December 26, 1065: The first building of Westminster Abbey is dedicated, though legend holds that the abbey was founded as early as 616.
December 26, 1194: Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II is born today near the town of Jesi, in the Marche region of Italy. Frederick claimed to be a direct successor to the Roman Emperors of old and united the kingdoms of Italy, Germany, Sicily, and Jerusalem (by marriage and crusade). He was frequently at war with the popes of his era, mostly for geopolitical reasons, and was excommunicated four times during his reign.
May 9, 1760: Count Nicholaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, founder of the Moravian Brethren and a pioneer of ecumenism and mission work, dies in Herrnhut, Germany. By his death the Moravians (which themselves only numbered in the hundreds) had sent out 226 missionaries around the world (see issue 1: Nicolaus Zinzendorf and the Moravians).
May 9, 1983: Pope John Paul II speaks before a gathering of 200 scientists and apologizes for the suffereing that Galileo Galilei had endured at the hands of the church ...