Sept. 16 in Christian History

Sep 16, 2008 05:00 AM EDT

1224 - During an extended period of prayer and fasting, St. Francis of Assisi, 42, received the stigmata (crucifixion scars of Christ) on Mount Alvernia, in Italy. Francis, the founder of the Franciscans in 1209, has been called by some the greatest of all the Christian saints.

1620 - The "Mayflower" set sail from Plymouth, England, bound for the New World. On board were 48 crew members and 101 colonists (including 35 Separatists from Leiden, Holland, known afterward as the Pilgrims). During the three-month voyage, two passengers died and two babies were born.

1840 - Scottish pastor Robert Murray McCheyne wrote in a letter: 'Grace fills us with very different feelings from the possession of anything else. If you have tasted the grace of the Gospel, the irresistible longing of your hearts will be, "Oh, that all the world might taste its regenerating waters."'

1906 - Birth of J.B. Phillips, Anglican clergyman. Ordained in 1930, he wrote "Your God is Too Small" (1951), but is better remembered for his biblical paraphrase, "The New Testament in Modern English," first published in 1958.

1976 - In Minneapolis, the 65th Triennial General Convention of the Episcopal Church officially approved ordination of women to the priesthood.

© 1987-2008, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from Almanac of the Christian Church