May 1, 1572: Pius V, pope from 1566, dies at age 68. A reforming pope, he ordered bishops and clergy to accept the propositions of the Council of Trent, but he also vehemently opposed the Reformation. He rarely hesitated to use the Inquisition in Italy and hastily excommunicated England's Elizabeth I (creating serious problems for English Catholics).
May 1, 1873: Missionary-explorer David Livingstone dies. Responsible for "opening up" central Africa and for popularizing missions to that continent, Livingstone himself only made one convert—who later backslid. Still, he is widely considered one of Christianity's missionary heroes (see issue 56: David Livingstone).
May 26, 1521: The Edict of Worms formally condemns Martin Luther's teachings and he is put under the ban of the Holy Roman Emperor. Those who fear for his life then kidnap Luther and hide him in Frederick’s Wartburg castle (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).
May 26, 1232: Pope Gregory IX sends the first Inquisition team to Aragon (in present-day Spain).
May 26, 1647: Massachusetts enacts a law forbidding any Jesuit or Roman Catholic priest from entering Puritan jurisdictions. Second-time ...