Today in Christian History

February 18

February 18, 1546: German reformer Martin Luther dies in Eisleben. In one of his pockets he had placed the beginning of a projected manuscript against Roman Catholics. In another pocket was a slip of paper reminding him, "We are beggars, that's the truth" (see issue 39: Luther's Later Years).

February 18, 1564: Michelangelo Buonarroti, the Italian Renaissance artist whose works include the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, dies.

February 18, 1678: Puritan preacher John Bunyan publishes The Pilgrim's Progress, the best-selling book (apart from the Bible) in history. The allegorical tale, which describes Bunyan's own conversion process, begins, "I saw a man clothed with rags … a book in his hand and a great burden upon his back" (see issue 11: John Bunyan).

February 18, 1688: Quakers in Germantown, Pennsylvania, issue America's first formal protest of slavery.

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June 24, 64: Roman Emperor Nero begins persecuting Christians (see issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church).

June 24, 1178: Five Canterbury monks report something exploding on the moon, the only recorded time an asteroidal impact has been observed with the naked eye.

June 24, 1519: Theodore Beza, one of the great statesmen of the Reformation and John Calvin's successor at Geneva, is born in Vezelay, France (see issue 12: John Calvin).

June 24, 1542: Roman Catholic reformer, mystic, and poet John ...

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