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Christian History

Today in Christian History

June 5

June 5, 754: English monk Boniface, missionary to Germany, dies with 50 other Christians in an attack by angry pagans. The missionary, famous for smashing pagan idols, also established a monastery at Fulda that is still the center of Roman Catholicism in Germany.

June 5, 988 (traditional date): Rus's Grand Prince Vladimir orders his people to be baptized into the Orthodox Christian faith. He personally oversaw the baptism of the majority of the population of Kiev, the capital of his realm (see issue 18: Russian Christianity).

June 5, 1191: England's Richard I (the Lion-hearted) of England sets sail for Muslim-controlled Acre in the Third Crusade. After helping Philip II, king of France, capture the city, Richard took Jaffa and negotiated Christian access to Jerusalem, also Muslim-controlled (see issue 40: The Crusades).

June 5, 1305: Bertrand de Got, who as Pope Clement V (1305-1314) moved the seat of papal power to Avignon, France, is born in Villandraut, France.

June 5, 1414: Bohemian reformer Jan Hus appears before the Council of Constance. Instead of allowing him to state his beliefs, the council only permitted him to answer trumped-up charges of heresy. Hus was condemned and burned the following July (see issue 68: Jan Hus)

June 5, 1661: English mathematician and physicist Isaac Newton is admitted as a student to Trinity College, Cambridge. But the "greatest scientific genius the world has ever known" actually spent less of his life studying science than theology, writing 1.3 million words on biblical subjects (see our special section on Newton in issue 30: Women in the Medieval Church).

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August 7, 317: Constantius II, Son of Constantine the Great and Roman emperor from 337 to 361, is born. During his lifetime, he outlawed pagan sacrifice (see "The Emperor Strikes Back" in issue 57: The Conversion of Rome). But Constantius was also a devout Arian (a heresy his father had condemned at the Council of Nicea) and strongly opposed Athanasius (see issue 51: Heresy in the Early Church).

August 7, 1409: The Council of Pisa, convened by the cardinals to end the Great Schism that had divided ...

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