January 27, 398: John Chrysostom, the greatest preacher of his age, is consecrated bishop of Constantinople (see issue 44: John Chrysostom).
January 27, 417: Pelagius, a British monk, is excommunicated for heresy. He was condemned for denying original sin and claiming that men could become righteous purely by the exercise of free will. (see issue 51: Heresy in the Early Church).
January 27, 1302: On a trumped-up charge of hostility to the church and corrupt practices, Dante Alighieri is fined heavily and perpetually excluded from political office (he was a chief magistrate). Further condemned in March and driven out of Florence in April, Dante began writing The Divine Comedy, an epic poem in which he travels through hell, purgatory, and heaven (see issue 70: Danle Alighieri).
March 3, 1263: French cardinal, Hugh of St. Cher, dies. He reputedly compiled the first Bible concordance and was the first person to divide the Old and New Testaments into chapters.
March 3, 1547: At the Seventh Session of the Council of Trent, the Roman Catholic church defines its theology of the sacraments. Arguing that seven sacraments are necessary for salvation—Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Orders, and Matrimony—the council rejected the teaching ...