbage trucks and recycling plants. No emergency services respond until morning, by which time nine Christians and a Muslim homeowner will be dead.


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