August 12, 304: Euplius, a Christian deacon from Sicily, is martyred for owning the Scriptures and proclaiming himself a Christian (loudly and repeatedly). Martyrdom was so common under Emperor Diocletian that many Christians expected it and some, like Euplius, actively sought it out (see issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church).
August 12, 1553: Pope Julius III orders all copies of the Talmud to be confiscated and burned.
August 12, 1942: William Cameron Townsend and Rev. L.L. Legters incorporate the Wycliffe Bible Translators in California.
December 1, 1170: Banished earlier by King Henry II because he sided with the church against the crown, archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket returns, electrifying all of England. Henry orders his former friend's execution, and Becket is slain by four knights while at vespers December 29. (T.S. Eliot's play Murder in the Cathedral is a fascinating exploration of the event.)
December 1, 1521: Pope Leo X, enemy of Martin Luther (whom he excommunicated in 1520), dies. Though sincere in his ...