Today in Christian History

February 20

February 20, 1469: Thomasso de Vio Cajetan, the most learned of the Roman Catholic dignitaries sent to silence Martin Luther in the early years of the Protestant Reformation, is born. He was also one of the cardinals who convinced Pope Clement VII to reject Henry VIII's request to divorce Catherine of Aragon (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).

February 20, 1895: Abolitionist Frederick Douglass, the first African-American to hold high political office, dies. After escaping to freedom in 1838, he became the most prominent black abolitionist. Critical of the "Christianity of this land," which accepted (or at least tolerated) slavery, he considered himself a devotee of "the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ" (see issue 62: Bound for Canaan).

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July 17, 180: Seven men and five women who had been captured carrying "the sacred books, and the letters of Paul" are tried before Roman proconsul Saturninus. Since none would renounce their Christian faith, all 12 were beheaded (see issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church).

July 17, 431: The Council of Ephesus adjourns, having rejected Nestorianism (the idea that Christ had two persons, not two natures) and condemned Pelagianism (a doctrine refuting human depravity) (see issue 51: Heresy ...

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