Christian History

August 31, 1535: Pope Paul II excommunicates English King Henry VIII, who had been declared by an earlier pope as "Most Christian King" and "Defender of the Faith" (see issue 48: Thomas Cranmer).

August 31, 1688: English Puritan writer and preacher John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim's Progress, dies at age 69. Though one of England's most famous authors even in his own day, he maintained his pastoral duties to his death, which was caused by a cold he caught while riding through the rain to reconcile ...

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