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Today in Christian History
Roman Church historian Dionysius Exiguus (ca.500-550), in calculating his history of the Christian Church, took this day as the supposed date of the Annunciation. March 25th afterward became the first day of the calendar year, until the Gregorian Calendar Reform of 1582 changed the day to anuary 1st.
Leo III is crowned emperor in the church of St. Sophia in Constantinople. He will bring much-needed reforms, beat back the Saracens, and restore Byzantium as a power able to stand seven hundred years longer. He will also support the iconoclast movement.
In defiance of Emperor Leo, who rejects the use of icons, Theodore the Studite has his monks march on Palm Sunday through their monastery vineyard in Constantinople, holding up icons so that they can be seen over the walls, eliciting a rebuke from the emperor.
The Council of Pisa meets to depose rival popes and elect a third, who will call himself Alexander V. Since neither of the other two will accept the council's authority, there will now be three popes instead of two.
Jan Ziska defeats the soldiers of Sigismund at the Battle of Sudomer, the second major battle of the Hussite wars.
During one of his recorded "Table Talks," German reformer Martin Luther declared: 'That the Creator himself comes to us and becomes our ransom - this is the reason for our rejoicing.'
(Annunciation Day) Martyrdom of Margaret Clitherow (a Roman Catholic) at York, England, by crushing beneath a heavy oak door. She had hidden Catholic priests but refused to enter a plea so that her children would not be forced to testify under torture at a trial. As her ribs crack she cries, "Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Have mercy on me." Her body will be left under the weights for six hours then stuffed secretly in a rubbish heap.
Antoine Daniel sails for New France where he will become one of eight Jesuits martyred.
Metropolitan Germanos of Patra blesses the fighters at Agia Lavra and hoists the flag of the Greek War of Independence from Turkish rule in St. George's Square at Patrai. His charisma encouraged the Greek fighters.
Sister Elizabeth Fedde sails from Norway to New York where she will establish a deaconness ministry.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"