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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September 20, 1224: On or about this date, on Italy's secluded Mount Alvernia, Francis of Assisi reportedly prayed, "O Lord, I beg of you two graces before I die—to experience in myself in all possible fullness the pains of your cruel passion, and to feel for you the same love that made you sacrifice yourself for us." Soon his heart was filled with both joy and pity, and wounds appeared on his hands, feet, and side. He reportedly carried these scars (called stigmata) until his death in 1226 ...

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