No list of the great men of Protestantism is complete without John Calvin. Born in 1509 in Noyon, France, most of us today know Calvin for his theology. But Calvin also spent much of his life in excruciating pain. The Reformer suffered from hemorrhoids, kidney stones, gout, an enlarged spleen, heartburn, indigestion and chronic insomnia, according to the medical journal Hektoen International. Calvin also likely died from tuberculosis.

Much of Calvin’s ministry occurred in Geneva, Switzerland, where the plague visited five times during that time. In this episode of Prayer amid Pandemic, Christianity Today’s editor in chief and the author of Wisdom of the Saints (and Near Saints): Christian Inspiration from Ambrose to Zwingli Daniel Harrell shares how the reformer’s views on predestination affected how he and his community responded to the epidemic.

Dinesha Samararatne, a postdoctoral fellow in constitutional law and a Sri Lankan living in Australia, offers this week’s prayer.

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Prayer amid Pandemic is produced by Morgan Lee, Mike Cosper, and Erik Petrik