May 8: Today in Christian History

May 8: Today in Christian History

May 8, 303

Torture and beheading of Victor of Milan, a soldier in the Roman army, because he had revealed his Christian faith by destroying pagan altars.

May 8, 1154

The people of York go out to meet Archbishop William, who has just returned from Rome. As the throng follows him across the River Ouse on an old wooden bridge it collapses. Many people are pitched into the water, including women and small children. William makes the sign of the cross and prays. Not one life is lost. 

May 8, 1373

Thirty-year old Julian of Norwich falls ill. Near death a few days later she will receive sixteen visions which she will later publish as Showings (also known as The Revelations of Divine Love).

May 8, 1526

Pope Clement VII addresses a brief to the Observantine Franciscans, empowering them to receive all Lutherans desiring to return to the Catholic Church without the severe penalties decreed by Pope Leo X and others.

May 8, 1528

Tyndale’s Parable of Wicked Mammon is printed. A fugitive on the European continent, he smuggled pamphlets into England through merchant friends.

May 8, 1543

Counter-reformer Peter Canisius is admitted into the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Mainz on his twenty-second birthday. By living a blameless life, founding colleges, preparing a clear well-organized catechism, and writing and speaking without bitterness and ridicule, he will restore the dignity of the Catholic Church in Northern Europe where the Protestant Reformation is ascendant.

May 8, 1743

Death of John Hough, bishop of Worcester, known for great generosity and also for having been the president of Magdalen College, Oxford, whom James II had ejected in his effort to restore Roman Catholic influence in England.

May 8, 1792

Moravian missionary David Zeisberger establishes a mission at Oxford, Canada.

May 8, 1814

Thomas Middleton, the first Bishop of Calcutta is consecrated privately because the India company fears publicity.

May 8, 1816

Sixty representatives of American churches and regional Bible societies who have gathered in the Garden Street Reformed Church, New York City, resolve to form the American Bible Society. Three days later they will adopt its constitution.

May 8, 1891

Bishop Adjai Crowther of Nigeria draws up the Niger Delta pastorate scheme in which the Delta District is to be made a native pastorate and financed through native agency. It will be inaugurated the next January.

May 8, 1899

Edward Thomas Demby is ordained a priest while in Texas and will serve churches in Tennessee, Missouri, and Florida. He will also become the second African-American bishop (a suffragen, or assistant bishop) of the Episcopal Church in the United States. 

May 8, 1915

Death in Windsor, Ontario, of Henry McNeal Turner, a controversial bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He had served as the first African-American chaplain in the United States Colored Troops.

May 8, 1920

Death of H. G. C. Moule, British New Testament scholar. Firmly evangelical, he had been associated with the Keswick movement.

May 8, 1931

Vladyka Gurias, archbishop of Suzdal, is arrested—one of many arrests he has endured at the hands of the Soviets. He will be sentenced to three years in concentration camps for “participation in a branch of the counter-revolutionary church-monarchist organization, ‘The True Orthodox Church’.”

May 8, 2013

The executive committee of the World Communion of Reformed Churches meets for a week in Ghana, homeland of its global leader, theologian and pastor Setri Nyomi.

May 8, 2013

Death in California of Dallas Willard from pancreatic cancer. A college professor of philosophy and widely published author, he had been closely connected with Renovaré, an evangelical deeper-life organization.

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