Today in Christian History

September 20

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 (see issue 42: Francis of Assisi).

September 20, 1565: Spanish sea captain Menendez reportedly wipes out French Huguenots in Florida (see issue 71: Huguenots).

September 20, 1883: Albrecht Alt, German Lutheran scholar of the Old Testament, is born in Stuebach, Bavaria. His book Biblia Hebraica, which he edited with R. Kittel, became the standard critical text of the Old Testament for Bible students.

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February 19, 843: Empress Theodora reinstates icons once and for all in the Eastern churches, effectively ending the medieval iconoclastic controversy. A council in 787 had allowed the veneration of icons, but opponents of images still controlled most of the government and much of the church leadership. The controversy continued, however, and was one of the reasons for the Great Schism between Catholics and the Orthodox in 1054 (see issue 54: Eastern Orthodoxy).

February 19, 1377: John Wycliffe stands ...

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