November 13, 354: Augustine of Hippo, the greatest of the Latin church fathers and author of Confessions and City of God, is born in Thagaste—modern Souq Ahras, Algeria (see issue 15:Augustine and issue 67:Augustine).
November 13, 867: Nicholas I, one of the strongest proponents for Rome's primacy in the church, dies. Though a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, he is not to be confused with the bishop of Myra who is also called St. Nicholas and was popularized as Santa Claus.
November 13, 1618: The Dutch Reformed Church convenes the Synod of Dort to "discuss" the Arminian controversy. Of course, the synod's condemnation of Arminianism was a forgone conclusion—Arminians weren't even invited for another month. By April, 200 Arminian ministers (known as Remonstrants) were deposed by the Calvinist Synod, 15 were arrested, and one was beheaded for high treason.
November 13, 1938: The Roman Catholic church makes Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, the first American saint.
January 27, 398: John Chrysostom, the greatest preacher of his age, is consecrated bishop of Constantinople (see issue 44: John Chrysostom).
January 27, 417: Pelagius, a British monk, is excommunicated for heresy. He was condemned for denying original sin and claiming that men could become righteous purely by the exercise of free will. (see issue 51: Heresy in the Early Church).
January 27, 1302: On a trumped-up charge of hostility to the church and corrupt practices, Dante Alighieri is fined heavily ...