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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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May 18, 1291: The last Christian territory taken by the Crusaders, Acre, falls to the Sultan of Egypt (see issue 40: The Crusades).

May 18, 1834: Sheldon Jackson, Presbyterian missionary to the frontier West and Alaska, is born in Minaville, New York. Jackson's reputation for ministering to the spiritual, physical, and social needs of both natives and settlers earned him the nicknames "Bishop of All Beyond" and "Apostle to Alaska" (see issue 66: How the West Was Really Won). ...

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