April 29, 1380: Italian mystic Catherine of Siena dies from exhaustion brought on by her efforts to bring unity to the church. Her visions, experienced since childhood, and her persistent pleading led Pope Gregory XI to return the papal seat to Rome from Avignon, France (see issue 30: Woman in the Medieval Church).
April 29, 1429: Joan of Arc, who had experienced mystical visions and voices since childhood, enters the besieged French city of Orleans to lead a victory over the English. The next day, the English retreated, but, because it was a Sunday, Joan refused to allow any pursuit. On a sortie the next year, The English captured Joan and put her on trial for heresy (see issue 30: Woman in the Medieval Church).
April 29, 1607: English settlers establish the first Anglican church in the American colonies at Cape Henry, Virginia.
December 8, 1691: English Puritan minister Richard Baxter dies in London. One of England's most renowned preachers and author of nearly 200 works (including several hymns), he was known as a peacemaker who sought unity among Protestants.
December 8, 1934: American missionaries John and Betty Stam are beheaded by Chinese communists. The couple had met while attending Moody Bible Institute and married just the year before their death. Publication of their biography prompted hundreds to volunteer ...