It’s a Wonderful Life, the Christmas movie starring James Stewart, went on release today in 1946. It features Clarence Odbody, Angel 2nd class, who is tasked with saving Stewart’s character, George, from suicide. The film flopped at the time, but is now reckoned to be one of the greatest ever made.
Katharina von Bora (pictured above), whose husband was Martin Luther, died today in 1552 in Torgau, Saxony. Three months earlier, Katharina, a widow, had fled from Wittenberg to Torgau to escape an outbreak of black plague, but was thrown from her cart outside the city gates. She eventually died from her injuries, saying on her deathbed, ‘I will stick to Christ as a burr to cloth.’
Pope Pius XI issued the encyclical Ad Catholici Sacerdotii today in 1935, advising priests on how to do the job better: ‘Even the falling away of the few unworthy in the priesthood, however deplorable and distressing it may be, cannot dim the splendour of so lofty a dignity.’ Discuss.
Edwin Abbott Abbott, the English theologian and author of the satirical short novel, Flatland, was born today in 1838. The novel is set in a two dimensional world, and since the 1960s has inspired several movies and science fiction books.
Today in 1899 saw the birth of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the renowned Welsh evangelical preacher and controversialist. He memorably described preaching as ‘logic on fire’.
Image: Wikimedia Commons