History of Christianity

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See also History of the Roman Empire


“Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.” Voltaire


 He who begins by loving Christianity better than Truth will proceed by loving his own sect or church better than Christianity, and end by loving himself better than all” Samuel Taylor Coleridge


“Fanaticism consists of redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.” George Santayana


Colour key:


Abbeys and Cathedrals (foundation)

Church condemnation of socialism

Origins of Church doctrines and practices

Church reform, 16th century





Female participation

Gay Participation


Bible and Prayerbook Developments – see appendix 1

Conversion and Missionary work – see appendix 2

Papal Succession – see appendix 3

Religious buildings – see appendix 4


26/1/2015, The Church of England appointed its first woman bishop. The Reverend Libby Lane became suffragan Bishop of Stockport at a ceremony in York Cathedral.

16/9/2010, Pope Benedict XVI commenced the first Papal visit to Britain since King Henry VIII split with Rome.

19/10/2003, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was beatified.

6/8/2003, Gene Robinson became the first openly gay Anglican bishop.

7/7/2003, Canon Jeffrey John, first would-be gay bishop in the Church of England, withdrew his acceptance of the post of the Bishop of Reading, after discussions with church leaders.

14/8/2002, Pope John Paul II drew a crowd of two million at a papal Mass in Krakow, on his 9th visit to his native Poland.

22/11/2001, Pope John Paul II sent the first Papal email from a laptop in his office.

15/6/1994, Israel and The Vatican established full diplomatic relations.

12/3/1994, The Church of England ordained its first women priests. 32 were ordained.

25/4/1993. Pope John Paul II made the first Papal visit to Albania, until then the world’s only officially atheist state.

21/3/1993, Pope John Paul II declared Duns Scotus a saint.

10/2/1993. The Pope, John Paul II, called for an end to the persecution of Christians in Sudan.

11/11/1992. UK General Synod voted for ordination of women.

31/10/1992. The Vatican admitted that Galileo was right when he said the Earth revolved around the Sun.

26/4/1992, Worshippers celebrated Easter at the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow for the first time in 74 years.

6/3/1991. Dr George Carey was elected Archbishop of Canterbury.

24/6/1990, The Anglican Church ordained its first two women deacons, at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. Kathleen Young, a 50-year-old physiotherapist from Carrickfergus, County Antrim, and Irene Templeton, 49, from Belfast, were ordained.

24/10/1989, Fake US TV preacher Jim Bakker was sentenced to 45 years in prison and fined US$ 500,000 for swindling millions of dollars out of his followers.

8/3/1989, The Vatican dismissed Archbishop Paul Marcinkus from his position as chief of the Vatican’s bank. which had made losses of  US$ 88 million.

4/3/1989, Pope John Paul II branded Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses blasphemous for suggesting that part of the Koran was inspired by the Devil.

28/2/1989, Hereford Cathedral dropped plans to sell the Mediaeval Mappa Mundi to raise money.

30/10/1988, The head of the Unification Church, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, presided over a mass wedding of 6,516 couples in Korea.

13/10/1988, The Turin Shroud was declared to be a fake; it was dated to between 1260 and 1390.

30/10/1988, The head of the Unification Church, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, presided over a mass wedding of 6,516 couples in Korea.

5/7/1988, The Church of England voted for the ordination of women.

19/9/1987, The Pope concluded his visit to the US.

10/3/1987. The Roman Catholic Church banned contraception by artificial means.

13/4/1986, Pope John Paul II visited a synagogue in Rome, the first time a modern Pope had visited a synagogue.

2/7/1985, The General Synod of the Church of England approved the ordination of women, despite strong opposition within the Church.

3/6/1985. In Italy, compulsory Roman Catholic instruction in schools ended and Catholicism was no longer the state religion.

27/12/1983, Pope John Paul II met his would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali, in a prison cell in Rome after conducting a Christmas service at the prison.  There were growing rumours that the Bulgarian secret services were involved in the assassination attempt.  Ali had been imprisoned for life for the crime.

9/5/1983, Pope John Paul II retracted the ban on Galileo Galilei.

1982, The Roman Catholic Church ceased automatically excommunicating Freemasons.

21/7/1982. The Reverend Moon, of the Unification Church or Moonies, married 4,000 in a mass ceremony in New York.

17/6/1982, The body of Roberto Calvi, a key figure in the Banco Ambrosiano scandal, was found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge, London. Archbishop Marcinkus, President of the Vatican Bank, was also linked to the affair.

29/5/1982. Pope John Paul II visited Canterbury Cathedral with the Archbishop. On 30/5/1982 he visited Coventry Cathedral, and spoke of his hope for an end to war.

28/5/1982, Pope John Paul II landed at Gatwick Airport, becoming the first Pope to visit the United Kingdom for 450 years.

12/5/1982, A Spanish priest, Juan Hernandes, tried to stab Pope John Paul II with a bayonet as he visited the Fatima shrine on a pilgrimage.

5/12/1981. Elizabeth Canham, a British theology teacher, was ordained priest in the USA. She was the first British woman to become a priest.

13/5/1981. Pope John Paul II, seriously injured in the stomach, survived an assassination attempt in St Peter’s Square in Rome, by a Turkish terrorist, Mehmet Ali Agca, in front of 20,000 people. Agca had escaped from Turkey where he was being held for murder; he shot the Pope ‘in protest at American and Russian imperialism’.

25/3/1980, Robert Runcie became the 102nd Archbishop of Canterbury.

29/9/1979, Pope John Paul II arrived in Ireland, the first ever papal visit there.

2/6/1979. Pope John Paul II visited his native Poland. He was the first Pope to visit a Communist country.

25/1/1979, Pope John Paul II visited Latin America.

25/8/1978, The Shroud of Turin went on public display for the first time in 45 years.

6/8/1978, Pope Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini) died, aged 80.

17/6/1977. The feminist claim that God is a woman was supported by no less than the Jesuit journal Civitta Cattolica, published fortnightly in Rome.

15/1/1976. The Roman Catholic Church condemned sex outside marriage and said homosexuality could not be condoned.

1975, The Anglican Church in Canada approved of women being ordained as priests.

14/9/1975, Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was canonised by Pope Paul VI to become the first American ‘saint’.

24/1/1975, Dr Donald Coggan was enthroned as the 101st Archbishop of Canterbury, succeeding Michael Ramsey.

1974, In the US, Church attendance stood at 40%. Amongst Roman Catholics it was 55%, down from 71% in 1963.

14/5/1974, Dr Donald Coggan was made Archbishop of Canterbury.

16/4/1973. The Church of England said that practising homosexuals would not be accepted for training as priests after a radio statement by the Archbishop of York said that many clergymen were homosexuals.

5/10/1972. The Congregational Church and the Presbyterian Church of England combined to form the United Reformed Church.

1970, Pope Paul IV declared that priestly celibacy was a fundamental principle of the Catholic Church.

27/11/1970. Pope Paul IV was unharmed after a knife-wielding assailant dressed as a priest attempted to attack him at Manila Airport.

22/6/1970, The Methodist Church said it would ordain female ministers.

1969, A Gallup Poll in the US showed that 70% of people felt the influence of religion was declining in the USA.

29/7/1968, The Pope condemned all forms of birth control.

23/3/1966. In Rome the first official meeting for 400 years between the heads of the Catholic and Anglican Churches took place, Pope Paul VI met with Dr Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury.

1965, The Salvation Army, now 100 years old, had 27,000 members.

4/10/1965, Pope Paul VI visited New York City; the first Papal visit to America.

6/1/1964. Pope Paul VI finished a three-day tour of the Holy Land, the first Pope to visit there since Christianity began. He was also the first Pope to leave Italy for over 150 years. On 5/1/1964 Pope Paul VI met the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in Jerusalem, the first meeting between the heads of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches for 500 years.

3/1/1962, Pope John XXIII excommunicated Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

27/6/1961, Dr Ramsey was enthroned as the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury in Canterbury Cathedral.

23/5/1957. The Church of England broke with tradition by allowing divorcees to take Communion. The Bible taught that marriage was for life, but Britain’s legal system allowed divorce.

8/12/1956, The Polish government completed a process of reconciliation with the Catholic Church. Cardinal Wyszynski had been released from prison on 26/10/1956, and on this day the Church was now free to make its own ecclesiastical appointments. Religious teaching in schools, and religious posts in hospitals and the army, were restored. Criticism of government policies in church sermons was permitted.

24/2/1954, The American evangelist Billy Graham arrived in London on a three-month ‘crusade’.

10/1953, The first Scientology church was founded in Camden, New Jersey, USA, by L. Ron Hubbard, his wife Mary Sue Hubbard, and John Galusha.

2/1/1952, Pope Pius X declared that television was a threat to family life.

23/8/1948, The World Council of Churches was formed.

25/1/1944, In Macao the Reverend Florence Tim-Oi Lee became the first woman Anglican Priest

6/11/1942. The Church of England relaxed its rule that women must wear hats in church.

26/9/1942, Wilson Carlile, British clergyman who founded the Church Army in 1882, died aged 95.

31/5/1939, Terry Waite, envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury, was born.

4/5/1938. The Vatican recognised Franco as leader of Spain.

17/12/1936, Pope Francis I was born.

24/5/1935. Pope Pius IX condemned the German sterilisation of 56,244 ‘inferior’ German citizens.

25/9/1933, 25,000 visited Turin Cathedral to gaze at the Turin Shroud, revealed to the public for the first time in 400 years, which purportedly showed the face of Jesus.

20/9/1933, Annie Besant, co-founder of the Theosophical Society, died.

8/7/1933, The Vatican signed a concordat with Nazi Germany; this did not protect German Catholics from persecution.

1931, The International Bible Students Association adopted the name Jehovah’s Witnesses.

2/9/1931, Mussolini made a pact with The Vatican.

31/5/1931. The Pope denounced Mussolini’s Fascists following attacks on priests and church property.

15/5/1931. Pope Pius XI condemned Communism.

25/7/1929. Pope Pius XI became the first Pope for 59 years to leave the Vatican. The creation of the Papal state under the Lateran treaties had clarified the politico-legal position of the Pope, who until then had been a virtual prisoner within the Vatican.

7/6/1929. The Papal State, extinct since 1870, was revived as the Vatican City State in Rome under the Lateran Treaty.

11/2/1929. The 109 acres of the Vatican in Rome were made an independent state under the Lateran Treaty, which was signed by Benito Mussolini and Pietro Gasparri, Pope Pius XI.

21/5/1928. In Italy, Catholics were told to disassociate themselves from Fascism.

1925, The Jesuits had 18,718 members in 32 countries.

10/7/1925, The Scopes trial began in Dayton Tennessee.  Mr Scopes, a science teacher, was accused of teaching evolution and so breaching State laws against teaching ideas contradicting the Bible.  The real issue was the role of the State in determining the religious nature of school education.  The outcome was inconclusive.  Scopes was found guilty on 21/7/1925 but the US$100 penalty was set aside on a technicality.

23/3/1925. US Tennessee law prohibited the teaching of evolution.

18/12/1924, Pope Pius XI denounced the USSR.

4/6/1923, In Spain, the Archbishop of Saragossa was murdered.

2/3/1923, Cardinal Basil Hume, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster from 1976, was born.

18/5/1920. Pope John Paul II was born as Karolum Wojtyla in the market town of Wadowice, near Krakow, Poland. He was the son of a junior officer in the Polish Army.

16/5/1920, Joan of Arc was canonised.

7/11/1918. Billy Graham, US evangelist, was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, the son of a diary farmer.

13/5/1917, At Fatima, a small town in north east Portugal, three shepherd girls aged 10 -  13 saw a vision of a lady outside the town.  The vision reappeared at monthly intervals and on 13/10/1917 declared itself to be ‘Our Lady of the Rosary’

31/10/1916, Charles Taze Russell, who founded the modern-day Jehovah’s Witnesses, died.

1914, Bournemouth finally permitted Sunday trains. Sunday steamers, however, remained forbidden until 1929.

19/8/1912. William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, born on 10/4/1829, died aged 83. He was succeeded as leader of the Salvation Army on 21/8/1912 by Mr Bramwell Booth.

16/5/1912, MPs backed a Bill that would disestablish the Church in Wales, despite opposition by church leaders.

12/11/1911. Rev. Chad Varah, founder of The Samaritans, was born

11/1/1911, The Jehovah’s Witnesses released their film, The Photodrama of Creation, in New York. By the end of 1911 nine million people had seen it, mainly in N America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

3/12/1910. Mary Baker Eddy, American founder of the Christian Scientists, died.

3/4/1910, While in Rome, former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt announced that he would not meet with Pope Leo XIII because of the Vatican's request that Roosevelt not meet first with local Methodists. In March, former Vice-President Charles W. Fairbanks declined an audience for the same reason.

18/4/1909, Joan of Arc was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church; she was canonised in 1920.

2/1/1907. Anti-clerical laws in France forbade the crucifix in schools.

2/2/1906. 530 injured in Paris in dispute over Church property.

9/12/1905, In France, the Church and State were legally separated.

1/8/1905, The founder of the Salvation Army, General William Booth, began a 2,000 mile crusade round Britain.

12/10/1904, The Polish Archbishop, Wincenty Popiel, condemned socialism as being subversive of all institutions.

18/3/1903, An anti-clerical French Government dissolved all religious orders.

11/12/1901, The American Federation of Catholic Societies was founded at a meeting in Cincinnati after members amended the initial proposal to exclude women from a federation of all the Roman Catholic societies in the United States.

2/1/1901, The first municipal crematorium was opened in Britain, by the Lord Mayor in Hull.

1899, The International Gideons Association was founded. They are best known for their placing of Bibles in hotel rooms.

26/9/1897, Pope Paul V was born in Concessio, as Giovanni Battista Montini.

15/5/1891, A Papal Encyclical urged employers to fulfil their moral duty to improve conditions for their workers.

21/11/1890, The Lincoln Judgment, concerning the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury, was delivered.

6/10/1890, The Mormons in Utah renounced polygamy.

29/10/1886, James Hannington, first Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, was murdered.

2/6/1883, Rioting at Stromeferry, Scotland, to try to prevent fish being despatched to London as so desecrating the Sabbath.

1881, Pubs in Wales were forbidden from opening on Sundays, contributing to the growth in illegal drinking dens.

25/11/1881, Pope John XXIII was born in Sotto il Monte, near Bergamo, Italy, as Angelo Guiseppe Roncali, the son of a peasant.

14/7/1880. Bismarck ended his Kulturkampf, or anti-Catholic policy.

30/3/1880. France expelled the Jesuits from its territory. Jules Ferry, the Minister of public instruction, wished to create a public education system free from Church domination.

1879, Anti-Jesuit legislation enacted in France.

28/12/1878, Pope Leo XIII issued an encyclical, Quod apolostici muneris, condemning the rise of socialism, communism, the nihilists and anarchists.

29/8/1877. The Mormon leader Brigham Young died.

2/3/1876, Pope Pius X was born in Rome, as Eugenio Pacelli.

30/10/1875. In the USA, Mary Baker Eddy published Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, arguing that illness is illusory and laying the basis for Christian Science.

1872, Jesuits expelled from Germany.

2/10/1871, Mormon leader Brigham Young was arrested for bigamy.

12/7/1871. In New York, 31 civilians and 2 policemen were dead after fighting between Scots/Irish Presbyterians and Irish Catholics.

8/7/1871. Bismarck launched a cultural offensive against the Catholic Church, abolishing the Catholic Department for Spiritual Affairs.

1870, Charles Taze Russell and others formed a Bible Study Group, which later became the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

18/7/1870. Pope Pius IX obtained a declaration from the Vatican General Council that the papacy was infallible in all its pronouncements, per se and not by virtue of the assent of the Church.

2/10/1870 In a plebiscite, the Papal States voted to unite with Italy. The capital of Italy was moved from Florence to Rome. This was under the reign of Pope Pius IX.

1865, The Seventh Day Adventist Church was founded by Ellen G White (nee Harmon, born 1827) and her husband.

2/7/1865. The Salvation Army was founded, by William Booth, with a revival meeting in Whitechapel, London.

6/11/1861, James A Naismyth, American physical educator and director of the International YMCA in Springfield Massachusetts, inventor of basketball, was born.

9/7/1860, Massacre of Christians in Damascus.

15/6/1858, Christians were massacred in Jeddah.

11/2/1858. At Lourdes, a 14 year old peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, claimed to have seen a vision of a lady surrounded by light in a grotto.

31/5/1857, Pope Pius XI was born.

8/12/1854. Pope Pius IX settled an ancient controversy by declaring that Christ’s mother, Mary, was free of all sin the moment she was born.

16/2/1852, Charles Taze Russell, American who organised the start of modern-day Jehovah’s Witnesses, was born in Pittsburgh.

1848, The Jesuits were suppressed in Italy.

3/9/1847, James Hannington, first Bishop of Equatorial Africa, was born.

24/7/1847. A group of Mormons under Brigham Young founded a settlement on the banks of the Great Salt Lake, Utah. The Mormons had been driven by mobs from their former homes in Illinois.

14/1/1847, Wilson Carlile, English clergyman who founded the Church Army, was born in Buxton, Derbyshire.

14/12/1844. China relaxed a ban on the Roman Catholic Church.

8/8/1844. The Mormons chose Brigham Young as leader to replace Joseph Smith, see 27/6/1844.

27/6/1844. Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, died. He was killed, along with his brother Hyrum, by a 200-strong mob in Carthage prison, Illinois,  where they had been held on riot charges. The brothers had destroyed the offices of a rival Mormon newspaper. This followed months of tension between the Mormon settlers, who came to Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1839, and locals who resented Mormon political and economic power. Mormon polygamy was also a contentious issue.

6/6/1844. George Williams founded the YMCA at 72 St Paul’s Churchyard, London.

25/12/1843. The first Christmas card was designed by John Calcott Horsley for Sir Henry Cole. The design was of three generations of a Victorian family sitting round a festive table, toasting an absent guest. Some objected that the illustration encouraged drunkenness. Sir Cole said he was too busy at business to send letters to all his friends as was his custom, so he had 1,000 cards printed up, selling the surplus for 1 shilling each. By 1862 cards featured ‘A Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year’; then holly and robins appeared in the illustrations, and by 1871 a daily newspaper complained that people were trying to outdo each other in how many cards they received, and the consequent delay in other post.  The GPO adopted the slogan ‘Post Early For Christmas’ for the first time in 1880. Christmas crackers appeared in the 1840s. However Christmas trees date back to around 1605 where they were seen in Strasbourg.  In Alsace fir trees, or maien, were set up on May Day as far back as 1521.

10/5/1840. The Mormon leader Joseph Smith moved his followers to Illinois to escape hostility in Missouri.

2/6/1835, Pope Pius X was born.

15/7/1834, The Spanish Inquisition, founded in 1478, was disbanded.

6/4/1831, The Mormon leader, Brigham Young, married his 27th and final wife.

6/4/1830. Joseph Smith, in Fayette, New York State, founded the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, whose adherents are better known as Mormons.

10/4/1829, William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, was born in Nottingham, the son of a builder.

22/9/1827. Joseph Smith, son of an impoverished New England farmer, announced that he had received golden plates from an angel. From this he translated the Book of Mormon, leading to the founding of the Mormon religion.

25/2/1825, Quote from Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “He who begins by loving Christianity better than Truth will proceed by loving his own sect or church better than Christianity, and end by loving himself better than all

11/10/1821. Sir George Williams, founder of the YMCA in 1844, was born in Dulverton, Somerset.

16/7/1821, Mary Baker Eddy, American religious leader who founded the Christian Scientists, was born in Bow, New Hampshire.

1820, Jesuits expelled from Rome. They were suppressed in Spain, 1820-25, and again from 1835-44 and in 1868.

1817, The Jesuits were severely restricted in Russia, and expelled from there in 1820.

1815, The Jesuits were re-established in Naples, Sardinia and Spain.

1814, Pope Pius VII returned to Rome, after Napoleon was vanquished, and restored the Inquisition.

7/8/1814, Pope Pius VII re-established the Jesuits’ ancient college, the Collegio Romano, in Rome.

2/3/1810, Pope Leo XIII was born, as Gioacchino Vincenzo Pecci, in Carpineto, the son of a Count.

1808, Napoleon abolished the Inquisition in Spain and Italy.

23/12/1805, Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), was born in Sharon, Vermont.

1804, The Jesuits were reconstituted in Sicily.

2/8/1803, Nicolas Wiseman, first Archbishop of Westminster, was born.

1801, Pope Pius VII permitted the reconstitution of the Jesuits in Lithuania.

1/6/1801, Brigham Young, American Mormon leader, was born in Whittingham, Vermont.

1799, The Duke of Parma allowed the reorganisation of the Jesuits; the Pope allowed this but did not approve.

13/5/1792, Pope Pius IX was born.

2/3/1791. John Wesley, founder of Methodism, died in London aged 87.  He was born on 17/6/1703 at Epworth Rectory.  His brother Charles Wesley, a hymn writer and preacher, was born on 18/12/1707 and died in 1788.

29/3/1788. The evangelist Charles Wesley, younger brother of John Wesley, died. He wrote over 5,000 hymns.

8/9/1784, Ann Lee, religious leader and founder of the US sect of the Shakers, died.

28/2/1784. John Wesley signed the Deed of Declaration of the Wesleyan faith.

1779, The Religious Tract Society was founded in London. Its aim was to distribute religious literature in the British colonies and other lands.

21/7/1773, Pope Clement XIV dissolved the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). This was the result of pressure from Spain and France, where the Jesuits had been found too unbending and zealous. They were also seen as a symbol of Papal interference in national secular affairs.

1772, The Inquisition was abolished in France.
1767, The Jesuits were expelled from Spain, Parma, and the Two Sicilies.

18/9/1765, Pope Gregory XVI was born.

26/11/1764, The Jesuits were suppressed in France.

20/11/1761, Pope Pius VIII was born.

22/8/1760, Pope Leo XII born.

1744, The first general conference of the Methodists was held.

11/7/1742, A Papal Bull condemned Jesuit tolerance of Confucianism in China.

14/8/1740, Pope Pius X was born

24/5/1738, During a reading of Martin Luther’s preface to the Bible Book of Romans, John Wesley had a religious inspiration that led him to found the Methodist Church.

28/4/1738. Pope Clement XII condemned freemasonry.

27/12/1717, Pope Pius VI was born.

1713, Jansenism, the Christeian sect originally led by Bishop Cornelius Jansen, Bishop of Ypres, was finally eradicated by Pope Clement XI. Similar to Calvinism, it had been condemned as heresy by Pope Innocent IV in 1654.

17/6/1703. The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, was born at Epworth, Lincolnshire. He was the 15th child of a rector who fathered 19 children.

1698, In London the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK) was formed by Dr Thomas Bray (1656 – 1730).

13/1/1691, George Fox, English religious leader who founded the Society of Friends in 1648 (often known as the Quakers from 1650) died in London.

13/5/1655, Pope Innocent XIII was born.

30/10/1650, ‘Quakers’, the more common name for the Religious Society of Friends, came into being during a court case at which George Fox, the founder, told magistrates to “quake and tremble at the word of the Lord”.

18/11/1626. St Peter’s Church in Rome was consecrated.

13/3/1615, Pope Innocent XII was born.

16/5/1611, Pope Innocent XI was born.

29/2/1604, John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.

See also Great Britain; religious conflict, 16th and 17th centuries

25/7/1587. The Japanese Emperor Hideyoshi banned Christianity, and ordered the Jesuits to leave within 20 days. The Jesuits were accused of selling the Japanese as slaves.

5/10/1582. Pope Gregory XIII cancelled 10 days from the 5th to the 15th October 1582 to bring back the Spring Equinox to the 21st March and ensure that Easter fell on the proper date. Under the old Julian calendar, established in 46 BC, the calendar gained a whole day every 128 years. The new system cut out three leap years every 400 years to maintain accuracy.

24/2/1582, Pope Gregory XIII announced a change from the Julian calendar to the new Gregorian calendar, entailing a forward move of 11 days, see 5/10/1582.

17/5/1575, Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.

6/5/1574, Pope Innocent X was born.

16/2/1568. The death sentence was passed on an entire country when the Spanish Inquisition condemned The Netherlands for heresy. During the first week of the plan to kill 3 million people, 800 were hanged, burnt, or killed by other means.

13/11/1564, The Tridentine Creed was promulgated.

27/5/1564, John Calvin, French theologian who helped spread the Protestant revolution, died.

26/1/1564, Pope Pius IV confirmed the declarations of the Council of Trent.

1/3/1562, Hugenots massacred at Wassy.

18/1/1562, The Council of Trent reconvened, after a suspension of ten years.

20/12/1560, The first assembly of the Church of Scotland.

1556, Jesuit Order established in Prague.

31/7/1556, Ignatius Loyola, Spanish soldier and priest, and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), died.

9/1/1554, Pope Gregory XV born.

27/10/1553, Michael Servetus, theologian, was burnt at the stake.

17/9/1552, Pope Paul V was born.

1552, The Jesuits founded the Collegium Germanicum, Rome.

1551, The Jesuits founded the Collegio Romano in Rome, as the Papal University.

21/11/1551, Papal Legate Francis Xavier and fellow Jesuits returned from a two-year missionary trip to Japan. The Mikado was at first unimpressed with Xavier’s humble dress, but when he returned in more suitable attire, with gifts, he was even granted a disused Buddhist monastery for his work. Xavire left behind a community of 2,000 Christians, and was impressed with Japanese society.

21/7/1550, The Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, was approved by Pope Julius III.

11/2/1548, English churches were ordered to remove all images of saints, as the Reformation proceeded.

18/2/1546. Martin Luther, Augustinian friar and instigator of the Reformation, died (see 31/10/1517), at his birthplace of Eisleben, Germany, at the age of 63, apparently of overwork.

13/12/1545, The Council of Trent began.

20/4/1545. The Waldensians were massacred in Provence.

1543, The first Protestants burned at the stake by the Spanish Inquisition. The Pope issued a list of books that it was forbidden for Roman Catholics to read.

21/7/1542, Pope Paul III established the Universal Inquisition in order to halt the Reformation by repression.

27/9/1540, The Society of Jesus was founded.

2/6/1537, A Papal Bull issued by Pope Paul III prohibited enslavement of American Indians, contrary to King Charles V’s policies. Paul excommunicated Catholic slave traders.

6/10/1536, William Tyndale, English religious reformer and translator of the Bible, was burned at the stake as a heretic in Vilvarde, Brussels, on the orders of King Henry VIII.

30/4/1536, The Inquisition was implemented in Portugal.

11/2/1535, Pope Gregory XIV was born.

See also Great Britain for religious conflicts during 16th century

15/1/1535, The Act of Supremacy was passed in England. This made King Henry VIII head of the Church.

1534, The Jesuits (Society of Jesus) was founded by Ignatius Loyola.

25/1/1533. King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn were secretly married by the Bishop of Lichfield, and became the future parents of Queen Elizabeth I.. Anne Boleyn was crowned at Westminster on 1/6/1533, shortly after Thomas Cranmer (who was appointed as Archbishop of Canterbury on 30/3/1533) had declared Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon null and void. On 23/5/1533 Henry VIII actually divorced Catherine of Aragon, resulting in a break between England and the Church of Rome.

18/1/1532, English Parliament banned payment by English churches to Rome.

11/10/1531, Ulrich Zwingli, Swiss Church reformer, was killed in a fight with soldiers from the Catholic-supporting Forest Cantons at Kappel, near Zurich. Zwingli was Chaplain to the Protestant troops from Zurich.

25/6/1530, The Confession of Augsburg was read to the Diet.

19/4/1529, At the Diet of Speyer, an alliance of German principalities and city states protested against the reinstatement of the Diet of Worms, so beginning the Protestant movement.

17/6/1527, The Protestant Reformation began in Sweden.

1525, The Capuchin order was founded.

19/1/1523, Huldreich Zwingli published his 67 Articles in Zurich. They attacked the authority of the Pope, and the concept of Transubstantiation.

11/10/1521. Pope Leo X (217th Pope) conferred the title of Defender of the Faith on King Henry VIII.  Twelve years later Henry VIII broke with Rome to marry Anne Boleyn.

18/4/1521, Martin Luther ended his defence at the Imperial Diet of Worms with the words “I cannot and will not recant anything.  God help me.  Amen”.

17/4/1521, Martin Luther, 38 years old, was excommunicated at the Diet of Worms.

16/4/1521, Martin Luther arrived at the Diet of Worms.

28/1/1521, The Diet of Worms began.

3/1/1521, Pope Leo X issued a Papal Bull excommunicating Martin Luther, after a deadline by which Luther had been ordered to recant his ‘heretical’ views expired. Martin Luther had condemned the sale of Indulgences (Papal forgiveness for sins) to raise funds for the Papacy.

11/8/1519, Johann Tetzel died in Leipzig Priory, aged 54. He defended the Church practice of selling indulgences (forgiveness), promoted by the Archbishop of Mainz as a  way of raising money for rebuilding St Peters in Rome.

31/10/1517. Martin Luther, born 10/11/1483 in Eisleben, Germany, nailed his 95 Theses to the church  door at Wittenburg, so starting the Reformation. He died on 18/2/1546. These theses condemned the sale of indulgences granting forgiveness of sin. On 15/6/1520 Pope Leo X condemned Luther’s theses as ‘heretical and scandalous’.

16/3/1517, The Fifth Lateran Council ended. The doctrine of ‘Immortality of the Soul’ was made Church dogma.

1515, The Fifth Lateran Council forbade the printing of any books without the permission of the Roman Catholic Church.

16/4/1515, Roman Catholic mass was banned in Zurich as the Lutheran Revolution spread across Europe.

28/3/1515, St Teresa of Avila was born. A Spanish noblewoman, she joined the Carmelite nuns in 1533, and reformed the order.

11/4/1514, Italian architect Donate Bramante died whilst still building St Peters in Rome, which he had begun in 1506.

11/10/1513, The Church reformer Huldrych Zwingli died (born 1/1/1484). He was killed, as Army Chaplain for the forces of Zurich, in battle during the War of Kappel, against the Forest Cantons.

3/5/1512, The Fifth Lateran Council began.

10/7/1509, John Calvin, French priest who spread the Reformation, was born at Noyon, Picardy.

1506, The Vatican City Swiss Guard was formed. Pope Julius II mad a contract with the Swiss Confederacy that no other country could recruit soldiers from Switzerland or emply Swiss mercenaries without Papal permission. The original Guard was 6,000 strong but now has just 100 men.

6/8/1504. Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, was born.  He had a very long nose, and was extremely inquisitive, hence the expression ‘nosey parker’.

See also Great Britain; religious conflict, 16th and 17th centuries

17/1/1504, Pope Pius V was born.

7/1/1502, Pope Gregory XIII born.

31/3/1499, Pope Pius IV was born.

19/12/1498, Andreas Osiander, religious reformer, was born.

16/9/1498, Tomas de Torquemada, Inquisitor-General, died.

24/12/1491, Ignatius Loyola, Spanish priest who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), was born in Azpeitia.

10/9/1487, Pope Julius III was born.

29/1/1487, Richard Foxe became Bishop of Exeter.

5/12/1484, Pope Innocent VIII issued the Papal bull Summis desiderantes affectibus giving the inquisition a mission to hunt heretics and witches in Germany, led by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger.

1/1/1484, The Church reformer Huldrych Zwingli was born in Switzerland (died 11/10/1513).

10/11/1483, Martin Luther, German religious reformer, leader of the Protestant Reformation, was born in Eisleben, the son of a miner.

9/8/1483. Pope Sixtus IV (212nd Pope) celebrated the first mass in the Sistine Chapel, which was named after him.

28/7/1480, (1) An Ottoman Army landed near Otranto, Italy.  Pope Sixtus IV called for a crusade to drive them out.

(2) Mohammed II failed in an attempt to take Rhodes from the Knights of Rhodes.

28/6/1476, Pope Paul IV born.

11/12/1475, Pope Leo X was born.

28/2/1468, Pope Paul III was born.

21/9/1452, Girolamo Savonarola, Church reformer, was born.

1447, Pope Nicholas V acceded (died 1455).

15/6/1447, The Inquisition was revived in Spain.

23/2/1447, Pope Eugene IV died.

1434, Insurrection in Rome; Pope Eugene IV was forced to flee to Florence. Florence Cathedral (begun 1420) was completed.

6/7/1439, The Decree of Union (Laetentur Caeli) formally uniting the Latin and Greek churches was issued

29/5/1439, Pope Pius III was born.

1420, Torquemada, the Spanish Grand Inquisitor, was born (died 1498).

6/7/1415.. Jan Hus, preacher and religious reformer, arrested on 28/11/1414, was burnt at the stake in Constance, Germany

18/10/1405, Pope Pius II was born.

27/9/1404, William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, died.

1398, Jan Hus, Church reformer, was lecturing on theology at Prague university.

15/11/1397, Pope Nicholas V was born.

31/12/1384, John Wycliffe, religious reformer (born 1328), died.

20/5/1381. A council was held in Paris to find a way of ending the scandal of two Popes existing at once; After Pope Gregory XI died (1378) two rival Popes had been elected, Pope Urban VI at Rome and Pope Clement VII at Avignon. This Great Schism persisted until 1417.

31/12/1378, Pope Callixtus III was born.

17/1/1377, The Papal See was transferred back to Rome from Avignon.

20/10/1349, Pope Clement VI outlawed the flagellants.

1322, The Pope forbade the use of counterpoint in Church music.

18/3/1314, Jacques de Molay, the 23rd and the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was burned at the stake.

22/3/1312, The Pope abolished the Order of the Templars.

11/5/1310, In France, 54 members of the Knights Templar were burned at the stake for heresy.

15/8/1309, The city of Rhodes surrendered to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights established their headquarters on the island, and renamed themselves as the Knights of Rhodes.

9/3/1309. Pope Clement V (French) arrived at Avignon to set up court there. Rome was no longer the Papal Seat.

2/11/1308, Castellar, last of the Templar’s strongholds, fell.

10/1/1308, The Templars were suppressed in England.

13/10/1307, The Knights Templars in Paris were arrested.

5/9/1307, Pope Clement V confirmed the Knights Hospitaller possession of Rhodes, although only Feracle had fallen to their attacks.

5/8/1305. Bertrand de Got, Archbishop of Bordeaux, was elected Pope and took the name Clement V.

1302, The Papal Bull, Unam sanctam, reiterated the Pope’s claim to be the supreme authority on earth.

18/5/1291, Al-Ashraf Khalil of Egypt captured Acre, the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land. Christians in Acre, who had broken a truce by massacring all Muslims in the town, scrambled for places on boats to Cyprus. Most Christians in Acre were captured, and sent to the slave market in Damascus.

27/4/1289, Fall of Tripoli: Mamluk Sultan Qalawun captured the County of Tripoli (in present-day Lebanon) after a month-long siege, thus extinguishing the Crusader state.

8/8/1288, Pope Nicholas IV (died 1292) proclaimed a Crusade against Ladislaus IV of Hungary. who had lost credibility by favouring his semi-pagan Cuman subjects and in general refusing to conform to the social standards of western Europe.

25/4/1285, Mamluk Sultan Qalawun began a siege of the Crusader fortress of Margat (in present-day Syria), a major stronghold of the Knights Hospitaller thought to be impregnable; he captured the fortress a month later.

6/1/1285, Archbishop Jakub Swinka ordered all priests subject to his bishopry in Poland to deliver sermons in Polish rather than German, thus further unifying the Catholic Church in Poland and fostering a national identity

7/3/1274. Thomas Aquinas died. He was born into a Lombard-Norman family in 1225. A controversial figure, he became a notable philosopher and theologian of the Catholic Church. He died at Fossanuova Abbey in the Roman Campagna whilst on the way to the Council of Lyons.

8/4/1271, Mamluk Sultan Baibars continued his territorial expansion, capturing the strategically important castle Krak des Chevaliers from the Knights Hospitaller in present-day Syria.

18/5/1268, The Principality of Antioch, a crusader state, fell to the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in the Battle of Antioch;

24/3/1267, ‘Saint’ Louis of France called his knights to Paris in preparation for his second Crusade.

25/5/1261. Death of Pope Alexander IV (181st Pope). Rinaldo Conti was elected Pope Alexander IV at Naples, after the death of Pope Innocent IV, (180th Pope) on 12/12/1254. He attempted to unite the Greek and Latin churches, and established the Inquisition in northern France.

1260, The first Flagellants appeared in southern Germany and northern Italy.

1256, The Order of Augustine Hermits was founded.

9/10/1253, Robert Grosseteste, theologian, died.

1252, The Inquisition began to use instruments of torture.

16/3/1244, Following their successful siege of Montségur, French royal forces burned about 210 Cathars.

17/3/1230, (Christian, Germany) The Archbishop of Bremen, Gerhard II, convened a Great Church Gathering at Bremen. There he organised the excommunication of the Stedinger for such crimes as worshipping wax images of the Devil and consulting evil spirits. In reality the Stedinger had been granted permission, in 1106 by an earlier Archbishop of Bremen, to reclaim the marshlands at the estuary of the River Weser for agriculture. The work was hard, digging drainage ditches and building  dikes but the inhabitants of this land, called Stedingen, were at least free from Feudalism. They paid a nominal tax to the Archbishop but owned no feudal duties to any Lord. Over time the feudal Lords of the region and the Archbishops of Bremen came to see the freedom of the Stedinger as a threat. Relations deteriorated as the Counts of Oldenburg built two fortresses in Stedingen, at Lechtenburg and Luneberg, kidnapping local people from the area, and in turn the Stedinger formed local militias for their own protection. Gerhard II went to Rome to secure Pope Gregory II’s agreement for a Crusade against the Stedinger, which began in Spring 1233. By the end of 1234 the Stedinger society had been eradicated, although some families claiming descent from the Stedinger remain today in Germany and the USA.

1229, The Inquisition inToulouse forbade the reading of the Bible by lay people.

12/4/1229, (-261,532) The Treaty of Paris brought the Albigensian Crusade to an end.

12/3/1229. (-261,563) Frederick II of Germany finally arrived in Jerusalem, having been twice excommunicated by the Pope for delaying his Crusade. He had intended to depart in 1215 but was delayed by domestic problems including the Mongol invasion. He reached Acre, with only a small army, but he had been in clandestine negotiations with the Sultan of Egypt, Al-Kamil, who had been shaken by the fifth Crusader’s advance into Egypt. The Sultan was happy to surrender Bethlehem and Nazareth, and a corridor of territory from Jerusalem to the coast as well as much of Jerusalem itself. The Vatican, however, disapproved of Frederick’s negotiating with a non-Christian.

9/7/1228, (-261,809) Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.

3/10/1226, Saint Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order, died. He was canonised in 1228.

1221, Death of St Dominic (born ca. 1170), founder of the Dominican Order. In England, from their black robes they

were also known as Black Friars. By 1221 there were 60 Dominican Houses.

31/8/1221, Under a peace deal, the Franks left Egypt.

6/11/1219. The Egyptian port of Damietta fell to the Crusaders (Franks) after a siege.

24/5/1218, The Fifth Crusade left Acre for Egypt.

22/12/1216, The Dominican Order of monks was founded.

11/11/1215, Pope Innocent III opened the Fourth Lateran Council in Rome.

24/8/1215, Pope Innocent III declared the Magna Carta (forcibly signed by King John at Runnymede) invalid.

1/7/1215, The number of monks in England had grown considerably, from about 1,000 in 1066, on the eve of the Norman Conquest, to around 13,000 by 1215.

4/3/1215, King John of England made an oath to Pope Innocent III as a crusader to gain his support. John also technically passed authority of his kingdom over to the Pope, thereby making anyone who tried to depose him an enemy of the Pope and liable to excommunication. This move was a precaution by John who was facing rebellion by his barons. This healed the rift between King John and Pope Innocent III, see 15/7/1207.

12/9/1213, Battle of Muret: The Toulousain and Aragonese forces of Raymond VI of Toulouse and Peter II of Aragon were defeated by the Albigensian Crusade under Simon de Montfort.

1209, The Franciscan Order of monks was founded. The Carmelites were founded.

22/7/1209. In the Crusade against the Cathars, Simon de Montfort sacked Beziers. Thousands were killed, including many Catholics.

15/7/1207, King John expelled the monks at Canterbury who were supporters of Stephen Langton. The dispute between John and Pope Innocent led to King John being excommunicated in 1008; an interdict was placed upon England, meaning Church services could not officially be held there. In 1213 Pope Innocent III authorised King Philip II of France to invade England and depose King John. However see 4/3/1215.

17/6/1207, Pope Innocent III consecrated Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury, following the death of the previous incumbent, Hubert Walter, in 2105. However King John of England preferred John de Grey, Bishop of Norwich, to succeed to the post.

13/4/1204, The Crusaders captured Constantinople.  In 1198 the Doge of Venice, Enrico Dandolo, was to have assembled a fleet to take the Crusaders from Venice to Palestine but there was insufficient money to pay for the ships.  So they diverted into Dalmatia and arrived at Constantinople.  The Byzantine Prince Alexius Angelus, son of the deposed King Isaac II, persuaded the Crusaders to help reinstate his father.  On 7/4/1203 the Crusaders stormed Byzantium and  reinstated Isaac II, but the agreed payment of 200,000 marks for this was not paid to the Crusaders; worse, King Isaac II was deposed again.  Hence the Crusaders this day re-attacked Byzantium, sacking and looting it.

1202, The Pope  issued the Decretal Venerabiliem, asserting the superiority of the Papacy over secular Emperors. See 4/3/1075. See also 754.

2/11/1192. Peace was concluded between Richard I (Lionheart) of England and Saladdin of Jerusalem (see 2/12/1187). The Crusades never achieved their objective of liberating the Holy Land from the Muslims but because they caused the death of so many noblemen the system of serfdom and landholding in Europe was gradually dismantled. Feudalism gradually ended over the period from 1300 to the Thirty Years War, 1618-48.

6/9/1191. Richard I defeated the Saracens at the Battle of Arsouf.

4/7/1191. The Crusaders under Richard I captured Acre from Saladdin, during the Third Crusade.

21/1/1189. Henry II of England, with Philip Augustus and Frederick Barbraossa, assembled troops for a third Crusade.

2/12/1187. Jerusalem surrendered to Saladdin (see 2/11/1192). Saladdin was born in 1138, in Tikrit (Saddam Hussein’s native town) of Kurdish parents and  was educated in Syria. In 1164 he accompanies his uncle on a military campaign in Egypt. The aim was to substitute Sunni for Shia Islam there, and also to drive the Crusader Franks out of the Levant. The local Syrian leader died in 1174 and Saladdin defeated his 11 year old successor and seized power. The Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad gave Saladdin power over all the lands from Morocco to Syria; Saladdin later extended his rule into Mesopotamia. Saladdin also subdued the Assassins, a Muslim sect that had twice tried to kill him. He now attacked the Crusaders, and on 1 July 1187 captured Tiberias after a six day siege.

After the capture of Jerusalem by Saladdin, the Franks were almost evicted from the region, holding on only at Antioch, Tripoli, and Tyre. European states set aside their differences in panic and three rulers; Richard I of England, Frederick Barbarossa of Germany, and Philip Augustus of France, set out on a third Crusade. The Crusaders marched on Muslim-held Acre, Saladdin arrived, and there ensued a long battle, control swinging back and forth. After two years, Acre fell to the Crusaders. Peace negotiations began, (see 2/11/1192), the end result being a marriage of his daughter with Saladdin’s brother, Al-Malik, who was knighted by Richard. The peace gave the coast to the Europeans and the interior to the Muslims. In February 1188 Saladdin fell ill with a fever and died 12 days later aged 55.

4/7/1187, The Battle of the Horns of Hattin. Saladin defeated Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem.

1/5/1187, Battle of Cresson: Saladin defeated the Crusaders.

17/9/1176, Emperor Manuel of Byzantium was defeated by the Muslims, in the Crusades.  Without Byzantium the Crusader hold on Palestine was untenable.

5/9/1174, Fire gutted the Choir of Canterbury Cathedral. It was rebuilt using the pointed arch, the first known use of this type of arch in England.

1173, The Waldensian Movement began in Lyons, France.

1170, Dominic de Guzman, founded of the Dominican Order, was born at Calahorra, Spain.

1170, Pope Alexander III established rules for the canonisation of Saints.

29/12/1170. The murder of Thomas Becket, 40th Archbishop of Canterbury, by four knights in his own Cathedral. The knights (Reginald Fitzurse, William de Tracy, Hugh de Merville, and Richard de Breton) believed they were acting on King Henry II’s orders. Becket, far from being the docile cleric Henry believed him to be on appointing him as Archbishop of Canterbury, was a firm upholder of ecclesiastical privileges. Henry, furious at Becket’s excommunication of the six bishops who had assisted the Archbishop of York at the crowning of Henry II’s son in Westminster Abbey, uttered the fatal cry. “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest”. The four knights gave Henry his answer.

2/12/1170, Thomas Beckett returned to Canterbury from his voluntary exile. He had left England on 2/11/1164.

14/6/1170, King Henry II’s son was crowned, not as was custom by the Archbishop of Canterbury but by the Archbishop of York. This was a major snub to Thomas Beckett, and against Papal instructions. Henry then made verbal reconciliation with Beckett, who, impatient to return to England, did so without proper guarantees of safety.

3/6/1162, Thomas Becket was consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury.

1161, Pope Innocent III was born.

1/9/1159. Death of Pope Adrian IV, elected Pope on 4/12/1154. He was formerly Nicholas Breakspear, and was the only English Pope. In 1155 he authorised King Henry II of England to invade Ireland and hold it as a hereditary fief of the Papacy. Breakspear was born at Bedmond Farm in Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, around 1100. His father became a monk of St Albans abbey, presumably after the death of his wife. Nicholas Breakspear also applied to join the Abbey at age 18 but was refused admission because of too little schooling. He went abroad as a wandering scholar and finally became a monk in the Augustinian Abbey of St Rufus in Avignon in 1130. He was elected Abbot in 1137 and came to the notice of the Pope, Eugenius III. The Pope recognised his qualities and made him a bishop and a cardinal; Breakspear was sent on a trip to war-torn Scandinavia where he restored peace. After 4 years Breakspear returned to Rome to find that Eugenius III had died and was succeeded by Anastasius IV, a man of 90. Within the year Anastasius IV was dead and Nicholas Breakspear was unanimously elected Pope, taking the name Adrian IV.

1155, The Carmelite Order was founded.

18/6/1155, Rioting in Rome as English born Pope Adrian crowned Frederick Barbarossa as Holy Roman Emperor; 1,000 died.

2/11/1148, ‘Saint’ Malachy, Church reformer, died.

25/10/1147, Battle of Dorylaeum, the Seljuq Turks defeated German crusaders under Conrad III.

1140, The Trappists were founded.

6/2/1140, Thurstan, Archbishop of York, died.

25/12/1130. The Norman King Roger II was crowned King of Sicily by the anti-Pope Anacletus II (died 1138), who thereby gained a powerful supporter for his claim on the Papacy against Pope Innocent II (died 1143). Anacletus II in fact had the better claim on the Papacy but lost secular support because he was the son of a wealthy Jew, founder of the Pierleani family.

7/7/1124, Tyre fell to the Crusaders.

18/3/1123, The First Lateran Council began.

23/9/1122. The Diet of Worms. A council is held at the German town of Worms, to settle a dispute between Church and State that went back to 1076, when Pope Gregory VII excommunicated King Henry IV of Germany, seeking to impose papal power over the king. Both Henry IV and his son, the present King Henry V set up anti-Popes and forced the Pope to flee to refuge in a monastery. Pope Calixtus  II and King Henry V agreed at this Diet that the King would not force the election of Bishops but allow their free election by the Church; in return the King will be present at the election of Bishops and have some influence over disputes within the church.

1118, The Templars were founded.

21/12/1118, Thomas Beckett was born in Cheapside, London.

11/12/1118. The Christians captured Saragossa, Spain, from the Muslims.

4/12/1110, First Crusade, the Crusaders conquered Sidon.

18/7/1100, Godfrey de Bouillon, first Crusader king of Jerusalem, died.

15/7/1099. Jerusalem fell to the Crusaders, (see 27/11/1095). 40,000 people, both Jews and Muslims, were slaughtered in two days, an event European scholar-monks acclaimed as ‘the greatest event since the Crucifixition’. On 12/8/1099 the Crusaders defeated Al-Afdal, the Fatimid Vizier of Egypt, at Ascalon. He was bringing an army to recapture Jerusalem, which the Egyptians had earlier lost to the Turks.

7/6/1099, The Crusaders arrived at Jerusalem.

3/6/1098, (-) The Crusaders took Antioch.

21/3/1098, Cîteaux Abbey became the origin of the Cistercian Order. The Benedictine Abbott, Robert of Champagne, wished to reform the secularised monastic life. His first attempt at this was in the Forest of Molesme. In 1098 he founded, in the Forest of Citeaux (Cistercium), an Anbbey, at a small hamlet near Dijon, where the rules of St Benedict would be strictly observed. The new Abbey nearly became extinct when in 1113 it was joined by St Benedict with thirty companions. In 1115 St Benedict became the first Abbott of Clairvaux, which henceforth became the centre of the revived Benedictine Movement.

21/10/1097, The Crusaders arrived at Antioch.

24/6/1097, The Crusaders took Nicea.

1095, Pope Urban II preached the First Crusade, at the Council of Clermont. He wanted to recover Jerusalem from the Muslims,

27/11/1095. Pope Urban II called for a Crusade to the Holy Land. He talked of how, due to Turkish misrule, it was no longer safe for Christian pilgrims to visit the holy sites of Jerusalem. The Crusaders defeated the Turks at Dorylaeum on 30/6 1097, opening the way to Jerusalem. Jerusalem fell to the Crusaders on 15/7/1099.

19/11/1095, The Council of Clermont began. The council was called by Pope Urban II to discuss sending the First Crusade to the Holy Land.

1084, The Carthusian Order was formed.

24/3/1084, Palm Sunday. Henry IV of Germany, having captured Rome, installed Pope Clement III. In turn Clement III crowned Henry IV as Emperor on Easter Sunday 1084.

5/1081, Henry IV of Germany marched south across the Alps to confront Pope Gregory VII; no reconciliation was possible, so Henry decided to occupy Rome.

15/10/1080, Rudolf of Swabia was killed in battle, leaving Henry IV as unchallenged ruler of Germany.

7/3/1080, King Henry IV of Germany was excommunicated a second time by Pope Gregory VII, see 27/1/1080. In response Henry IV summoned an assembly of bishops to Brixen and declared Pope Gregory VII deposed and appointed Wilbert, Archbishop of Ravenna, in his place. However not everyone, even in Germany, accepted the right of Henry IV to judge a Pope ‘appointed by God’.

27/1/1080, King Henry IV of Germany defeated Saxon rebels at Flarchheim. Emboldened by this, he rejected the mediation efforts of Pope Gregory VII to settle the rulership dispute between him and Rudolf of Swabia, see 25/10/1077 and 7/3/1080.

25/1/1077, German King Henry IV, who was losing popular support because of his excommunication by Pope Gregory VII, arrived at Canossa Castle, northern Italy, to do penance in reconciliation. He knelt in the snow in a monk’s hair shirt for three days before the Pope admitted him. “Going to Canossa” became a saying for reluctant penance, especially in Germany. Henry IV had faced a rebellion by Saxons, and had to reach Pope Gregory by a roundabout route via Burgnndy and Provence. Pope Gregory VII wanted, politically, to refuse forgiveness, but as head of the Christian Church he had no choice but to dispense it. The rebels, feeling betrayed by Gregory VII, rejected the kingship of Henry IV anyway and elected Rudolf of Swabia in his place. Germany faced effective civil war. Pope Gregory, to restore his influence over Germany, sent a Papal Legate northwards in 1079 to settle who was the rightful ruler of Germany, decreeing that if either Rudolf or Henry rejected the findings of this legate they would be excommunicated. However see 27/1/1080.

24/1/1076, German King Henry IV called an assembly of German Bishops to Worms to complain about the interference of  Pope Gregory VII (Hildebrand) in the rulership of Milan. Earlier, a revolutionary faction called the Pataria had usurped Henry IV’s control over Milan, which included the right to appoint the Archbishop of Milan. Milan was very strategically important to Henry IV as it controlled the Alpine passes between Italy and Germany. Pope Gregory VII sided with the rebels against King Henry IV and insisted that he, Gregory, had the right to appoint the Archbishop (see 4/3/1075, Dictatus Papae). The German Bishops signed a letter of protest from Henry IV calling for Hildebrand “that false monk, who had forsaken the cloisters” (see 22/4/1073)  to resign as Pope and that Henry IV did not recognise him as Pope. The message caused an uproar in Rome, in fact the messenger was nearly killed, saved only by the intervention of Hildebrand himself. Two days later Gregory VII (Hildebrand) excommunicated and nominally deposed King Henry IV. See 25/1/1077.

4/3/1075, Hildebrand issued the Dictatus Papae, 27 short propositions setting out the powers of the Roman Catholic Church. These propositions, aimed at curbing the Greek Church and the temporal power of European Kings, included, (I) that the Roman Catholic Church was founded by God alone, i.e. it was more than ‘just’ apostolic (III), only the Pope can dismiss or reinstate Bishops, (XII), the Pope has the authority to depose Emperors,, (XVI), That only the Pope had the authority to call Councils (the Greek Church didn’t), (XIX), The Pope can be judged by no-one except God himself, (XXII), The Roman Church has never erred and is in fact infallible, See 1202.

1074, Married preists were excommunicated.

23/8/1059, Pope Nicholas II (1059-61) met with Robert Guiscard, leader of the Normans of southern Italy, at Melfi, and accepted Robert’s vassalship. Robert pledged that if Pope Nicholas died before him, he would assist the Cardinals in the elction of a new Pope. In effect, Robert was pledging to protect the Cardinals from political interference by the Roman nobility. In return Pope Nicholas bestowed upon Robert the title of Duke of Calbria and Apulia. This infuriated the (Byzantine) Roman Emperor, who claimed all of Italy as part of his domain, and insisted that Nicholas could not give away lands he had no title to.

1/10/1049, Pope Leo IX (1048-54), noted for his attempts to eradicate simony, arrived at Reims, France. In March 1049 he had begun a tour of the Christian lands of Europe, to assert his authority over these regions. He left Rome and travelled via Florence, Pavia and Cologne to Reims. Whilst still Bishop of Toul, Pope Leo IX had pledged to be present at the Consecration of the Cathedral of Reims, built to honour St Remigius, who had baptised Clovis and played a large role on converting the Franks to Christianity. In fact due to opposition to Leo’s visit by the King of France, only 20 bishops and 40 abbots attended at Reims, a clear sign of Leo’s limited authority on France. After parading an effigy of the Saint around the town, before setting in in its place in the Cathedral, Leo set it on the high altar as a ‘witness’ and asked all present to declare, individually one by one, that they had not paid money for their office. Many of those present would not make such a statement.

19/4/1012. St Alpheage, Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered by the Danes. He had been captured by the Danes who sacked Canterbury in 1011 and kept in prison for 7 months, and killed when a ransom was not paid.. Born in 954, St Alphege was elected Abbot at Bath, and in 984 became the Bishop of Winchester. In 1006 he succeeded Aelfric as Archbishop of Canterbury.

21/6/1002, Pope Leo IX was born.

25/12/1000, Stephen I became King of Hungary, which was established as a Christian kingdom.

29/2/992, Saint Oswald, Archbishop of York, died.

13/2/990, Ethelgar, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.

2/6/959, Odo, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.

910, The Cluniac order was founded.

904, Pope Sergius III acceded (died 911). His mistress, Marioza, became the mother of Pope John XI (931-936), the aunt of Pope John XIII (965-971) and the grandmother of Pope Benedict VI (973-974)

862, St Swithin (Swithun), Bishop of Winchester 852-62, died.

848, Pope Leo IV erected the Leonine Wall around the Vatican, to protect it from attack.

840, Paschasius Radbertus, Abbott of Corbie (France), established the Doctrine of Transubstantiation – that the Communion bread literally becomes the Body of Christ.

19/5/804. Death of Alcuin, a learned churchman of the eight century. He was born at Eboracum (York) in 735 and became head of the Episcopal school of York in 766. Between 781 and 790 Alcuin helped Charlemagne teach church and other knowledge to the Frankish nobility.

25/12/795. Death of Pope Adrian I, Pope from 772 to 795. He halted the trend against the use of images in Church which was taking place in the east of Christendom. In 726 Emperor Leo III of Constantinople had banned the use of religious images in Christendom. This trend was upheld by a meeting of churchmen in Constantinople in 730; all visible symbols of Christ, other than the eucharist, were forbidden and anyone using icons or statues would be accused of idolatry and paganism. Leo felt that what were symbols of the divine have become divinities in themselves, and the seemingly inexorable spread of Islam made Christians wonder about the power of their images. Leo wanted to strengthen Christianity’s appeal against Islam, which forbids any portrayal of the human form. Leo was also concerned about the growing power of the monasteries, which threatened the divide between church and state.

8/1/794, Vikings again raided Lindisfarne.

8/6/793. Vikings raided the monastery at Lindisfarne, killing many of the monks.

758, Death of Cuthbert, Archbishop of Canterbury from 741. He introduced into England the custom of burying the deasd in the precincts around the church, or church-yard. On the Continent, church-yards began to be used as customary burial places for the dead from the 500s, although a few cases of this occurred from the 300s. Early Christians, from the time when this religion was still under persecution in the Roman Empire, usually met at the tombs of martyrs, since Roman Law strictly protected these memorial grounds from violation. Early churches grew up, therefore, adjacent to these memorial grounds. However the dead would then have been buried in separate areas of ground, away from the church.

754, The start of the Papal States as an independent political entity, when Pepin le Bref presented the Exarchate of Ravenna to Pope Stephen II. Benevento was added in 1053, and in 1102 Matilda of Tuscany left Parma, Modena and Tuscany to the Pope. In 1202 the Papal States were formally constituted an independent monarchy.

25/5/709. Death of Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne. Born around 640, Aldhelm was educated by an Irish scholar and monk, Meldun (or Maildulf), who had settled in the British stronghold of Bladow, on the site of Malmesbury. Aldhelm succeeded Meldulf as head of the Christian community at Malmesbury when Meldulf retired due to ill health in 675. Under Aldhelm, the community at Malmesbury increased and he founded two other centres of learning at Frome and at Bradford on Avon.

700, Earliest recorded use of Easter Eggs by Christians.

20/3/687, Cuthbert died on Farne Island.

5/5/614. The Persians completed the conquest of Syria by capturing Jerusalem. They seize the ‘true cross’, the most holy relic of Christendom. However on 3/4/628 the Persian ruler Kavadh sued for peace with Byzantium. He handed back Armenia, Byzantine Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, as well as the ‘true cross’. This cross is restored to Jerusalem by Heraclius on 21/3/630.

12/3/604. Pope Gregory the Great (64th Pope) died in Rome. Aged 64, he had been Pope for 14 years. He was the son of a Senator, and wealthy, but at the age of 33 sold off his property and gave the money to the poor. He founded several  monasteries, and entered one himself. Pope Gregory had appointed Bishop Augustine of Hippo to begin the work of introducing Christianity to the Anglo-Saxons. He was succeeded by Pope.

563, St Columba left Ireland and landed on Iona (Hebrides) where he founded a monastery.

563, The Church in Europe forbade the free movement of lepers. A priests had to make any leper in their congregation lie ion a coffin in front of the altar and have some soil thrown on them. Now, legally dead, they were outlaws, obliged to beg for support, to carry a bell to warn of their approach, and a stick to point for items they wanted, to wear gloves and shoes to protect barefooted travellers behind them. All this was unnecessary because in fact leprosy has very low infectivity.

529, The Benedictine Order was formed,

7/12/521, St Columba was born at Gartan, Donegal, Ireland.

500, Incense began to be used in Church services.

500, The first plans for the Vatican Palace in Rome were drawn up. St Romanos (Melodos) wrote hymns especially for Christmas, Easter and the Passion.

25/12/496, Clovis I was baptized into the Catholic faith at Rheims, by ‘Saint’ Remigius. The conversion strengthened the bonds between his Gallo-Roman subjects, led by their Catholic bishops.

3/1/492, Pope Felix III died after a 9-year reign in which he excommunicated Patriarch Acacius of Constantinople, thus dividing the Western Church and Eastern Church (Acacian Schism). He was succeeded by Gelasius I as the 49th pope.

480, Saint Benedict was born, to a wealthy family in Nursia, near Spoleto.

459, Simeon Stylites died, aged 72. He was the first of a number of Christian ascetics who secluded themselves on top of pillars, from which they preached to visiting pilgrims. In the Middle East such ‘stylites’ coild be found down to the 12th century.

25/12/440, The Church officially decreed the birthday of Jesus to be 25 December, the pagan day of celebrating the winter solstice.

28/8/430, St Augustine died in the town of Hippo, then enduring its 3rd month of siege by the Vandals. His writings have had considerable influence on Church doctrine.

431, Council of Ephesus.

30/9/420, Saint Jerome, Church leader, died.

14/9/407, Saint John Chrysostom died.

26/11/399, Pope Siricius died at Rome after a 15-year reign in which he commanded celibacy for priests, asserted papal authority over the entire Western Church, and threatened to impose sanctions who did not follow his dictates.

3/4/397. Death of Saint Ambrose, bishop of Milan. Born a Roman citizen around 337-340, Ambrose was appointed as bishop of Milan in 374 when the previous incumbent, Auxentius, died.

3/11/392. Emperor Theodosius passed a decree prohibiting all pagan worship in the Byzantine Empire.

390, First use of ‘Hallelujah’ (meaning ‘praise Jah, or Jehovah’) hymns in the Church.

24/4/387, St Augustine of Hippo was baptised, along with his son, Adeodatus, by Ambrose at Milan.

17/12/384,  Pope Siricius succeeded Damasus I as the 38th Pope. He took the title Pontifex Maximus, after it was relinquished by late emperor Gratian.

2//5/373. Athanasius, the patriarch who fiercely defended the Nicene Creed against Arianism, died at Alexandria, Egypt. He played an important role in the spread of monasticism.

368, Formalised hymn-singing was introduced by Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (died 397).

19/2/356. Constantius II ordered all pagan temples in the Roman Empire to be closed.

13/11/354, Aurelius Augustinus, or St Augustine, was born at Tagaste, a town in Numidia.

25/12/350, The first officially-sanctioned Christmas Day celebrations.

21/10/346. Under heavy imperial pressure, a split between the eastern and western Churches was patched up at Alexandria, Egypt.

325, The official date of Easter was settled at the Council of Nicea. Previously, the Eastern Church had fixed it on the 14th day of the Jewish lunar month of Nisan, that is, the old Jewish Passover date. The Western Church had fixed Easter on the first Sunday after this day of Nisan 14th. At Nicea, the Western date was favoured, and the Eastern date labelled the quartodeciman heresy.

20/5/325. The Emperor Constantine, dressed in purple to mark the sacred nature of his power, opened the Council of Nicea. He has summoned bishops from all over the Empire to settle violent controversies raging within the Church, especially over Arianism. Arius, a priest in Alexandria, argued in 318 that Christ was not equal to God; if Christ was the Son of God, said Arius, he had a beginning so could not be eternal and was inferior to his Father. Constantine was acting as peacemaker and favoured equality of Christ with God. In fact the creed was worded so as to be ambiguous enough for most Arians to accept it.

3/12/321. Sunday was made a day of rest throughout the Roman Empire. Under the Edict of Milan, 3/2/313, Christianity was now tolerated in the Empire. Persecution of Christians had begun under Diocletian in 303 and peaked under his successors Galerius and Maximian. Constantine, born in Naissus in what is now Yugoslavia, was son of a Christian mother, Helena. When Constantine (born 274) became Emperor in 306 he followed the cult of Sol Invictis, the Unconquered Sun. However in 312, whilst fighting Maxentius the son of Maximian, he saw a cross of light superimposed on the sun. From then on Constantine identified the sun with the God of the Christians. He ordered his men to fight Maxentius with Christian symbols painted on their shields, and they won a famous victory at the Milvian Bridge just outside Rome, on 28/10/312. Constantine became ruler of the western Roman Empire.

28/10/312, Battle of Milvian Bridge. Maxentius had been declared Emperor in Rome, with the backing of the Senate. However Constantine was marching down from Gaul to claim title as Emperor. Constantine’s army was smaller, and relied on cavalry, performing best on open ground. Maxentius had dismantled the Milvian Bridge over the Tiber to halt Constantine’s advance; Maxentius’ troops had to ford the Tiber to attack Constantine, this move put them in the open, favouring Constantine’s cavalry. Maxentius fought in the name of Mars, the Roman God of War; Constantine saw a flaming cross in the sky and fought in the name of Christianity. Constantine’s cavalry charged, disrupting Maxentius’ ranks; Maxentius was killed and his head paraded through Rome the next day on a spear.

4/3/303, St Adrian was martyred.

24/2/303, Emperor Diocletian ordered a massive persecution of the Christians.

301, Armenia became the first country to make Christianity its official State religion.

300, The earliest Religious Plays.

14/9/258, Saint Cyprian (born ca. 200) was martyred.

5/2/251, Saint Agatha was martyred

200, The position of the ‘Bishop of Rome’ as supreme Pope, head of the Church, became established. The various Churches across the Roman world were organising themselves into a single ‘Catholic’ (Greek, Kata-Holos, ‘the entire whole’) Church.

See also Roman Empire

177, The elderly Bishop Ponthinus was martyred under the persecution of Christians by Marcus Aurelius.

64, Persecution of the Christians began.

62, The Apostle James was stoned to death at the orders of High Priest Ananias.

Passover. April 33, Jesus was put to death. This was to become the Church festival of Easter, with chocolate bunnies and Easter Eggs. Not really much to do with Jesus’ death, but everything to do with the old Pagan festival of rebirth, as spring life returned to the land. Even the name ‘Easter’ derives from the old fertility goddess, Astarte, from which we derive fertility-related words like Oestrogen and East, the direction the (lifegiving) sun rises from.

Ca. October 29, Jesus baptised and commenced his ministry

28/12/1 (AD). Herod ordered the slaughter of all the infants in Bethlehem to ensure the death of Jesus Christ, whom he saw as a possible future rival King. Earlier, a mysterious ***star*** had guided the Magi (wise men, or magicians) not directly to Jesus, but first to King Herod, then on to the baby Jesus. Herod ordered these Magi to report back to him as to where Jesus was, so he could kill him; however the Magi returned east by another route. It is this ***star*** that people put on their Xmas trees tiday.

Ca. October 2 BCE, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The climate in the Judean hills would have been too cold and snowy in late December for ‘shepherds to be out tending their flocks’ as the story goes; the idea of celebrating Jesus’ birthday on 25 December was that it would replace the old pagan festival of Saturnalia, a drinking festival held to celebrate the passing of the shortest day and the return of  Sol Invictis, the ‘unconquered Sun’. Pine trees, as life that had survived over winter, also came to symbolise Xmas (that’s why you’re cleaning pine needles off the carpet on Boxing Day).

See also Judaism


Appendix 1Bible and Prayerbook Developments

1990, In the US, the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible was published.

16/3/1970, The New English Bible was released, and quickly sold out.

14/3/1961, The New English Bible was published.

18/6/1960, Jehovah’s Witnesses released the New World Translation of the Bible.

19/3/1928, In Britain, the Revised Book of Common Prayer was published.

6/7/1927, The Church of England approved revisions to the Book of Common Prayer.

8/2/1927. The revised book of common prayer introduced sex equality to the Church of England wedding service.

1925, The London Bible Society distributed worldwide 10,500,000 Bibles, in 566 languages.

10/2/1889, The Church of England approved the use of the revised Bible.

1735, The Bible first translated into Lithuanian.

1671, The first Bible printed in Arabic produced, in Rome.

1666, First Armenian Bible printed.

1632, The ‘Adulterer’s Bible’ was published; the word ‘not’ in the 7th Commandment had been omitted, so it read ‘Thou shalt commit adultery’. London printers Robert Barker and Martin Lucas were fined £300 for this error.

22/6/1576, Queen Elizabeth’s Prayer Book was issued.

4/12/1563, The Council of Trent was dissolved. It reaffirmed all major Catholic doctrines and declared the Apocrypha to be canonical along with the actual Bible.

1550, King Christian III (1503-1559), King of Denmark and Norway 1534-59, brought out a Danish translation of the German Bible

9/6/1549. The Church of England adopted the Book of Common Prayer, compiled by Thomas Cranmer.

20/5/1549, From this date, only the new Book of Prayer was allowed to be used in English churches.

6/5/1536, King Henry VIII ordered a copy of the Bible to be placed in every English church.

4/10/1535. The first English Bible was printed, translated and published by Miles Coverdale.

845, The Vivian Bible, an early illustrated manuscript, was produced.

382, Pope Damasus requested Jerome to produce a ‘corrected’ version of the Bible, a number of errors having crept in over the centuries. His version, the Roman Psalter, was completed in 383.

58, Paul wrote the Letter to the Corinthians, now part of the Bible.


Appendix 2Conversion and Missionary Work

1878, The Livingstone Central Africa Company was formed to assist the missionary work of Scottish Presbyterians in Nyasaland (Malawi). Founded by the two brothers, Fred and John Moir, it built steamships on Lake Nyasa, but was opposed by local Muslim leaders. The Company was poorly financed; in 1893 it was bought out by Cecil Rhodes, who transformed it into the African Lakes Trading Company. It continued as a largely commercial trading operation until the end of colonial rule in Africa.

31/3/1820, The first Christian missionaries arrived in Hawaii, from New England, USA.

7/2/1816, The Italian missionary, Giovanni Lantrua of Trioria, was executed by the Chinese.

1796, The Scottish Missionary Society was formed. Its first work was in the Tartar areas around the Black Sea and Caspian Sea.

1795, The London Missionary Society was formed by an interdenominational group of Christians; their first work was in Tahiti in March 1797. They subsequently worked across China, south Asia, Africa and the West indies.

1792, The Baptist Missionary Society was formed. It worked across the world, in India, China, and other regions of south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

1786, The first Wesleyian missionary work began, in the West Indies.

5/11/1758, Hans Egede, the Apostle of Greenland, died. Born in Norway in 1686, he was appointed pastor of Vagen, Norway, in 1707. He desired to convert the descendants of the Norse in Greenland and departed for there in 1721. Finding the Norse to be extinct, he set about converting the Inuit. The death of his wife Getrude Rask in 1736 caused him to leave Greenland. In 1740 he became superintendent of the Greenland Mission in Copenhagen.

1705, The first Protestant mission to India. Ziegenbalg estanlished a Danish Lutheran mission at Tranquebar.

1701, In England, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts was formed.

1646, John Eliot began a missionary work amongst the American Indians.

1642, Missionary work amongst the Canadian Indians began from Montreal.

1622, Pope Gregory XV esdtablished the ‘Propaganda’, to assist Roman Catholic missionary work.

1555, The earliest Protestant missionary work began, in Brazil.

3/12/1552. Death of Francis Xavier, Basque Jesuit missionary, called ‘the apostle of the Indies’, who helped Ignatius Loyola found the Jesuits.  He died near Canton, China.

15/8/1549, Francis Xavier entered the Japanese port of Kagoshima to begin a conversion work.

6/5/1542, Francis Xavier arrived at the Portuguese colony of Goa, India, to begin his work of converting the indigenous inhabitants to Christianity.

7/4/1506, St Francis Xavier, Spanish Jesuit missionary, was born near Sanguesa.

1000, Christianity reached Iceland and Greenland. By now, Christianity had reached Bulgaria, Hungary, Bohemia, Poland, Saxony, Denmark, Russia, and all of Scandinavia.

23/4/997, St Adalbert, the Apostle of the Prussians, from Prague, was murdered by the Prussians, whom he was trying to convert. He had also preached to the Hungarians and Bohemians, the latter being annoyed by his asceticism.

988, Christianity (Eastern) introduced to Kiev by Vladimir.

966, The conversion of Poland to Christianity began.

942, The conversion of Hungary to Christianity began.

863, Cyril and Methodius, the ‘Apostles of the Slavs’, began conversion work in Moravia, and invented the Cyrillic alphabet for writing the Bible in. they had gone to Moravia at the request of Rotislav, ruler of Moravia, who in 862 asked Byzantine Emperor Michael III to send missionaries.

826, King Harald of Denmark was baptised at Mainz. He returned to Denmark with the missionary monk, Ansgar (801 – 865), who spread Christianity in Scandinavia.

5/6/754. The English missionary Boniface (born 673) and 53 companions were murdered in Germany by pagans.

30/9/722. Boniface was ordained as Bishop of Germany by the Pope and returned to Germany to continue his conversion work there.

715, The monk Winfrith, (future St Boniface) began missionary work in Germany. In 725 he felled the famous Donar Oak at Fritzlar, Hesse, which had been a centre of pagan worship.

686, Sussex, the last pagan kingdom in England, converted to Christianity.

31/8/651, Saint Aidan, missionary and first bishop of Lindisfarne, died.

5/8/642. Death of the Christian King Oswald of Northumbria at the Battle of Maserfield, lost to the invading Kingdom of Mercia, under the pagan King Penda. King Oswald had succeeded to the |Kingdom of Bernicia in 634 and in 635 reunited the whole of Northumbria under his rule Northumbria had previously been converted to Christianity by Paulinus  but had relapsed under the heathen successors to Edwin. Oswald was a Christian and sent for a new Bishop. Paulinus had been a member of the Roman Church but his successor was from the Celtic church, the monastery of Iona, which Oswald had visited during his exile. The first monk sent under Oswald failed to make any headway amongst the ‘uncouth Northumbrians’ but a second, Aidan, was sent as Bishop of Northumbria. Aidan retained his See when the Mercians defeated and slew Oswald, and Aidan died at Bamburgh on 31/8/651.

635, Wessex was converted to Christianity.

12/4/627, Paulinus, last of the missionaries send by Pope Gregory I, built a wooden church in the old Roman legionary headquarters in York and baptised Edwin of Northumbria as the first Christian king in Northern England.

625, The missionary Paulinus arrived in Northumbria.

615, Columban the Younger, missionary to France and Ireland, born 550, died.

25/12/597, At Christmas, Christianity spread rapidly in Kent, Augustine and his fellow-labourers baptised more than 10,000 Anglo-Saxons.

596, Pope Gregory sent St Augustine to conduct missionary work in Britain.

589, The Lombards in Italy, under King Authari and Queen Theodelinda, converted to Catholicism.

587, The Visigoths in Spain converted to Christianity.

563, St Columba established a church on Iona, and began to convert the Picts from there.

550, Wales converted to Christianity by St David.

432, St Ninian, the first known missionary to Scotland, born ca.360,died and was buried in the Church at Whithorn

350, Christianity reached Abyssinia.

300, Christianity reached Armenia.

45, Paul began his extensive missionary journeys.


Appendix 3Papal Succession The names, numbering and dates of the Popes, and names and dates of antipopes, is from the Catholic Encyclopedia, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm

13/3/2013, The 266th Pope was elected (born 17/12/1936), he took the name Francis I. This name broke a tradition, dating from Pope Lando (913-914) that no Pope takes a name not already used by a predecessor.

28/2/2013, Pope Benedict XVI (265th Pope) resigned, the first Pope to do so since Gregory XII in 1415, and the first voluntary resignation since Celestine V in 1294.

19/4/2005, Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI (265th Pope) on the second day of the Papal Conclave.

2/4/2005, Pope John Paul II (264th Pope), elected 16/10/1978, died aged 84.   Four million people travelled to The Vatican to mourn him.

16/10/1978. Karol Wojtyla, from Poland, Archbishop of Cracow, became the first non-Italian Pope since 1542, as Pope John Paul II (264th Pope). See 2/4/2005.

28/9/1978. Pope John Paul I (263rd Pope) died, after just 33 days in office.

26/8/1978. After the death of Pope Paul VI (262nd Pope) on 6/8/1978, Cardinal Albino Luciani was elected Pope John Paul I.

30/6/1963. Coronation of Giovanni Batista Montini as Pope Paul VI (262nd Pope).

21/6/1963, Giovanni Battista Montini was elected as Pope Paul VI.

3/6/1963, Pope John XXIII (261st Pope), Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli, died.

28/10/1958. Cardinal Roncalli was elected Pope John XXIII (261st Pope), succeeding Pope Pius XII (260th Pope), who died on 9/10/1958.

2/3/1939, Pope Pius XII (260th Pope) took office.

10/2/1939. Death of Pope Pius XI (259th Pope). Pope Pius XII was crowned on 2/3/1939.

1922, Pope Benedict XV (258th Pope) died. Pope Pius XI (259th Pope) acceded (died 1939)

3/9/1914. Pope Benedict XV (258th Pope) was elected (died 1922).

20/8/1914. In Rome, Pope Pius X (257th Pope) died.

9/8/1903, Pope Pius X (257th Pope) was crowned before a crowd of 70,000 in Rome.

20/7/1903, Leo XIII (Gioacchino Vincenzo Pecci), (256th Pope) Pope since 1878, died aged 93.

20/2/1878. Pope Leo XIII (Gioacchino Vincenzo Pecci) (256th Pope) was elected, after a third ballot, following the death of Pope Pius IX (255th Pope) (see 7/2/1878). Pope Leo XIII then began negotiating with the German government to end the crackdown on the influence of the church in Germany, or Kulturkampf.

7/2/1878, Pope Pius IX (255th Pope) died after a reign of over 31 years was succeeded by Pope Leo XIII (256th Pope) (Gioacchino Vincenzo Pecci). See 20/2/1878.

16/6/1846, Pope Pius IX (255th Pope) was elected, beginning the longest reign in the history of the Papacy.

9/6/1846, Pope Gregory XVI (254th Pope) died.

2/2/1831, Pope Gregory XVI (254th Pope) acceded.

1/12/1830, Pope Pius VIII (253rd Pope) died.

10/2/1829, Pope Leo XII (252nd Pope) died. Pope Pius VIII (253rd Pope) acceded.

20/8/1823, Pope Pius VII (251st Pope) died. Pope Leo XII (252nd Pope) acceded.

1800, Pope Pius VII (251st Pope) acceded (died 1823)

29/8/1799, Pope Pius VI (born 1717) (250th Pope) died.

15/2/1775, After a long conclave, Pope Pius VI (250th Pope) acceded. Formerly Cardinal Gianangelo Braschi, died 1799.

22/9/1774, Pope Clement XIV (249th Pope) died.

19/5/1769, Pope Clement XIII (248th Pope) died. Pope Clement XIV (249th Pope), formerly Cardinal Lorenzo Ganganelli, acceded, died 1774.

3/5/1758, Pope Benedict XIV (247th Pope) died. Pope Clement XIII (248th Pope),  acceded, formerly Cardinal Carlo della Torre Rezzonico(from 1737); he  died in 1769.

1740, Pope Clement XII (246th  Pope) died. Pope Benedict XIV (247th  Pope),  acceded, formerly Cardinal Prospero Lambertini, died 1758.

1730, Pope Benedict XIII (245th Pope) died. Pope Clement XII (246th Pope) acceded, formerly Cardinal Lorenzo Corsini, died 1740,

1724, Pope Benedict XIII (245th Pope) acceded (died 1730)

7/3/1724, Pope Innocent XIII (244th Pope) died.

1721, Pope Innocent XIII (244th Pope) acceded (died 1724).

1700, Pope Clement XI (243rd Pope) acceded, formerly Cardinal Gian Francesco Albani, died 1721.

27/9/1700, Pope Innocent XII (242nd Pope) died.

1691, Pope Alexander VIII (241st Pope) died. Pope Innocent XII (242nd Pope) acceded, formerly Cardinal Antonio Pignatelli, died 1700.

1689, Pope Alexander VIII (241st Pope) acceded, formerly Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, died 1691.

12/8/1689, Pope Innocent XI (240th Pope) died.

1676, Pope Clement X (239th Pope) died. Pope Innocent XI (240th Pope), acceded, formerly Cardinal Benedetto Odescalchi (died 1689).

1670, Pope Clement X (239th Pope) acceded, formerly Cardinal Emilio Altieri, born 1590, died 1676.

1669, Pope Clement IX (238th Pope) died.

1667, Pope Alexander VII (237th Pope) died. Pope Clement IX (238th Pope) acceded, formerly Cardinal Giulio Rospigliosi, died 1669.

1655, Pope Alexander VII (237th Pope) acceded, formerly Cardinal Fabio Chigi, died 1667.

7/1/1655, Pope Innocent X (236th Pope) died.

1644, Pope Urban VIII (235th Pope) died. Pope Innocent X (236th Pope) acceded, formerly Cardinal Giovanni Battista Pamfili (died 1655).

1623, Pope Urban VIII (235th Pope) acceded, formerly Cardinal Maffeo Barberini (died 1644).

8/7/1623, Pope Gregory XV (234th Pope) died.

1621, Pope Gregory XV (234th Pope) acceded (formerly Cardinal Alexander Ludovisi, died 1623).

28/1/1621, Pope Paul V (233rd Pope) died.

5/3/1605, Pope Clement VIII (231st Pope) (born 1533) died. Cardinal Alessandro de Medici elected as Pope Leo XI (232nd Pope) (April 1605), but died that year. Pope Paul V (233rd Pope), formerly Cardinal Camillo Borghese, acceded (died 1621).

1592, Pope Clement VIII (231st Pope) acceded (formerly Cardinal Ippolito Aldobrandini) (died 1605).

30/12/1591, Pope Innocent IX (230th Pope) died.

29/10/1591, Pope Innocent IX became the 230th Pope.

16/10/1591, Pope Gregory XIV (229th Pope) died.

1590, Pope Gregory XIV (229th Pope), formerly Cardinal Niccolo Sfomdrato, acceded (died 1591).

1590, Pope Urban V (228th Pope), formerly Cardinal Giambattista Castagna, acceded, but died 12 days later.

27/8/1590, Pope Sixtus V (227th Pope) died.

1585, Pope Sixtus V (227th Pope), formerly Cardinal Felice Peretti, acceded.

10/4/1585, Pope Gregory XIII (226th Pope) died.

1572, Pope Gregory XIII acceded (226th Pope) . Formerly Cardinal Ugo Buoncompagni (born 1502), he died in 1585.

1/5/1572, Pope Pius V (225th Pope) (born 1504) died.

8/1/1566, Pope Pius V (225th Pope) acceded. Formerly Cardinal Michaele Ghisleri (1504 – 1572)

9/12/1565, Pope Pius IV (224th Pope) died (born 1499).

25/12/1559, Pope Pius IV (born 31/3/1499), (224th Pope) acceded ((formerly Cardinal Giovanni de Medici, died 1565).

9/8/1559, Pope Paul IV (223rd Pope) died, aged 83. In Rome his statue was torn down, the prisoners of the Inquisition freed, and Inquisition records destroyed.

1555, Pope Paul IV (223rd Pope) acceded (formerly Cardinal Giovanni Pietro Caraffa).

30/4/1555, Pope Marcellus II (formerly Cardinal Marcello Cervino) (222nd Pope) died, aged 54. He was succeeded by Pope Paul IV. Paul ordered that the Jewish quarter in Rome be walled, creating the Ghetto of Rome. Palestrina was appointed a member of the Pontifical Choir by Paul IV without examination creating resentment amongst the other choir members.

10/4/1555, Pope Marcellus II was elected Pope.

23/3/1555, Pope Julius III (221st Pope) died (born 1487), aged 67. He was succeeded by Pope Marcellus II,

2/1550, Julius III (221st Pope) acceded (born 1487). Prevoiously Cardinal Giovanni del Monte, he died in 1555.

10/11/1549, Pope Paul III (220th Pope) died.

25/9/1534, Pope Clement VII (219th Pope) died after eating poisonous mushrooms (born 1475). Pope Paul III (220th Pope), formerly Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (1468-1549) acceded.

19/11/1523, Pope Clement VII (219th Pope) (died 1534) succeeded Pope Adrian VI .

14/9/1523, Pope Adrian VI, Adrian Dedel, Dutch, (218th Pope) died, aged 64. The last non-Italian Pope until John Paul II (acceded 1978), he allied with the Holy Roman Emperor, Venice and England against France. This split the forces of Christendom, resulting in the loss of Rhodes to the Ottoman Turks.

9/1/1522, Pope Adrian VI (218th Pope) acceded (died 1523).

1/12/1521, Pope Leo X (217th Pope) died.

21/2/1513, Pope Julius II (216th Pope) died.

31/10/1503, Pope Julius II (216th Pope) succeeded Pope Pius III.

18/10/1503, Pope  Pius III died.

22/9/1503, Pope Pius III (215th Pope) (Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini) succeeded Pope Alexander VI.  However he died on 18/10/1503.

18/8/1503. Death of Pope Alexander VI (214th Pope), or Rodrigo Borgia, aged 74.

10/8/1492. Pope Innocent VIII (213rd Pope) was succeeded by Rodrigo de Borgia. He took the name Pope Alexander VI. Rodrigo Borgia had bribed enough cardinals to ensure his election as Pope. See 18/8/1503.

24/7/1492, Pope Innocent VIII (213rd Pope) died.

1484, Pope Innocent VIII (213rd Pope) acceded (died 1492)/

12/8/1484, Pope Sixtus V (212nd Pope) died, and was succeeded by Pope Innocent VIII.

1471, Pope Sixtus IV (212nd Pope) acceded (died 1485)

25/7/1471, Pope Paul II (211st Pope) died, aged 54. He was succeeded by Pope Sixtus IV.

1464, Pope Paul II (211st Pope) acceded (died 1471)

14/8/1464, Pope Pius II (210th Pope) died.

1458, Pope Pius II (Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini) (210th Pope) acceded (died 1464)

6/8/1458, Pope Calistus III (209th Pope) died.

8/4/1455, Pope Callistus III (born 1378) (209th Pope) acceded (died 1458).

24/3/1455, Pope Nicholas V (208th Pope) died.

1448, Pope Nicholas V (208th Pope) acceeded.

1431, Pope Eugene IV (207th Pope) acceded (died 1447). Opposed by antipope Felix V (Amadeus of Savoy)

20/2/1431, Pope Martin V (206th Pope) died (acceded 1417).

1417, Pope Benedict XIII, Pedro de Luna, antipope, acceded 1394, was deposed by the Council of Constance. However he maintained his position as ‘Pope’ until his death. In Rome, Martin V (died 1431) was elected as true Pope (206th Pope); end of the Great Schism.

18/10/1417, Pope Gregory XII (205th Pope) was killed (acceded 1406).

1415, Pope John XXIII, Baldassare Cossa, antipope, acceded 1400, deposed.

1409, Pope Alexander V, Pietro Philarghi, antipope, acceded (ruled to 1410).

1378-1417 The Great Schism of the Papacy, with rival Popes in Avignon and Rome.

1406, Pope Gregory XII (205th Pope) acceded.

6/11/1406, Pope Innocent VII (204th Pope) died.

1404, Pope Innocent VII (204th Pope) acceded (died 1406).

1400, Pope John XXIII, antipope, Baldassare Cossa, acceded. Ruled until 1415.

1394, Pope Benedict XIII, antipope, Pedro de Luna, acceded. Ruled till 1417.

1389, Pope Boniface IX (203rd Pope) elected at Rome (died 1404)

1378, Pope Clement VII, antipope, Robert of Geneva, acceded. Ruled until 1394.

27/3/1378, Pope Gregory XI died.

1378, Pope Urban VI (202nd Pope) acceded. Ruled until 1389.

1305-1377 The Avignon Period of the Papacy

1370, Pope Gregory XI (201st Pope) acceded (died 1378)

1362, Pope Urban V (200th Pope) acceded (died 1370).

12/9/1362, Pope Innocent VI died.

1352, Pope Innocent VI (199th Pope) acceded (died 1362)

1342, Pope Clement VI (198th Pope) acceded (died 1352).

1334, Pope Benedict XII (197th Pope) acceded (died 1342).

4/12/1334, Pope John XXII died at Avignon, aged 85. He was succeeded by Jacques Fournier, who became Pope Benedict XII.

1328, Pope Nicholas, antipope, acceded. Ruled until 1330.

1316, Pope John XXII (196th Pope) acceded (died 1334).

1305, Pope Clement V (French, 195th Pope) acceded (died 1314).

1303, Pope Benedict IX, (194th Pope), acceded. Ruled until 1304.

11/11/1303, Pope Boniface VIII died.

23/12/1294. Boniface VIII (193rd Pope, died 1303) was made Pope in succession to Celestine V, 192nd Pope, who abdicated after 5 months on 13/12/1294.

1288, Pope Nicholas IV, 191st Pope, acceded. Ruled until 1292.

3/4/1287, Pope Honorius IV (190th Pope) died.

1285, Pope Honorius IV (190th Pope) acceded (died 1287).

1281, Pope Martin IV (189th Pope) acceded (died 1285)

1277, Pope Nicholas III (188th Pope) acceded (died 1280).

1276, No less than four Popes ruled this year; Gregory X (184th Pope), Innocent V (185th Pope), Hadrian V (186th Pope), and John XXI. (187th Pope).

22/6/1276, Pope Innocent V (185th Pope) died.

10/1/1276, Pope Gregory X (184th Pope) died.

1271, Pope Gregory X (184th Pope) acceded.

1268, Pope Clement IV (183rd Pope) died; the Papacy lay vacant for three years, until 1271.

1265, Pope Clement IV (183rd Pope) acceded (died 1268)

29/8/1261, Pope Urban IV (died 1264) succeeded Pope Alexander IV as the 182nd pope, the last man to do so without being a cardinal first

25/5/1261. Death of Pope Alexander IV (181st Pope). Rinaldo Conti was elected Pope Alexander IV at Naples, after the death of Pope Innocent IV, (180th Pope) on 12/12/1254.

1254, Pope Alexander IV (181st Pope) acceded (died 1261).

7/12/1254, Pope Innocent IV  (180th Pope) died.

1243, Pope Innocent IV (180th Pope) acceded (died 1254).

22/8/1241, Pope Gregory IX (178th Pope) died. Pope Celestine IV (179th Pope) acceded, died after 17 days in office.

1227, Pope Gregory IX (178th Pope) acceded (died 1241)

18/3/1227, Pope Honorius III (177th Pope) died.

1216, Pope Honorius III (177th Pope) acceded (died 1227)

16/7/1216, Pope Innocent III (176th Pope) died.

8/1/1198. (1) Pope Celestine III (175th Pope) died.

(2) On his election as Pope, aged 37, Innocent III (176th Pope, died 1216) called for a new Crusade.

1191, Pope Celestine III (175th Pope) acceded (died 1198)

1187, Pope Clement III (174th Pope) acceded, ruled until 1191.

17/12/1187, Pope Gregory VIII (173rd Pope) died.

1187, Pope Gregory VIII (173rd Pope) acceded (died 1187). Pope Clement III (174th Pope) acceded (died 1191).

1185, Pope Urban III (172nd Pope) acceded (died 1187).

1181, Pope Lucius III (171st Pope) acceded (died 1185).

1178, Pope Innocent III, antipope, acceded; ruled until 1180.

1168, Pope Callistus III, antipope, accdeded; ruled until 1177.

1165, Pope Pascal III, antipope, acceded; ruled until 1168.

1159, Pope Victor IV, antipope, Octavius, acceded; ruled until 1164.

1159, Pope Alexander III (170th Pope) acceded (died 1181).

1/9/1159. Death of Pope Adrian IV, (169th Pope) elected Pope on 4/12/1154.

4/12/1154. Election of Pope Adrian IV,  (169th Pope). Adrian IV was Nicholas Breakespear, the only ever English Pope. This followed the death of Pope Anastasius IV (168th Pope) on 3/12/1154, who was Pope from 9/7/1153. He was a sritct disciplinarian, which led to attmepts to defame his acharacter: he had to appear before Pope Eugene III to clear his character. Adrian IV settled a dispute with Emperor Frederick I over the See of Magdeburg, and he granted the Lordship of Ireland to King Henry II of England.

1153, Pope Anastasius IV (168th Pope) acceded.

1145, Pope Eugene III (167th Pope) acceded (died 1153)

1144, Pope Lucius II (166th Pope) acceded (died 1145)

1143, Pope Celestine II (165th Pope) acceded (died 1144)

24/9/1143, Pope Innocent II (164th Pope) died.

1138, Pope Victor IV, antipope, Gregory Conti, acceded; ruled until 1138.

1130, Pope Anacletus II, antipope, acceded, ruled until 1138.

1130, Pope Innocent II (164th Pope) acceded.

14/2/1130, Pope Honorius II (163rd Pope) died.

1124, Pope Celestine II, antipope, acceded, ruled until 1124.

1124, Pope Honorius II, (163rd Pope), acceded.

1119, Pope Callistus II, (162nd Pope) acceded, ruled until 1124.

1118, Pope Gregory VIII, antipope, acceded; ruled until 1118.

1118-1119, Reign of Pope Gelasius II (161st Pope).

1105, Pope Sylvester IV, antipope, Maginulf, acceded, ruled until 1111.

1102, Pope Aleric, antipope, acceded, ruled until 1102.

1100, Pope Theodoric, antipope, acceded, ruled until 1100.

1099, Pope Paschal II acceded (160th Pope) (died 1118).

29/7/1099, Pope Urban II (159th Pope) died in Rome.

12/3/1088, Odo was elected Pope; he took the name Urban II (159th Pope) (died 1099).

1086, Pope Victor III acceded (158th Pope) (died 1087).

25/5/1085. Pope Gregory VII (157th Pope) died in exile.His supporters elected Desiderius, Abbott of Monte Casino, as Pope Victor III, (158th Pope) refusing to accept the papacy of Clement III, antipope, Guibert, as being a puppet of King Henry IV of Germany. Clement III was antipope until 1100. When Victor III (158th Pope) died the cardinals elected Urban II (159th Pope) (1086-99) as Pope, a candidate favoured by Gregory VII himself.

22/4/1073, Hildebrand was elected Pope Gregory VII (157th Pope). His election was unusual, being accomplished by Roman clergy and common people, rather than by Cardinals.

1061, Pope Honorius II, antipope, acceded; ruled until 1072.

1061, Pope Alexander II (156th Pope) acceded (died 1073)

1058, Pope Benedict X, antipope, acceded (died 1059). Parma Cathedral begun.

1058, Nicholas II, (155th Pope), acceded, ruled until 1061.

29/3/1058, Pope Stephen X (154th Pope) died.

1057, Pope Stephen X (154th Pope) acceded (died 1058)

1055, Pope Victor II (Bavarian, 153rd Pope) acceded (died 1057)

19/4/1054, Pope Leo IX (152nd Pope) died.

1049, Pope Leo IX (152nd Pope) acceded.

1048, Pope Damascus II (151st Pope) acceded (died 1049)

1047, Pope Benedict IX (150th Pope) regained the Papacy, and was Pope for a third time (died 1048)

1046, Pope Gregory VI (148th Pope) deposed. The Synod of Rome elected Pope Clement II (Saxon, 149th Pope) (died 1047).

1045, Pope Gregory VI (148th Pope, deposed 1046) acceded, having bought the Papacy from the deposed Pope Benedict IX (147th Pope).

1045, Pope Benedict IX (147th Pope) regained the Papacy..

1045, Pope Sylvester III (146th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 1045, succeded by Pope Benedict IX (147th Pope), who regained the Papacy.

1032, Pope Benedict IX acceded (145th Pope, deposed 1045)

1024, Pope John XIX acceded (144th Pope, died 1032)

1012, Pope Gregory, antipope, acceded, ruled until 1012.

1012, Pope Benedict VIII acceded (143rd Pope, died 1024)

1009, Pope Sergius IV acceded (142nd Pope, died 1012)

1003, Pope John XVIII acceded (141st Pope, died 1009)

1003, Pope John XVII acceded (140th Pope, died 1003)

12/5/1003. Sylvester II, (Gerbert of Aurillac) the first French Pope (139th Pope), died. Elected in 999 with the backing of Otto III, he encouraged the Holy Roman Emperor’s ambition to re-create the Roman Empire of the west.

999, Gerbert of Aurillac, mathematician, philosopher and inventor, became Pope Sylvester II, (139th Pope) the first French Pope (died 1003)

4/2/999, Pope Gregory V (138th Pope) died.

997, Pope John XVI, antipope, acceded, ruled until 998.

996, Pope Gregory V (Saxon) acceded (138th Pope, died 999)

985, Pope John XV acceded (137th Pope, died 996)

983, Pope John XIV acceded (136th Pope, died 984)

974, Pope Boniface VII, antipope, acceded. He ruled until 974, and again from 984 to 985.

974, Pope Benedict VII acceded (135th Pope, died 983)

973, Pope Benedict VI acceded (134th Pope, died 974).

965, Pope John XIII acceded (133rd Pope, died 972)

964, Pope Benedict V acceded (132nd Pope, died 964)

963, Pope Leo VIII, 131st Pope, acceded; died 964.

955, Pope John XII acceded (130th Pope, died 963)

946, Pope Agapetus II acceded (129th Pope, died 955)

942, Pope Marinus II acceded (128th Pope, died 946)

939, Pope Stephen IX acceded (127th Pope, died 942)

936, Pope Leo VII acceded (126th Pope, died 939)

931, Pope John XI acceded (125th Pope, died 936)

929, Pope Stephen VIII acceded (124th Pope, died 931)

928, Pope Leo VI acceded (123rd Pope, died 928)

914, Pope John X acceded (122nd Pope, died 928)

913, Pope Lando acceded (121st Pope, died 914). Thereafter, no Pope assumed a name not already used by a predecessor.

911, Pope Anastasius III acceded (120th Pope, died 913)

14/4/911, Pope Sergius III (119th Pope) died.

904, Pope Sergius III acceded (119th Pope, died 911).

903, Pope Leo V acceded (118th Pope), later in 903, deposed. Pope Christopher, antipope, acceded (died 904).

900, Pope Benedict IV acceded (117th Pope, died 903)

898,Pope John IX acceded (116th Pope, died 900).

897, Pope Theodore II acceded (115th Pope, died 897).

897, Pope Romanus acceded (114th Pope, died 897)

896, Pope Stephen VI (VII) acceded (113th Pope, died 897)

896, Pope Boniface VI acceded (112th Pope), died 896.

891, Pope Formosus I acceded (111th Pope, died 896)

885, Pope Stephen V (VI) acceded (110th Pope), ruled until 891.

884, Pope Adrian III acceded (109th Pope, died 885)

882, Pope Marinus I acceded (108th Pope, died 884)

872, Pope John VIII acceded (107th Pope, died 882)

867, Pope Adrian II, aged 75, acceded (106th Pope, died 872)

13/11/867, Pope Nicholas I (105th Pope) died.

858, Pope Nicholas I, 105th Pope, acceded.

855, Pope Anastasius, antipope, ruled until 855.

855, Pope Benedict III acceded (104th Pope, died 858)

847, Pope Leo IV acceded (103rd Pope, died 855)

844, Pope John, antipope.

844, Pope Sergius acceded (102nd Pope, died 847)

827, Pope Valentine (100th Pope) ruled for just 40 days. He was succeeded by Pope Gregory IV (101st Pope, died 844).

824, Pope Eugene II acceded, 99th Pope, ruled until 827.

817, Pope Paschal I acceded, 98th Pope, ruled until 824.

816, Pope Stephen IV (V) acceded, 97th Pope, ruled until 817.

795, Pope Leo III acceded (96th Pope, died 816).

25/12/795. Death of Pope Adrian I, 95th Pope, from 772 to 795.

772, Pope Adrian I (95th Pope), acceded.

768, Pope Philip, antipope, acceded, ruled until 768.

767, Pope Constantine II, antipope, acceded, ruled until 767.

767, Pope Stephen III (IV) acceded (94th Pope, died 772).

28/6/767, Pope Paul I (93rd Pope) died.

29/5/757, Pope Paul I (93rd Pope) acceded. He succeeded Pope Stephen II (III).

26/4/757, This second Pope Stephen II (Stephen III) (92nd Pope) died 26/4/757.

26/3/752, Pope Stephen II (III) (92nd Pope) was elected, succeeding the Pope Stephen II who died that month before taking office.

3/752, Pope Stephen II (-th Pope) was elected to succeed Pope Zachary (91st Pope), However he died of  a stroke 4 days after election, before he could be installed as Pope.  Therefore he is omitted from modern numbered lists of Popes.

14/3/752, Pope Zachary (91st Pope, 741-52) died in Rome.

5/12/741, Pope Zachary (91st Pope) acceded. He succeeded Pope Gregory III (90th Pope).

731, Pope Gregory III (90th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 741.

11/2/731, Pope Gregory II (89th Pope) died.

715, Pope Gregory acceded (89th Pope, died 731).

708, Pope Constantine, 88th Pope, acceded. He ruled until 715.

708, Pope Sisinnius (87th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 708.

705, Pope John VII (86th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 707.

701, Pope John VI (85th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 705.

687, Antipopes Theodore and Paschal.

687, Pope Sergius I (84th Pope, died 701)

686, Pope Conon (83rd Pope, died 687).

685, Pope John V (82nd Pope) acceded. He ruled until 686.

684, Pope Benedict II (81st Pope, died 685).

682, Pope Leo II (80th Pope, died 683).

678, Pope Agatho (79th Pope), acceded. He ruled until 681.

676, Pope Donus (78th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 678.

676, Pope Adeodatus II (77th Pope) died, succeeded by Pope Donus (died 678)

672, Pope Adeodatus II (77th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 676.

672, Pope Vitalian (76th Pope) died, succeeded by Pope Adeodatus II (died 676).

657, Pope Vitalian (76th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 672.

655, Pope Eugene I (75th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 657.

16/9/655, Pope Martin I (74th Pope) died.

649, Pope Martin I (74th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 655.

642, Pope Theodore I (73rd Pope) acceded. He ruled until 649.

640, Pope John IV (72nd Pope) acceded. He ruled until 642.

640, Pope Severinus (71st Pope) acceded. He ruled until 640.

638, Pope Honorius I (70th Pope) died.

625, Pope Honorius (70th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 638.

625, Pope Boniface V (69th Pope)  died, succeeded by Pope Honorius I (died 638).

619, Pope Boniface V (69th Pope) acceeded, died 625.

615, Pope Adeodatus I (St Deusedit), 68th Pope, acceded. He ruled until 618.

608, Pope Boniface IV (67th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 615.

607, Pope Boniface III (66th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 607.

604, Pope Sabinian (65th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 606.

3/9/590, Gregory the Great (64th Pope), died 604, was appointed Pope. He succeeded Pope Pelagius II.

7/2/590, Pope Pelagius II (63rd Pope) fell victim to the plague that devastated Rome. After a 11-year reign he was succeeded by Gregory I, age 50, as the 64th Pope (died 604).

579, Pope Pelagius II (63rd Pope) acceded. He ruled until 590.

579, Pope Benedict I (62nd Pope) died, succeeded by Pope Pelagius II (63rd Pope).

575, Pope Benedict I (62nd Pope) succeeded Pope John III (61st Pope)

574, Pope John III (61st Pope) died.

2/3/561, Pope Pelagius I (60th Pope) died. He was succeeded by Pope John III (61st Pope, died 574).

556, Pope Pelagius I (60th Pope) succeeded Pope Vigilius (59th Pope, died 555).

537, Pope Silverius (58th Pope) died, succeeded by Pope Vigilius (59th Pope, died 555)

536, Pope Agapetus I (57th Pope) died, succeeded by Pope Silverius (58th Pope, died 537)

535, Pope John II (56th Pope) died, succeeed by Pope Agapetus I (57th Pope, died 536).

533, Pope John II (56th Pope) succeeded Pope Boniface II, (55th Pope) who died in 532.

532, Pope Boniface II (55th Pope) died, succeded by Pope John II (56th Pope).

530, Pope Felix IV (III) (54th Pope) died, succeeded by Pope Boniface II (55th Pope) died 532)

526, Pope John I died,(53rd Pope) succeeded by Pope Felix IV (54th Pope, died 530)

523, Pope Hormisdas (52nd Pope) died, succeeded by Pope John I (53rd Pope, died 526)

514, Pope Hormisdas (52nd Pope) acceded. He ruled until 523.

498, Pope Laurentius, antipope, acceded. He ruled until 501.

498, Pope Symmachus (51st Pope) acceded. He ruled until 514.

496, Pope Anastasius II (50th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 498.

496, Pope Gelasisus I (49th Pope) died.

492, Pope Gelasius I (49th Pope) acceded.

483, Pope Felix III (II) (48th Pope), acceded. He ruled until 492.

10/3/483, Pope Simplicius (47th Pope) died

28/2/468, ‘Saint’ Hilary, 46th Pope, died.

10/11/461, Pope Leo I (the Great) (45th Pope, Pope since 440) died.

440, Pope Sixtus III (44th Pope) died. Pope Leo I succeeded.

422, Pope Celestine I (43rd Pope) acceded (died 432)

418, Pope Eulalius, antipope, acceded. He ruled until 419.

418, Pope Boniface I (42nd Pope) acceded. He ruled until 422.

417, Pope Zosimus (41st Pope) acceded. He ruled until 418.

12/3/417, Pope Innocent I (40th Pope, Pope since 401) died.

401, Pope Innocent I (40th Pope), acceded. He ruled until 417.

399, Pope Anastasius (39th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 401.

26/11/399, Pope Siricius (38th Pope) died at Rome.

17/12/384,  Pope Siricius (38th Pope) succeeded Damasus I.

366, Pope Ursicinus, antipope, acceded. He ruled until 367.

366, Pope Damasus I (37th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 384.

352, Pope Liberius (35th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 366.

352, Pope Julius I (35th Pope) died.

337, Pope Julius I (35th Pope) acceded.

336, Pope Marcus (34th Pope) acceded. He ruoed until 336.

314, Pope,Sylvester I (33rd Pope) acceded. He ruled until 336.

311, Pope Miltiades (32nd Pope) acceded. He ruled until 314.

309/310, Pope Eusebius (31st Pope) acceded.

308, Pope Marcellus I (30th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 309.

296, Pope Marcellinus (29th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 304.

283, Pope Caius (28th Pope) acceded. He ryuled until 296.

275, Pope Eutychian (27th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 283.

269, Pope Felix (26th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 274.

260, Pope Dionysius (25th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 268.

6/8/258, Pope Sixtus II (24th Pope)  martyred.

257, Pope Sixtus (24th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 258.

254, Pope Stephen I (23rd Pope) acceded. He ruled until 257.

253, Pope Lucius I (22nd Pope) acceded. He ruled until 254.

251, Pope Novatian, antipope, acceded. He ruled until 251.

251, Pope Cornelius (21st Pope) acceded. He ruled until 253.

236, Pope Fabian (20th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 250.

235, Pope Anterus (19th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 236.

230, Pope Pontain (18th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 235.

230, Pope Urban I died (17th Pope, Pope from 222).

222, Pope Urban I (17th Pope) acceded.

217, Pope Hippolyte, antipope, acceded. He ruled until 236.

217, Pope Callistus I (16th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 222.

199, Pope Zephyrinus (15th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 217.

199, Pope Victor (14th Pope, Pope from 189) died.

189, Pope Victor I (14th Pope), acceded.

175, Pope Eleutherius (13th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 189.

166, Pope Soter (12th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 175.

155, Pope Anicetus (11th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 166.

140, Pope Pius I (10th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 155.

136, Pope Hyginus (9th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 140.

125, Pope Telesphorus (8th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 136.

115, Pope Sixtus I (Xystus I) (7th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 125.

105, Pope Alexander I (6th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 115.

97, Pope Evaristus (5th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 105.

97, Pope Clement I (4th Pope, Pope, 88 – 97) died.

88, Pope Clement (4th Pope) acceded. He ruled until 97.

76, Pope Anacletus (Cletus) (3rd Pope) acceded. He ruled until 88.

67, Pope Linus (2nd Pope) acceded. He ruled until 76.

The Apostle Peter is, by Church tradition, reckoned as the first ‘Pope’ of the Catholic Church, over the period 33 - 67 (from the death of Jesus). However he would not have seen himself as having this title vested in him.


Appendix 4  - Religious Buildings The growth of monasticism in the early Church was a lay reaction to the perceived departure from original Christian ideals that the Church had undergone in the first few centuries after Christ’s death. However monasticism itself soon became subservient to the Catholic Church.

4.1. Europe

4.1.1 United Kingdom

1/3/1986, Ely Cathedral became the first cathedral in Britain to levy an admission charge.

1895, Construction of the Catholic Cathedral at Westminister began.

14/5/1967. Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King was consecrated.

28/12/1966, Westminster Abbey celebrated its 900th anniversary.

30/5/1962, Coventry’s new Cathedral was inaugurated. The original mediaeval building had been destroyed by German bombers in November 1940.

25/5/1962. Coventry’s new cathedral, designed by Sir Basil Spence, was consecrated.

17/5/1961. Guildford Cathedral was consecrated.

19/7/1924. Liverpool Cathedral was consecrated, although it was not yet finished. Construction had begun in 1904.

28/6/1910. Westminster Cathedral, Catholic, was consecrated.

17/7/1904. The foundation stone of the Anglican Liverpool Cathedral was laid by King Edward VII.

29/6/1895, The foundation stone of Westminster Cathedral, London, was laid.

20/5/1840. York Minster was badly damaged by fire.

5/12/1697. The first Sunday service was held in Sir Christopher Wren’s new St Paul’s Cathedral (consecrated 2/12/1697), London; the foundation stone had been laid on 22/6/1675.

23/3/1540. The Crown seized Waltham Abbey. It was the last of the great monasteries to be seized by Henry VIII, bringing to an end a four-year campaign that had seen some 550 church properties, with their gold and jewels, pass to the King. The total income from these properties was around £132,000 a year and Henry VIII gave some of this to his supporters.

30/11/1538, In England, Byland Abbey was dissolved.

21/1/1535, Henry VIII appointed Cromwell as vice-regent in spiritual or vicar-general. Cromwell now set about assessing the value of England’s monasteries.

See also Great Britain for religious conflicts during 16th century

1)      1460, Winchester Cathedral was completed.

2)      1405, Construction work on Bath Abbey began (completed 1499).

3)      1378, St Machar Cathedral, Aberdeen, founded.

4)      13/2/1322, The central tower of Ely Cathedral in England fell.

5)      1307, The towers of Lincoln Cathedral were completed.

6)      1293, An order of St Clare nuns was established in London, the ‘Sorores Minores’. Set up by Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, this gave its name to The Minories today.

7)      19/6/1285. Westminster Abbey completed.

8)      1258, Richmond Friary, Yorkshire (Franciscan), was founded.

9)      20/9/1258. Salisbury Cathedral was consecrated. Construction had begun in 1220.

10)  1238, Inchmahome Priory (Augustinian), Perthshire, was founded.

11)  6/10/1238, Peterborough Cathedral was consecrated.

12)  1232, The Augustinian Priory of Selthorne, Hampshire, was founded.

13)  1204, Beaulieu Abbey (Cistercian), Hampshire, was founded by King John.

14)  1022, Gloucester Abbey (Benedictine) was founded. Earlier, a nunnery (681) and a monastery (821) had been established in the city.

15)  19/6/1224, The foundation stone of Elgin Cathedral was laid.

16)  1197, Construction work began on Glasgow Cathedral. This replaced an earlier church built in 1136 by Bishop John Achaius, which had burnt down.

17)  1196, Tor Abbey, Torquay, was founded.

18)  1181, The first Carthusian Monastery in Engtland was founded, at Witham.

19)  1180, The Cathedralof St Davids, Pembrokeshire, was founded.

20)  1178, Lesnes Abbey, Bexley, London, was founded by Richard de Lucy. See London, 1936.

21)  1177, The Augustinian Waltham Abbey was founded.

22)  1170, Newstead Abbey (north of Nottingham) was founded by the Augustinians.

23)  1158, Construction of Oxford Cathedral began.

24)  1161, Dudley Priory (Cluniac) was founded.

25)  1152, Kirkstall Abbey, near Leeds, was founded; originally founded at Barnoldswick in 1147, moved to Kirkstall 5 years later.

26)  1150, The Augustinian priory at Christchurch (Bournemouth) was founded,

27)  1147, Faversham Abbey (Cluniac) founded.

28)  1145, Woburn Abbey (Cistercian) was founded.

29)  1144, St Andrews Priory (Augustinian) was founded.

30)  1142, CoggeshallAbbey (Cistercian) was founded.

31)  1137, St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkneys, was founded.

32)  1136, The Cistercian Abbey of Melrose was founded by King David I of Scotland.

33)  1134, The Cistercian Abbey of Stratford (east London) was founded.

34)  1132. Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire, was founded.

35)  9/5/1131, Tintern Abbey was founded.

36)  1130, Neath Abbey, south Wales, was founded by the Cistercians.

37)  1128, Waverley Abbey, near Farnham, was founded; the first Cistercian Abbey in England.

38)  1127, Furness Abbey, originally Benedictine was founded. It became a very wealthy Cistercian house.

39)  1121, Reading Abbey (Benedictine) was established by King Henry I.

40)  1119, Guisborough Priory was founded by Robert de Brus. At the time of the reformation this was one of the wealthiest monastic institutions in England.

41)  1112, Exeter Cathedral was founded.

42)  1106, The Augustinian Priory of St Mary was founded at Southwark (London).

43)  1108, Chichester Cathedral was founded. Built in wood, it burned down in 1114 and was rebuilt in stone in the 1100s. It fell down in 1861 and was again rebuilt, 1865-66.

44)  1104, The Cluniac Priory at Thetford was founded by Bigod.

45)  1103, The Augustinian Priory at Worksop was founded.

46)  1093, Hugh le Gros founded the Benedictine monastery of Chester.

47)  11/8/1093, Construction of Durham Cathedral in England began.

48)  6/5/1092, Lincoln Cathedral was consecrated (begun 1075).

49)  1083, Ely Cathedral was founded.

50)  1079, Work began on Hereford Cathedral.

51)  1077, St Albans Abbey rebuilt (see 793). The first Cluniac monastery in England built, at Lewes.

52)  1070, Work began on York Cathedral.

53)  1069, Selby Abbey (Benedictine) was founded.

54)  28/12/1065, Westminster Abbey was consecrated.

55)  974, A Benedictine monastery was founded at Eynesbury, near St Neots.

56)  970, Ely Abbey refounded (first founded 670), by the Benedictines.

See also Great Britain

57)  966, Worcester Cathedral was founded by St Oswald.

58)  961, Tavistock Abbey (Benedictine) was founded by Ordgar, Eoldorman of Devon.

59)  938, Aethelstan founded Milton Abbey, Dorset.

60)  932, Aethelstan founded Exeter Monastery (Benedictine).

61)  888, Athelney Abbey (Benedictine), Somerset, was founded by King Alfred.

62)  793, St Albans Abbey (Benedictine) was founded by Offa, King of Mercia. This Abbey was rebuilt in 1077.

63)  715, Tewkesbury monastery was founded.

64)  709, Evesham Benedictine Abbey was founded.

65)  705, Wells Cathedral founded. Pope John VII (died 707).

66)  685, Winchester Cathedral founded.

67)  682, Jarrow monastery was founded by Benedict Biscop.

68)  681, Gloucester Abbey founded.

69)  678, Ripon Abbey founded by St Wilfrid. Pope Donus died, succeeded by Pope Agatho (died 681).

70)  674, Monkwearmouth Abbey (Sunderland) was founded by Benedict Biscop.

71)  674, Hexham Monastery was founded by St Wilfrid.

72)  673, Ely Abbey founded by St Etheldreda (but burnt by the Danes in 870, refounded 970). Malmesbury Abbey founded.

73)  670, Barking Abbey, east London, founded.

74)  666, Chertsey Monsatery was founded; refounded by Edgar as a Benedictine monastery in 964.

75)  660, Ripley Monastery, Yorkshire, was founded.

76)  657. Whitby Abbey founded by Abbess Hilda.

77)  655, The Benedictine monastery at Peterborough was founded by the Mercian, Thane Saxulf.

78)  650, Dereham Abbey, Norfolk, was founded by St Withberga.

79)  635, Lindisfarne Abbey, Holy Island, was founded by Oswald, King of Northumbria.

80)  627, The first York Minster, made of wood, was replaced by a stone strcture by King Edwin of Northumbria.

81)  603, The first Church of St Pauls, London, was built. St Andrews Church, Rochester, was built.

82)  601, The first York Minster was built. Made of wood, it was replaced bya stone edifice in 627.

83)  597, St Augustine founded a Benedictine monastery in Canterbury.

84)  558, The Abbey of Bangor, Wales, was founded by St Comgall.

4.1.2. Ireland

1142, Mellifont Abbey, Drogheda, was founded; the first Cistercians establishment in Ireland.

4.1.3. Sweden

1289, Uppsala Cathedral, Sweden, was founded.

4.1.4. Belgium

1500, Antwerp Cathedral was completed (begun 1352).

651, The Benedictine Monastery at Stavelot, Belgium, was founded.

4.1.5 Germany

14/8/1880. Cologne Cathedral was completed; it was begun in 1248 (or 1270/5)..

1)      1488, Munich Cathedral founded.

2)      1137, Mainz Cathedral was completed.

3)      1059, Bonn Cathedral begun.

4)      980, Building of Mainz Cathedral began.

5)      904, Tbe Benedictine Monastery of Luneberg was founded.

6)      853, Essen Minster founded.

7)      802, The monastery at Munster was founded. St Ludger was the first Bishop (died 809).

8)      796, Aachen Cathedral wasd founded by Charlemagne.

9)      792, Construction of Fulda Cathedral, Germany,began.

10)  764, Benedictine monastery at Ottobeuren, Bavaria, founded.

11)  763, Benedictine monastery at Lorsch, Hesse, founded.

12)  736, The Benedictine Abbey of Hersfeld, Hesse, was founded.

4.1.6. Austria

1614, Salzburg Cathedral was founded.

698, The Monastery of St Peters, Salzburg, Austria, was founded.

4.1.7. Switzerland

740, St Leodegar monastery, Switzerland, founded.

714, Benedictine Abbey of Reichenau, Lake Contsance, founded.

4.1.8 France

18/10/1937, Rheims Cathedral was re-consecrated.

1)      1334, Construction of the Palace of the Popes, Avignon, began (completed 1362).

2)      1212, Construction work began on Rheims Cathedral (completed 1311).

3)      1163, Construction began on Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris (completed 1235).

4)      1155, Senlis Cathedral was founded.

5)      21/3/1098, Cîteaux Abbey was founded; the origin of the Cistercian Order. See 21/3/1098 in main section above.

6)      1096, Toulon Cathedral was founded.

7)      1084, The first Carthusian monastery was founded by St Bruno  at Chartreuse, in the mountains near Grenoble.

8)      1015, Building of Strasbourg Cathedral began.

9)      910, Benedictine Abbey of Cluny founded.

10)  660, The Abbey of |Notre Dame at Soissons, 110 km NE of Paris, was founded.

11)  625, Abbey of St Denis founded.

12)  600, Building work commenced on Arles Cathedral,

13)  511, The Convent of St Cesaire, Arles, France, was founded.

14)  430, St Claud Monastery, Jura, was founded.

4.1.9, Portugal

1)      1147, Lisbon Cathedral built

4.1.10 Spain

1)      1401, The Cathedral of Seville was founded (completed 1519). It stands on the site of a mosque.

2)      1350, The Cathedrals of Palma (Majorca),was completed.

3)      1324, Burgos Cathedral was consecrated.

4)      1227, Construction work on Toledo Cathedral began.

5)      781, Oviedo Cathedral was first founded (rebuilt 1388-1528).

4.1.11. Italy

1)      1450, The Vatican Library was founded.

2)      1386, Milan Cathedral was begun.

3)      1296, Construction of Florence Cathedral began.

4)      1253, The Franciscan Monastery of Assisi was completed.

5)      8/10/1094, St Marks Basilica in Venice was consecrated.

6)      8/10/1085, The Cathedral of St Marks in Venice was consecrated.

7)      828, St Marks, Venice, founded.

8)      614, Columban founded the Monastery of Bobbio, northern Italy.

9)      13/5/609, The Pantheon in Rome was consecrated as "St. Mary and the Martyrs" (informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda") by Pope Boniface IV.

10)  529, The Monastery of Monte Casino was founded by St Benedict, founder of the Benedictine Order.

11)  378, Ravenna Cathedral was begun by St Ursus.

12)  330, The first Basilica of St Peter was erected in Rome.It was demolsiehd in 1506 to make way for the present structure.

4.1.12, Greece

963, The first monastery at Mount Athos was established.

4.1.13. Cyprus

327, The Monastery of Stavrovouni, Cyprus, was built by order of St Helena, mother of Constantine the Great.

4.1.14. Russia/USSR

1393, Konevetz Monastery, Lake Ladoga, was founded.

960, Valaam Monastery, Lake Ladoga, was founded.

4.2 Asia

1877, Saigon Cathedral was built.

590, St Elijahs, the oldest monastery in Iraq, was founded, on a hiil above Mosul. It was destroyed by ISIS in 2015,

27/12/537. Emperor Justinian of Constantinople opened the Church of St Sophia, five years after building started. It was hailed as the finest church in Christendom. It replaced an original church to St Sophia built by Constantine in 330 but burnt down in the rebellion of 532. However this church collapsed  on 7/5/558, severely weakened by an earthquake in December 557. A third St Sophia was built, and completed on 24/12/562. The dome was designed by the mathematician Anthemius of Tralles, who is also said to have invented a device that used steam power to produce artificial earthquakes.

15/2/342, The original Hagia Sophia was dedicated in Constantinople

17/12/335. The Emperor Constantine’s construction, the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem, opened. ‘Christ’s tomb on Golgotha was discovered in 328 and Constantine ordered the building of this place of worship here.

325, Erection of the first Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem.

4.3. Africa

1817, The Anglican Cathedral of St George, Freetown, Liberia, was founded.

527, The Monastery of St Catherine, Sinai, was founded by Empoeror Justinian.

4.4. South America

1573, Construction of Mexico City Cathedral began (completed 1813).

1563, Bogota Cathedral, Colombia, was founded.


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