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Christian History

Today in Christian History

October 28

October 28, 312: According to tradition, on this date the 32-year-old Roman emperor Constantine defeated Maxentius at Milvian Bridge. Before the battle, Constantine had seen the symbol of Jesus, chi-rho, in a vision, accompanied with the words "By this sign conquer." He is considered Rome's first Christian emperor (see issue 57: Converting the Empire).

October 28, 1646: At Nonantum, Massachusetts, missionary John Eliot preaches the first worship service for Native Americans in their native language.

October 28, 1949: Jim Elliot, missionary to Ecuador's Auca Indians, writes in his journal the most famous of his sayings: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

October 28, 1958: The Roman Catholic patriarch of Venice, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, is unexpectedly elected pope, taking the name John XXIII. Expected to be a mere caretaker in office, he became one of the Catholic church's most activist popes, convening the Second Vatican Council in 1962 (see issue 65: The Ten Most Influential Christians of the Twentieth Century).

October 28, 1992: The Korean Hyoo-go (Korean for "rapture") movement, led by prophet Lee Jang Rim, predicts that this is the day of the rapture (see issue 61: The End of the World).

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January 17, 356 (traditional date): Antony of Egypt, regarded as the founder of Christian monasticism, dies at age 105. Committed to a life of solitude and absolute poverty, he took two companions with him into the desert when he knew his death was near. They were ordered to bury him without a marker so that his body would never become an object of reverence (see issue 64: Antony and the Desert Fathers).

January 17, 1377: Gregory XI moves the papal see from Avignon (where it had been for 72 years) ...

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