March 14, 1872: Journalist Henry Stanley and explorer-missionary David Livingstone part company, having spent the last five months in Africa together. Stanley returned to England to write his bestseller, How I Found Livingstone. Livingstone, in the meantime, got lost again—in a swamp literally up to his neck. Within a year and a half, he died in a mud hut, kneeling beside his cot in prayer (see issue 56: David Livingstone).
March 14, 1937: Pope Pius XI issues an encyclical against the Nazi "cult": "Race, nation, state . . . all have an essential and honorable place within the secular order," he wrote. "To abstract them, however, from the earthly scale of values and make them the supreme norm of all values, including religious ones, and divinize them with an idolatrous cult, is to be guilty of perverting and falsifying the order of things created and commanded by God" (see issue 32: Dietrich Bonhoeffer).
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 ...