Today in Christian History

May 18

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).

May 18, 1920: Karol Wojtyla (who would take the name John Paul II when elected pope) is born in Wadowice, Poland (see issue 65: The 10 Most Influential Christians of the Twentieth Century).

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April 24, 387: On this day, Augustine of Hippo writes in his autobiographical Confessions, "We were baptized and all anxiety for our past life vanished away." The 33-year-old had been a teacher of rhetoric and pagan philosophies at some of the Roman Empire's finest schools, but after great influence by his mother, Monica, and the famous bishop Ambrose, he turned to Christianity. His baptism by Ambrose, on Easter Sunday, marked his entrance into the church (see issue 15: Augustine and ...

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