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 23, 332 (traditional date): Gregory the Illuminator, who converted a nation before Constantine even embraced Christianity, dies. A missionary to his homeland of Armenia, he converted King Tiridates, and much of the kingdom followed suit. Soon Christianity was established as the national religion, with Gregory as its bishop (see issue 57: Conversion of Rome).
March 23, 1540: Waltham Abbey in Essex becomes the last monastery in England to transfer its allegiance from the Catholic Church to the ...