SOURCE: Christianity Today
July 17, 180: Seven men and five women who had been captured carrying "the sacred books, and the letters of Paul" are tried before Roman proconsul Saturninus. Since none would renounce their Christian faith, all 12 were beheaded (see issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church).
July 17, 431: The Council of Ephesus ajourns, having rejected Nestorianism (the idea that Christ had two persons, not two natures) and condemned Pelagianism (a doctrine refuting human depravity) (see issue 51: Heresy in the Early Church).
July 17, 1505: Martin Luther enters theAugustinian monastic order at Erfurt, Germany, at age 21 (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).
July 18, 64: The Great Fire of Rome begins, and to direct suspicion away from himself, young Emperor Nero blames the city's Christians. A persecution followed in which Christians were (among other punishments) burned alive (see issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church).
July 18, 1870: The Vatican I Council votes 533 to 2 in favor of "papal infallibility" as defined that "the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church . . . is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that his church should be endowed.
July 18, 1970: Pope Paul VI names mystic Teresa of Avila the first woman doctor of the church.
July 19, 1692: Puritan magistrates convict and hang five women for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. By September, 20 people had been executed on charges brought by 15 young girls
July 19, 1848: More than 300 men and women assemble in the Wesleyan Chapel at Seneca Falls, New York, for the first formal convention to discuss "the social, civil and religious condition and the rights of women." The event has been called the birthplace of the women's rights movement.
July 20, 1054: Patriarch of Constantinople Michael Cerularius, having been excommunicated from the Roman church four Days earlier, excommunicates Pope Leo IX and his followers.
July 20, 1910: The Christian Endeavor Society of Missouri begins a campaign to ban all motion pictures that depicted kissing between nonrelatives.
July 21, 1773: Pope Clement XIV dissolves the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), which was founded in 1534. Clement did not condemn the Society, but explained it was an administrative move for the peace of the church. Pius VII restored the society in 1814.
July 21, 1925: Biology teacher John T. Scopes is fined $100 for teaching evolution. He lost his trial, but because of it fundamentalists lost respect (see issue 55: The Monkey Trial and The Rise of Fundamentalism).
July 22, 1620: Led by John Robinson, a group of English Separatists who had fled to Holland in 1607, sail for England, where they would board the Mayflower
July 22, 1822: Gregor Mendel, the Austrian monk and botanist who discovered the basic laws of genetic inheritance, is born.
July 23, 1373: Saint Bridget (or Birgitta) of Sweden dies. The pious and charitable mystic and founder of the Bridgettine Order, greatly influenced the pope's decision to return to Rome.