One of the most important holidays on the Christian calendar, Christmas is also the most controversial. The so-called "Christmas Wars" garner headlines every year for battles over manger scenes and the use of "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" (and other seasonal greetings). But Christmas is also a time for theological and spiritual reflection on important foundations of the Christian faith, including the Incarnation and the Virgin Birth.
June 7, 1502: Ugo Buoncompagni is born in Bologna. As Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585), he issued the Gregorian calendar, supported the Inquisition, promoted the Counter-Reformation, and encouraged missions.
June 7, 1891: English Baptist Charles H. Spurgeon, who preached to (on average) 6,000 people at each of his services, delivers his last sermon at London's Metropolitan Tabernacle (see issue 29: C.H. Spurgeon).