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Christian History

Today in Christian History

February 24

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 with the Gregorian (which we still use today). By 1582, the Julian calendar had drifted from the equinoxes by a full ten days.

February 24, 1633: English poet and cleric George Herbert dies. His devotional poems, most of which are collected in The Temple, exemplify the metaphysical tradition (as do the poems of his contemporary John Donne).

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April 1, 1548: Parliament orders the publication of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP). Though Thomas Cranmer is rightly credited with the final form of the BCP, he worked with a committee of scholars, including Reformer Martin Bucer, to shape his famous liturgy (see Issue 48: Thomas Cranmer

April 1, 1745: David Brainerd begins his missionary work among the Native Americans of New Jersey, having previously worked in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. The New Jersey natives showed more interest than most, ...

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