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Birthdays on July 2

Thomas Cranmer (1489 to 1556)
Church of England
His life a legacy, his death an example.

Thomas Cranmer was born in Nottinghamshire, England. He would take a leading part in preparing the Anglican church's Book of Common Prayer, which is strongly based in scripture. As archbishop of Canterbury, he altered the mass into the communion service, allowing the laity to take the wine which had previously been restricted to priests. He also turned the service into common English so that the simplest could understand it. Under Queen Mary, Cranmer was imprisoned. Stressed by prison life, repeated degradation, and ceaseless examinations, he broke and recanted his Protestant views. Then he repented, renewed his stand for the Lord and his word and was sent to the stake. There he thrust his right hand first into the fire because it had signed the recantation, and he held it there until the flesh was consumed, so firmly did he believe that our eternal future with Christ hinges on our choices here.


This Day in Church History

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