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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June 23, 1683: English Quaker William Penn, an advocate of peace and religious toleration, signs a treaty with the American Indians of Pennsylvania. Voltaire said the agreement was the only treaty never sworn to and never broken.

June 23, 1780: American troops, using hymnal pages from the First Presbyterian Church for gun wadding, stops the British advance on Springfield, New Jersey (see issue 50: American Revolution).

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