January 12, 1167: Aelred, the Anglo-Saxon abbot who became one of the Middle Ages' best-known devotional writers, dies.
January 12, 1588: John Winthrop, a lawyer who became the first governor of the Puritans in Massachusetts, is born in Suffolk, England (see issue 41: American Puritans).
January 12, 1897: On the 2nd day of excavating papyri at Oxyrhynchus, papyrologists Bernard Pyne Grenfell and Arthur Surridge Hunt find a Greek literary papyrus of 'logia (sayings) of Jesus.' A full Coptic version found at Nag Hammadi 48 years later showed the Greek to be part of the Gospel of Thomas.
July 23, 1373: Saint Bridget (or Birgitta) of Sweden dies. The pious and charitable mystic and founder of the Bridgettine Order, greatly influenced the pope's decision to return to Rome.
July 23, 1583: Protestant printer John Day, who was responsible for publishing Hugh Latimer's sermons, Nicholas Ridley's "Friendly Farewell," and John Foxe's Book of Martyrs, dies (see issue 72: How We Got Our History).
July 23, 1742: Susannah Wesley, mother of John and Charles, dies. Born the twenty-fifth child in ...