Today in Christian History

January 7

January 7, 367: Early church father Athanasius, famous for his battles against the Arian heresy, writes a letter containing a list of what he thinks should be considered the canon of Scripture. Over time, his list would be accepted by the church (see issue 43: How We Got Our Bible and issue 28: 100 Most Important Events in Christian History).

January 7, 1536: Catherine of Aragon, whose divorce from Henry VIII was the catalyst for the English Reformation, dies (see issue 48: Thomas Cranmer).

January 7, 1844: Bernadette Soubirous, whose visions of Mary led to the establishment of the Shrine of Lourdes, is born.

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September 20, 1224: On or about this date, on Italy's secluded Mount Alvernia, Francis of Assisi reportedly prayed, "O Lord, I beg of you two graces before I die—to experience in myself in all possible fullness the pains of your cruel passion, and to feel for you the same love that made you sacrifice yourself for us." Soon his heart was filled with both joy and pity, and wounds appeared on his hands, feet, and side. He reportedly carried these scars (called stigmata) until his death in 1226 ...

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