June 9, 68: Nero Claudius Caesar, the ruler to whom the Apostle Paul appealed for justice (Acts 25:10) and who ordered the first imperial persecution of Christians, commits suicide (see issue 47: Paul and His Times).
June 9, 597: Columba, Irish missionary to Scotland and founder of a monastery on the island of Iona, dies at age 76. Though more monk than missionary, he established churches that went on, in time, to evangelize the Picts and the English (see issue 60: How the Irish Were Saved).
June 9, 1549: England's Act of Uniformity, passed by Parliament in January, takes effect. The act ordered that religious services be consistent throughout the country, using Thomas Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer (see issue 48: Thomas Cranmer).
June 9, 1784: Pope Pius VI names John Carroll, the first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States, as superior of the American mission.
June 9, 1834: William Carey, often called "the father of modern Protestant missions" dies, having spent 41 years in India without a furlough. His mission could count only about 700 converts, but he had laid a foundation of Bible translations, education, and social reform. He also inspired the missionary movement of the nineteenth century, especially with his cry, "Expect great things; attempt great things" (see issue 36: William Carey).
December 5, 220 (traditional date): Clement of Alexandria, the first early church theologian to show an extensive knowledge of pagan and Christian writings (in his refutations of pagan criticisms), dies.
December 5, 532: Sabas, a monk since childhood, dies at age 91, five days after returning from a diplomatic mission to Constantinople. Though his primary desire was always for solitude with God, he founded a monastery in Palestine, Mar Saba, that still stands today (see issue 64: Antony and the Desert ...