All Saints Day: A day to remember saints that have gone on to glory–both well-known and little-known.
8 Listen, my son, to your [spiritual] father’s instruction and do not forsake your [spiritual] mother’s teaching. 9 They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.
We know all the known Scripture writers and the apostles, but do we know these famous Christians and martyrs?
St. Cyprian, Latin in full Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus, (born 200 CE, Carthage—died September 14, 258, Carthage; early Christian theologian and bishop of Carthage who led the Christians of North Africa during a period of persecution from Rome. Upon his execution he became the first bishop-martyr of Africa.
Tertullian, Latin in full Quintus Septimus Florens Tertullianus, (born c. 155, /160, Carthage [now in Tunisia]—died after 220, Carthage), important early Christian theologian, polemicist, and moralist who, as the initiator of ecclesiastical Latin, was instrumental in shaping the vocabulary and thought of Western Christianity.
Saint Clement of Alexandria, Latin name Titus Flavius Clemens, (born AD 150, Athens—died between 211 and 215; Western feast day November 23; Eastern feast day November 24), Christian Apologist, missionary theologian to the Hellenistic (Greek cultural) world, and second known leader and teacher of the catechetical school of Alexandria.
Origen, Latin in full Oregenes Adamantius, (born c. 185, probably Alexandria, Egypt—died c. 254, Tyre, Phoenicia [now Ṣūr, Lebanon]), the most important theologian and biblical scholar of the early Greek church. His greatest work is the Hexapla, which is a synopsis of six versions of the Old Testament.
St. Augustine, also called Saint Augustine of Hippo, original Latin name Aurelius Augustinus, (born November 13, 354, died August 28, 430; bishop of Hippo from 396 to 430, one of the Latin Fathers of the Church and perhaps the most significant Christian thinker after St. Paul. Augustine’s adaptation of classical thought to Christian teaching created a theological system of great power and lasting influence.
Adoniram Judson, (born Aug. 9, 1788, Malden, Mass., U.S.—died April 12, 1850, at sea, Indian Ocean), American linguist and Baptist missionary in Myanmar (Burma), who translated the Bible into Burmese and wrote a now standard Burmese dictionary.
Charlotte Digges “Lottie” Moon (December 12, 1840 – December 24, 1912) was a Southern Baptist missionary to China with the Foreign Mission Board who spent nearly 40 years (1873–1912) living and working in China. As a teacher and evangelist she laid a foundation for traditionally solid support for missions among Southern Baptists, especially through its Woman’s Missionary Union.
Dwight Lyman Moody (February 5, 1837 – December 22, 1899), also known as D. L. Moody, was an American evangelist and publisher who founded the Moody Church, Northfield School and Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts (now Northfield Mount Hermon School), Moody Bible Institute and Moody Publishers. One of his most famous quotes was “Faith makes all things possible… Love makes all things easy.“ Moody gave up his lucrative boot and shoe business to devote his life to revivalism, working first in the Civil War with union troops through YMCA in the United States Christian commission. In Chicago, he built one of the major evangelical centers in the nation, which is still active.
Cornelia Arnolda Johanna “Corrie” ten Boom (15 April 1892 – 15 April 1983) was a Dutch Christian watchmaker and later a writer who worked with her father, Casper ten Boom, her sister Betsie ten Boom and other family members to help many Jews escape the Nazis from the Holocaust during World War II by hiding them in her home. She believed her actions were following the will of God. They were caught, and she was arrested and sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Her most famous book, The Hiding Place [great book], is a biography that recounts the story of her family’s efforts and how she found hope in God while she was imprisoned at the concentration camp.
William Franklin “Billy” Graham Jr. (November 7, 1918 – February 21, 2018) was an American evangelist, a prominent evangelical Christian figure, and an ordained Southern Baptist minister who became well-known internationally in the late 1940s. One of his biographers has placed him “among the most influential Christian leaders” of the 20th century.
There are nearly countless others, such as Martin Luther, William Tyndale, Dietrich Bonhoeffer , and C.S. Lewis (my favorite) to name a few. Click on their names and you can read about them. Let’s celebrate that “great cloud of witnesses” mentioned in the hall of spiritual fame found in Hebrews 11 and those of our family and friends that have crossed the veil to Aslan’s world (the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis).
Abba, I thank You for the testimonies of the great heroes of the faith. They encourage me and inspire me to be like them. When my life here on this earth is over, may I say like Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is waiting for me a crown of righteousness which the LORD, the Righteous Judge, will award me on that day–-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8. May it be so, LORD Jesus. Amen.