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Christian History

Today in Christian History

March 9

March 9, 320 (traditional date): Roman soldiers leave Christian soldiers naked on the ice of a frozen pond in Sebaste, Armenia.They placed baths of hot water around them to tempt them to renounce their faith. When one did so, a pagan guard—inspired by the fortitude of the remaining Christians—converted and joined the freezing Christians. They were all killed and made famous by Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa (see issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church).

March 9, 395 (traditional date): Gregory of Nyssa, Cappadocian father and bishop, dies. An outstanding thinker, theologian, orator, and ascetical author, he was very influential in developing the theology of the Trinity.

March 9, 1831: Evangelist Charles Finney concludes a six-month series of meetings in Rochester, New York. The meetings, which have been called "the world's greatest single revival campaign," led to the closing of the town's theater and taverns, a two-thirds drop in crime, and a reported 100,000 conversions (see issue 20: Charles Finney).

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March 30, 1533: Thomas Cranmer is consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury, England's highest religious post. Believing himself subject to the king, Henry VIII, he granted the monarch's annulment ending his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. This touched off the English Reformation, and Cranmer became its chief architect. He is also known for writing the first Book of Common Prayer(see issue 48: Thomas Cranmer).

March 30, 1820: The first Protestant missionaries arrive at the Sandwich Islands, now known ...

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