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Christian History

Today in Christian History

February 24

February 24, 1208: Francis of Assisi experiences a vision in the church of Portunicula, Italy. Though not his first vision, it convinced him to begin a mission of preaching repentance, singing, caring for lepers, and aiding the peasants. Most notably, he and his followers renounced wealth and followed absolute poverty (see issue 42: Francis of Assisi).

February 24, 1582: Gregory XIII issues a bull requiring all Catholic countries to follow October 4 with October 15 and replace the Julian calendar with the Gregorian (which we still use today). By 1582, the Julian calendar had drifted from the equinoxes by a full ten days.

February 24, 1633: English poet and cleric George Herbert dies. His devotional poems, most of which are collected in The Temple, exemplify the metaphysical tradition (as do the poems of his contemporary John Donne).

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April 18, 1161: Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, dies. He repeatedly quarreled with his superiors about church appointments and other political questions, but he the influential French abbot Bernard of Clairvaux supported him. Theobald helped strengthen the English church and build the career of Thomas Becket, whom he recommended as chancellor to England's newly crowned King Henry.

April 18, 1587: English Protestant historian John Foxe, author of Actes and Monuments of Matters Happenning to the ...

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