May 6: Today in Christian History

May 6: Today in Christian History

May 6, 259

After torture aimed at getting them to renounce their faith during the Valerian persecution, James and Marian are beheaded in a North Africa gorge.

May 6, 1237

The bones of St. Sava of Serbia are removed from the Cathedral of the Holy Forty Martyrs in Trnovo to the monastery Mileseva in southern Serbia, where they will remain for three hundred and sixty years until the Ottoman Turks dig them up and burn them.

May 6, 1432

Dedication of the altarpiece for St. John’s Church in Ghent, Belgium, the work of aging Flemish artist Jan van Eyck.

May 6, 1527

Forty thousand mercenaries from the army of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, hired by Cardinal Pompeo Colonna, sack the city of Rome, killing, torturing, looting, and raping. They burn two thirds of the city. Pope Clement VII is forced to flee to the castle of St. Angelo disguised as a gardener.

May 6, 1531

Twenty-year-old Pierre Viret, beginning a reformation work in his home town of Orbe, Switzerland, preaches his first sermon. He will later extend his preaching to France, where he will be a major player in the creation of the Huguenot movement.

May 6, 1536

King Henry VIII of England orders that an English-language Bible be placed in every church in the nation.

May 6, 1619

The Canons of Dort, a Calvinist response to the Arminian Remonstrance, are promulgated in Dort’s Great Church before a large congregation.

May 6, 1638

Death of Dutch theologian Cornelius Jansen, who inspired the Catholic reform movement known as Jansenism. Opposed to the teachings of the Jesuits and of Thomas Aquinas, he had adopted Augustine’s doctrine of irresistible grace, but his views on grace and predestination were condemned by the church.

May 6, 1746

Death in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, of William Tennent. Born in Ireland, he had migrated to America where he operated a seminary in a log cabin, infusing his pupils with such evangelistic zeal that they became the leaders of the Great Awakening. They would found many influential frontier schools in their turn.

May 6, 1840

Death in Loretto, Pennsylvania, of Dmitri Gallitzin, a Catholic missionary known as the “Apostle of the Alleghanies.”

May 6, 1861

In a Commemoration Day sermon, Dr. William Selwyn, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, and a former Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge, reminds his hearers that the college is celebrating “its seventh jubilee,” and pleads earnestly for the erection of a larger chapel. His plea will be successful.

May 6, 1928

A bandit army attacks Qinzhou City and one of the soldiers splits open the skull of thirty-three-year-old Wu Baoying, a Christian doctor who, after years of service with the China Inland Mission, founded the local hospital. His last words, when discovered the next morning in a pool of blood, are “The Lord is with us.”

May 6, 1962

Pope John XXIII canonizes Martin de Porres (1579-1639), a mixed-race associate of the Dominican Order, remembered for his humility and for his charity in nursing the sick.

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