February 28, 2007
Today I wanted to highlight the martyr they have in the book for February 29th, and since this year isn't leap year you won't find the 29th on your calendars - and I didn't want to wait another couple of years to share this with you.
Patrick Hamilton was born around 1503 and died on February 29, 1528 at 25 years old. He was Scotland's first Protestant martyr and was executed because he decided to follow the teachings of Martin Luther that says that we are justified by faith and not by works.
As a result, he was charged with 13 counts of heresy - including the positions he took on penance, confession and purgatory. He was convicted and sentenced to be burned at the stake on the same day - February 29, 1528.
When the execution was carried out it was done so hastily that there wasn't enough wood and powder on hand to produce a huge enough fire to burn Hamilton. As a result, Hamilton burned a slow and horrible death. The One Year Book of Christian History goes on to say...
"Hamilton's influence grew as word of his martyrdom spread, making him more popular in death than in life. Soon all of Scottland was discussing Reformed Theology. One of his accusers, Alexander Alexius, was converted as a result of Hamilton's testimony and became a Reformation leader. A witness of Hamilton's burning later remarked, "The reek of Patrick Hamilton has infected as many as it did blow upon."
To read more about Patrick Hamilton click here.