Today in Christian History

February 26

February 26, 398: John Chrysostom, the greatest preacher of the early church, becomes bishop of Constantinople. So well-regarded was his preaching that he earned the name Chrysostom: "golden-mouth." He was exiled in 403 for his outspoken criticism of his congregation, including Empress Eudoxia. After the church recalled him, he again offended Eudoxia, who exiled him again. He died three years later (see issue 44: John Chrysostom).

February 26, 1857: American Congregational clergyman Charles Sheldon, author of more than 50 books and editor of the Christian Herald, is born in Wellsville, New York. His most famous work, In His Steps (1896), sold more than 23 million copies and spawned the recent "What Would Jesus Do?" phenomenon (see issue 66: How the West Was Reall Won).

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May 31, 1578: Italian archaeologist Antonio Bosio discovers the Christian catacombs in Rome. Some have mistaken them for places of refuge or worship, but Christians used them mainly as burial chambers.

May 31, 1638: Puritan pastor Thomas Hooker arrives in what is now Connecticut, after leaving Massachusetts because of a rivalry with Roger Williams. The minister also helped organize America's first federal government, the United Colonies of New England (see issue 41: The American Puritans).

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