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Christian History

Today in Christian History

November 1

November 1, 451: The Council of Chalcedon (in modern Turkey) adjourns. The fourth and largest of all the ancient councils, attended by between 500 and 600 bishops, it repudiated the Eutychian heresy (that Christ has one nature, not two) and drew up a Christological statement of faith now known as the Definition of Chalcedon (see issue 51: Heresy in the Early Church).

November 1, 1512: After four years of work, Michelangelo Buonarroti unveils his 5,800-square-foot painting on the ceiling of the Vatican's Sistine Chapel.

November 1, 1776: Spanish Franciscan missionaries found San Juan Capistrano Mission in California, one of 21 missions founded in the region between 1769 and 1823 (see issue 35: Christopher Columbus).

November 1, 1950: Pope Pius XII releases his "Munificentissimus Deus," proclaiming the "Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary." The doctrine teaches that Mary was taken in body and soul into heaven at the end of her life. The belief was first propounded in Christian circles by Gregory of Tours in the late 500s.

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April 22, 1418: The Council of Constance ends, having finally ended the Great Western Schism. When the schism began nearly 40 years earlier, three men had reasonable claims to the papacy. The council deposed all three and elected Martin V. (Martin then turned around and rejected further councils' right to depose a pope.) Though that part of the council is regarded as a triumph, the council also hastily condemned Jan Hus, a Bohemian preacher and forerunner of Protestantism, and sentenced him to execution ...

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