December 6, 345 (traditional date): Nicholas, bishop of Myra, one of the most popular saints in the Greek and Latin churches—and Santa Claus's namesake—dies.
December 6, 1273: Following a tremendous mystical experience while conducting Mass, Thomas Aquinas suspends work on his Summa Theologica. "I can do no more," he told his servant. "Such things have been revealed to me that all that I have written seems to me as so much straw. Now I await the end of my life (see issue 73: Thomas Aquinas).
December 10, 1520: German reformer Martin Luther publicly burns Pope Leo X's bull "Exsurge Domine," which had demanded that Luther recant his heresies—including justification by faith alone (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).
December 10, 1561: German theologian Caspar Schwenkfeld, a reformer who fell out of favor with the "mainstream" Reformation movement because of his Christology (he believed Christ's humanity was deified), dies (see issue 21: Caspar Schwenkfeld).