January

417

Pope Innocent I excommunicated Pelagius, writing, “We judge by the authority of Apostolic power that Pelagius and Celestius be deprived of ecclesiastical communion, until they return to the faith out of the snares of the devil.…” (1600th anniversary)

1867

Ambatonakanga Memorial Church opened in Madagascar in honor of Christians marytred under the cruel queen Ranavalona. (150th anniversary)

1867

Members of the newly organized Evangelical Alliance elected William E. Dodge, a leading merchant, industrialist, and philanthropist to be their president. In their charter they affirmed their belief in “the divine-human person and atoning work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as the only and sufficient source of salvation, as the heart and soul of Christianity, and as the center of all true Christian union and fellowship.” The alliance organized prayer gatherings and conferences, and issued appeals in behalf of persecuted Christians. (150th anniversary)
March

1517

Needing money to rebuild St. Peter’s basilica, Pope Leo X announced a special sale of indulgences. The teaching that time in purgatory could be shortened with money angered the monk Martin Luther, and inspired him to post Ninety-Five Theses in response—and the Reformation was the result. (500th anniversary)
April

617

Donnan and fifty-three other monks on the Hebrides Island of Eigg were massacred at the command of a Pictish queen. (1400th anniversary)

1367

Pope Urban sails from Avignon, France, to Italy to restore the papacy to Rome. (650th anniversary)

1767

A sealed letter from Charles III of Spain was opened by authorities throughout Spain and the next morning every Jesuit in the realm was arrested, placed aboard ship, and expelled from the country. (250th anniversary)

1817

In Hartford, Connecticut, American clergyman Thomas H. Gallaudet and deaf Frenchman Laurent Clerc opened the the American Asylum, probably the first American school for the deaf. (200th anniversary)
May

1567

Guido de Brès, author of the Belgic Confession, was hanged for his faith. (450th anniversary)

1917

Three children claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary in the town of Fatima in Portugal, giving rise to the cult of Fatima. (100th anniversary)
June

1567

Richard Fitz and several other separatists were arrested in Plumber’s Hall, London, where they were holding a meeting under the guise of a wedding. This is regarded as a red-letter day in the formation of the Congregationalist movement. (450th anniversary)
July

1567

Albert of Prussia published a Lutheran Corpus Doctrinae Pruthenicum (Collection of Prussian Doctrine) with a preface that stated “no one shall be admitted to any office in Church or school who does not approve of and accept it.” This was intended to put an end to difficulties that had arisen through his acceptance of the teachings of Osiander. (450th anniversary)
August

1917

An All-Russian Church Council convened in Moscow and restored the Patriarchial form of church government abolished by Peter the Great almost two hundred years earlier in 1721. (100th anniversary)

1917

Cameron Townsend set off from home to do mission work. Eventually he would found Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Summer Institute of Linguistics. (100th anniversary)
September

1217

The Dominicans arrived in Paris for the first time and went straight to the center of the city to begin mission work. (800th anniversary)

1717

The first synod of the Presbyterian Church in America met in Philadelphia. (300th anniversary)
October

1817

Samuel Leigh, Methodist missionary to Australia, opened the first Methodist church built in Australia, the work of John Lees, a farmer. It was one preaching place on a thirteen-stop circuit that Leigh established. (200th anniversary)
November

867

Death of Pope Nicholas I the Great, who had been a strong proponent for Roman primacy in the church. (1150th anniversary)

1317

(probable date) Death of Yaballah III, originally known as Rabban Markos from Peking (Beijing), who had traveled west with Bar Sauma, and become a Patriarch of the East Syrian Church. (700th anniversary)

1867

St. Innocent of Alaska (John Venianinov) was appointed Metropolitan of Moscow. He undertook revisions of many church texts, raised funds to improve the living conditions of priests, and established a retirement home for priests. (150th anniversary)
December

1917

The Bolsheviks in Russia confiscated church lands, canceled state subsidies for the church, made marriage a civil ordinance, and nationalized the schools, abolishing all religious instruction. (100th anniversary)