December 3, 1552: Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier, one of the founding members of his order (the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits) and one of the greatest missionaries ever, dies awaiting admission to China. Before that, he had converted 700,000 people in Portugal, India, Indonesia, Japan, and elsewhere.
December 3, 1846: Presbyterian widow Leslie Prentice leads a pro-life rally outside the home of New York City's foremost abortionist, Anna Lohman, a.k.a. Madame Restell.
July 12, 1536: Desiderius Erasmus, Dutch scholar and the first editor of the Greek New Testament, dies in Basel. One of the leading scholars who influenced the Protestant Reformation, he also wrote the influential In Praise of Folly. "Most holy was his living," said one observer, "most holy his dying" (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).