Today in Christian History

July 17

July 17, 180: Seven men and five women who had been captured carrying "the sacred books, and the letters of Paul" are tried before Roman proconsul Saturninus. Since none would renounce their Christian faith, all 12 were beheaded (see issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church).

July 17, 431: The Council of Ephesus adjourns, having rejected Nestorianism (the idea that Christ had two persons, not two natures) and condemned Pelagianism (a doctrine refuting human depravity) (see issue 51: Heresy in the Early Church).

July 17, 1505: Martin Luther enters the Augustinian monastic order at Erfurt, Germany, at age 21 (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).

July 17, 1674: Isaac Watts, author of about 600 hymns, is born in Southampton, England.

July 17, 1917: American Baptist radio evangelist Charles E. Fuller accepts Christ as his savior. Fuller was ordained in 1925 and in 1937 began the pioneer program The Old Fashioned Revival Hour. He also helped found Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

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February 24, 1208: Francis of Assisi experiences a vision in the church of Portunicula, Italy. Though not his first vision, it convinced him to begin a mission of preaching repentance, singing, caring for lepers, and aiding the peasants. Most notably, he and his followers renounced wealth and followed absolute poverty (see issue 42: Francis of Assisi).

February 24, 1582: Gregory XIII issues a bull requiring all Catholic countries to follow October 4 with October 15 and replace the Julian calendar ...

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