Christian History Timeline: The gospel brings healing

[Above: Anonymous, Saint Elzéar Curing the Lepers, c. 1373. Alabaster, French.—Walters Art Museum / [Public domain] Wikimedia]


c. 30s Healing is a prominent feature of Jesus’s ministry.

c. 93–94 Josephus refers to Jesus in his Antiquities as a miracle-worker.

Early 100s Quadratus, a bishop, writes that some of those whom Jesus healed had lived all the way into his own era.

c. 240 Gregory the Wonderworker becomes bishop of Neocaesarea; his many healing miracles help evangelize for the Christian faith.

c. 304 Lucy, a young Christian woman from Sicily, is martyred for her faith; her mother’s healing had spurred her to ministry among the poor.

c. 320 Nino, a Roman woman, prays for healing of the queen of Iberia, who then converts to Christianity.

405 Jerome finishes his translation of the Bible, which uses the Latin term for “save” rather than “heal” and influences many later translations.

415 The tomb of Stephen the Deacon is discovered and becomes a shrine where miraculous healings are reported. Many shrines will become the sites of reported healings in the Middle Ages, a few of which are mentioned below.

426 Augustine writes about Stephen’s tomb in City of God, testifying to his own changing views on miraculous healing.

500s Pope Gregory I writes the Dialogues, which reports on miraculous healings attributed to many Italian saints, most famously Benedict. 

814 Pilgrimage begins to the Shrine of St. James at Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

687 Cuthbert, former prior of a monastery in Northumberland and bishop of Lindisfarne, dies. His tomb becomes one of the most visited medieval pilgrimage sites, and many healing miracles are reported.

1171 The shrine of the murdered Thomas à Becket is opened at Canterbury. Monks record 703 miracles at the shrine; stained glass windows are added to the shrine depicting the most famous healing miracles.

1252 Peter of Verona, renowned as a miracle-worker, is killed by an assassin.

c. 1265–1274 Thomas Aquinas systematizes the church’s theology of miracles in the Summa Theologica.

c. 1300s The Roman Catholic Church begins to refer to the anointing of the sick as “extreme unction” and reserves it for those near to death.

c. 1374 Catherine of Siena prays for Matteo Cenni to recover from plague, which he does.

1520 Martin Luther writes against extreme unction in Babylonian Captivity of the Church.

1536 Teresa of Ávila falls ill and is healed after seeing visions of Christ.

1542 Luther prays successfully for his friend Philip Melanchthon to be healed.

1565 Johann Habermann publishes Prayer Booklet.

1730s The First Great Awakening begins, part of a period of transatlantic revival.

1743 Mercy Wheeler experiences a dramatic healing during the Great Awakening. Benjamin Lord publishes God Glorified in His Works.

1858 The healing shrine at Lourdes (France) is established.

1887 A. B. Simpson begins preaching that Jesus is Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King. His evangelism leads to the founding of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

1898 Lillian Yeomans escapes drug addiction through the ministry of John Alexander Dowie.

1900 Dowie establishes Zion, Illinois.

1906 A revival breaks out at the Azusa Street Mission in California. William Seymour, the movement’s leader, begins publishing the newspaper Apostolic Faith.

1947 Agnes Sanford publishes The Healing Light. 

1951 Demos Shakarian starts the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International.

1952 Robert Doherty founds Bethel Church, now a Charismatic megachurch, in California. Josiah Akindayomi founds the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Nigeria.

1954 A revival breaks out in Argentina focused around American preacher Tommy Hicks.

1959 The Charismatic movement spreads to mainline churches. 

1962 Kathryn Kuhlman publishes I Believe in Miracles.

1967 Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke undertakes his first mission in Africa. Charismatic revivals break out in the Catholic Church.

1972 After Vatican II, Roman Catholics officially revert to the older name “anointing of the sick” and emphasize that it is not only for the dying.

1977 Edir Macedo founds the Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus in Brazil.

1978 First healing is reported at Calvary Chapel, Yorba Linda, CA.

1982 John Wimber’s course, “MC510: Signs, Wonders, and Church Growth,” begins at Fuller Theological Seminary.

1987 John Wimber and Kevin Springer publish Power Healing.

1980 Heidi and Rolland Baker found Iris Global Ministries in California.

1992 Henry Madava founds Victory Christian Church in Ukraine.

1994 Revival led by Randy Clark breaks out in Toronto. Sunday Adelaja founds the Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations in Ukraine. Clark founds Global Awakening.

2000 Leif Hetland founds Global Mission Awareness in Georgia.

2011 The Global Medical Research Institute is founded to study healing prayer scientifically.

By the editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #142 in 2022]

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