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Today in Christian History
(traditional date) Valentine, a priest in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II, is beheaded along the Flaminian Way.
Martyrdom of Bruno of Querfert (also known as Boniface) and his associates by Lithuanians.
Protestant reformer Archbishop Thomas Cranmer of Canterbury is degraded from his office with humiliating ceremonies following the rise of the Roman Catholic Mary I to power. Cranmer had incurred the enmity of Mary years earlier when he granted King Henry VIII his divorce from Mary's mother Catherine.
Turks in Larissa, Greece, martyr the Orthodox monk Damian after days of torture, complaining that his teaching causes sales to drop on Sunday.
Archbishop John Whitgift begins building a "hospital" (a home for the elderly and infirm) at Croydon from his own resources. He will also build and endow a free-school and a chapel. Over the entrance of the hospital will be the inscription: QUI DAT PAUPERI NON INDIGEBIT [Who gives to the poor will not lack]. Although charitable, he was a high churchman who favored ritual and consequently persecuted Puritans who opposed it.
Richard Allen, the first black ordained in the Methodist Episcopal Church (1799), and founder of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in 1816, was born in slavery in Philadelphia.
Birth of Ira F. Stanphill, Assemblies of God clergyman and song evangelist. He is best known today for the hymn, "Room at the Cross," which he penned in 1946.
Chen Sulan is shipwrecked and captured by Japan's secret police while fleeing Japanese invaders. A Methodist, he had fought against his government's monopolistic sale of opium and established an anti-opium clinic that rehabilitated close to seven thousand addicts. After World War II, he set up a trust that helped the Scripture Union and Methodist groups. He also was a founder of the Chinese YMCA.
Andrew Kagura of Kenya is martyred for his outspokeness against the Mau Maus.
The U.S. Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism announced their decision to begin accepting women as rabbis.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"