February 4, 856: Rabanus Maurus, a theologian and educator mentored by Alcuin, dies at age 80. His "retirement" from school administration at age 66 was followed by a career as archbishop of Mainz, Germany.
February 4, 1555: English reformer and theologian John Rogers becomes the first Protestant martyr under "Bloody" Mary I when he is burned at the stake for heresy (see issue 48: Thomas Cranmer).
February 4, 1906: Lutheran pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is born in Breslau, Germany. Author of The Cost of Discipleship (1937) and Letters from Prison (1944), he opposed the Nazis as one of Germany's Confessing Church leaders. Believing that Hitler was like a madman "driving a car into a group of innocent bystanders," he was privy various a plots to kill the leader. A particular assassination attempt was discovered around the time Bonhoeffer was arrested, though it is unclear whether he was directly connected to it. Bonhoeffer was imprisoned and eventually hanged—just days before Allied troops liberated the concentration camp where he was held (see issue 32: Dietrich Bonhoeffer).
March 26, 655: Deusdedit becomes the first English-born Archbishop of Canterbury. He served until 664.
March 26, 752: Stephen III assumes the papacy after Stephen II dies. But Stephen III is sometimes called Stephen II, since the real Stephen II hardly counts: he died a mere four days after his election!
March 26, 1831: Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the first black bishop in America, dies at age 71 (see issue 62: Bound for Canaan).