January 26, 1564: Pope Pius IV accepts and confirms the decrees of the Council of Trent by the bull Benedictus Deus. The product of the Counter Reformation, it improved church organization, strengthened the papacy, and blocked any reconciliation with Protestants (see issue 28: The 100 Most Important Events in Church History).
January 26, 1859: Millionaire inventor of the reaper, Cyrus McCormick, marries Nettie Fowler, a devoted Christian. Following Cyrus's death in 1884, Nettie used her enormous wealth to establish Chicago's McCormick Theological Seminary and to support the work of D.L. Moody, John R. Mott, and countless missionaries to Asia.
January 26, 1906: The Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), the oldest Pentecostal denomination, convenes its first General Assembly (see issue 58: Pentecostalism).
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 ...