Today in Christian History

September 23

September 23, 1595: Led by Fray Juan de Silva, the Spanish begin an intensive missionary campaign in the American southeast. In the following two years, 1,500 Native Americans in the area of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina convert to the Catholic faith.

September 23, 1857: Layman-turned-evangelist Jeremiah C. Lanphier holds a lunchtime prayer meeting for businessmen on Fulton Street in New York City. At first, no one shows up, but by the program's third week, the 40 participants requested daily meetings. Other cities begin similar programs, and a revival—sometimes called "The Third Great Awakening"—catches fire across America (see issue 23: Spiritual Awakenings in North America).

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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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