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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, January 31

314
Silvester becomes bishop of Rome (i.e.: pope) after Miltiades, but few genuine records will survive from his years.
366
Athanasius returns to Alexandria where he spends the last seven years of his life after having been exiled five times for his faith.
828
The relics of Gospel-writer Mark, brought from Alexandria, Egypt, for safekeeping, are landed in Venice where they are received with pomp by the Doge, Giustiniano Particiaco. Venice will adopt Mark as their patron saint.
1538
French reformer John Calvin wrote in a letter: 'I pray the Lord to keep you in His holy protection, and so to direct you that you may not go astray in that slippery path whereon you are, until He shall have manifested to you His complete deliverance.'
1561
Death of Menno Simons near L├╝beck, Holstein, Germany. This gentle Anabaptist leader will give his name to the Mennonites. Surprisingly, considering the rewards on his head, he dies a natural death.
1752
The profession ceremony for Sister St. Martha Turpin was held at Ursuline Convent in New Orleans, LA. She was the first American-born woman to become a nun in the Catholic Church.
1839
Two months before his premature death at age 39, Church of Scotland clergyman Robert Murray McCheyne wrote in a letter: 'Is not a Christian's darkest hour calmer than the world's brightest?'
1854
Death in Turin, Italy, of Silvio Pellico, a Catholic writer best-known for his autobiographical account of ten years in Austrian prisons, and for the tragedy Francesca da Rimini.
1888
Death of Giovanni "Don" Bosco, Roman Catholic priest, educator, and founder of the Salesian order. He will be canonized in 1934.
1892
Death near Nice, France, of Charles Spurgeon, a Baptist minister considered one of the greatest preachers of all time.
1911
In Falcon, NC, the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church (FBHC) and the Pentecostal Holiness Church (PHC) officially merged. In 1915, the Tabernacle Pentecostal Church (TPC) joined the merger. In 1975, the name of this body officially became the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC).
1939
Josiah Mtekateka is ordained as a deacon. He will overcome racism to become the first black African bishop of the Anglican Church in Malawi.
1949
American missionary and Auca Indian martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: 'One does not surrender a life in an instant - that which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime.'
1955
Death in Orlando, Florida, of John Mott, whose missions ministry had spanned the globe.
1990
Ninety-year-old Catholic priest Philip Wang Ziyang dies after forty years in Chinese labor camps. He had been offered release in 1978, but refused, because the terms of release violated his conscience.
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