Today in Christian History

February 26

February 26, 398: John Chrysostom, the greatest preacher of the early church, becomes bishop of Constantinople. So well-regarded was his preaching that he earned the name Chrysostom: "golden-mouth." He was exiled in 403 for his outspoken criticism of his congregation, including Empress Eudoxia. After the church recalled him, he again offended Eudoxia, who exiled him again. He died three years later (see issue 44: John Chrysostom).

February 26, 1536: Swiss Protestants sign the First Helvetic Confession, the first uniform confession of faith for all German-speaking Switzerland and an important Reformation document.

February 26, 1857: American Congregational clergyman Charles Sheldon, author of more than 50 books and editor of the Christian Herald, is born in Wellsville, New York. His most famous work, In His Steps (1896), sold more than 23 million copies and spawned the recent "What Would Jesus Do?" phenomenon (see issue 66: How the West Was Reall Won).

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May 22, 337: Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome, dies. Though known for calling the Council of Nicea (which condemned the Arian heresy) and for beginning the process of Christianizing the empire, he waited until just before his death before he finally accepted baptism into the church (see issue 57: Converting the Empire).

May 22, 452: Leo, bishop of Rome, sends three angry letters to protest the Council of Chalcedon's recent elevation of Constantinople to the preeminent see in Christendom. ...

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