Today in Christian History

May 19

May 19, 804: Alcuin of York, an English scholar who became an adviser to Charlemagne and the most prominent figure in the Carolingian Renaissance (the rebirth of classical learning under Charlemagne), dies. He also devised a handwriting system using both small and capital letters for easier reading.

May 19, 1805: Joshua V. Himes, best known for promoting William Miller's Second Advent movement, is born. Miller predicted the Second Coming between 1843 and 1844. When this did not happen, many followers deserted; others reorganized themselves as Seventh-Day Adventists (see issue 61: The End of the World).

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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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