April 23, 1073: Hildebrand is elected pope, taking the name Gregory VII. The first pope to excommunicate a ruler (Henry IV), Gregory was driven out of Rome in 1084. "I have loved righteousness and hated iniquity," were his last words, "therefore I died in exile.
April 23, 1538: John Calvin and William Farel (whom Calvin was assisting) are banished from Geneva. The day before, Easter Sunday, both had refused to administer communion, saying the city was too full of vice to partake. Three years later, Calvin returned to the city he would forever be associated with (see issue 12: John Calvin).
April 23, 1968: The Evangelical United Brethren Church joins with the much larger Methodist Church, forming the United Methodist Church, the largest Methodist group in the world and America's second-largest Protestant denomination (after the Southern Baptist Convention).
May 8, 1373: English mystic Julian of Norwich receives 15 revelations (she received another the following day) in which she saw, among other things, the Trinity and the sufferings of Christ. She recorded her visions and her meditations on them 20 years later in her book The Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love (see issue 30: Woman in the Medieval Church).
May 8, 1559: The Act of Uniformity receives Queen Elizabeth I's royal assent, reinstating the forms of worship Henry VIII had ordered and mandating ...