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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October 17, 108: According to tradition, Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, was martyred on this date. The Apostolic Father closest in thought to the New Testament writers, Ignatius wrote seven letters under armed guard on his way to Rome—some asking that the church not interfere with his "true sacrifice" (see issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church).

October 17, 1480: The Spanish Inquisition is activated.

October 17, 1979: October 17, 1979: Mother Teresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (see issue ...

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