Today in Christian History

January 24

January 24, 1076: Germany's Henry IV convenes the Synod of Worms to secure the deposition of Pope Gregory VII. The Synod charged the pope with serious crimes, called upon Rome to depose him, and issued other anti-papal statements. The pope quickly excommunicated Henry. One year later, Henry traveled to Canossa, Italy, and stood three days in the snow in an attempt to gain Gregory's forgiveness. Gregory granted it, but the two men soon fought again; Henry set up an antipope in Gregory's place.

January 24, 1573: English poet and preacher John Donne, dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, is born. One of the most prominent preachers of his day and one of the greatest English poets, he is known for such famous lines as "No man is an island," "For whom does the bell toll? It tolls for thee," and "Death be not proud.

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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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