Today in Christian History

September 14

September 14, 258: Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, is beheaded during the persecution under Roman Emperor Valerian (see issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church).

September 14, 407: Early church father John Chrysostom, the greatest preacher of his age, dies in exile when, in poor health, he is forced to travel on foot in bad weather (see issue 44: John Chrysostom).

September 14, 1321: Dante Alighieri, author of The Divine Comedy, dies (see issue 70: Dante Alighieri).

September 14, 1741: George Frederick Handel finishes composing "The Messiah," begun only 24 days earlier.

September 14, 1814: Francis Scott Key, Episcopal layman and cofounder of the American Sunday School Union, is inspired to write "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the war of 1812. The song didn't become the national anthem until 1931.

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September 23, 1595: Led by Fray Juan de Silva, the Spanish begin an intensive missionary campaign in the American southeast. In the following two years, 1,500 Native Americans in the area of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina convert to the Catholic faith.

September 23, 1857: Layman-turned-evangelist Jeremiah C. Lanphier holds a lunchtime prayer meeting for businessmen on Fulton Street in New York City. At first, no one shows up, but by the program's third week, the 40 participants requested daily ...

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