February 6, 891: Photius, patriarch of Constantinople from 858-867, dies after a series of excommunications and restorations. His 867 encyclical, which denounced the presence of Latin missionaries in Bulgaria as an intrusion and objected to the filioque clause in the creed ("the Holy Ghost . . . who proceeds from the Father and the Son"), was significant in the East-West conflict that eventually led to the "Great Schism" (see issue 54: Eastery Orthodoxy).
February 6, 1564: Carried to church in a chair, John Calvin preaches his last sermon three months before his death (see issue 12: John Calvin).
February 6, 1820: Eighty-six free black colonists sail from New York to Sierra Leone, Africa. Though white abolitionists initially supported such emigration efforts, most free blacks (and eventually more radical white abolitionists) denounced the effort as racist and ultimately proslavery (see issue 62: Bound For Canaan).
March 21, 547: Italian monk Benedict, author of the Benedictine rule (which established the pattern for European monastic life through the Middle Ages), dies at Monte Cassino. In 1965 Pope Paul VI proclaimed him the patron saint of Europe.
March 21, 1146: At the urging of Bernard of Clairvaux (one of the most famous theologians and monks of his day), France's King Louis VII announces he will lead the Second Crusade to regain the crusader capital of Edessa. When he failed two years later, Christians ...