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Christian History

Today in Christian History

October 11

October 11, 1521: Leo X conferred the title "Fidei Defensor" (Defender of the Faith) upon England's Henry VIII for his tract "The Assertion of the Seven Sacraments," written against Martin Luther. Three popes and 13 years later, Henry severed all ties with Rome, making the Church of England a separate church body (see issue 48: Thomas Cranmer).

October 11, 1531: Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli dies in the Battle of Kappel (see issue 4: Ulrich Zwingli).

October 11, 1551: The 13th Session of the Council of Trent opens to discuss the Eucharist. The Counter-Reformation Council affirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation and repudiated Lutheran, Calvinist, and Zwinglian eucharistic doctrines.

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October 16, 1311: The Council of Vienne opens to decide if the Templars, a military order sworn to protect Christian pilgrims, are heretical and too wealthy. Pope Clement V decided to suppress the order. Its leader was burned and members' possessions taken by the church. That decision was adamantly derided by the poet Dante and by later historians (see issue 40: The Crusades).

October 16, 1555: English reformers Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley are burned at the stake at the order of Roman Catholic ...

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