Christianity is a faith with a long and detailed history, with numerous events of lasting significance occurring throughout the ages.
Each week brings the anniversaries of great milestones, horrid tragedies, amazing triumphs, and everything in between.
Here are just a few things that happened this week in Church history. They include the death of a controversial pope, the birth of an influential theologian, and the conversion of a revivalist preacher.
Pope Pius XII Died on Oct. 9, 1958
This week marks the anniversary of when Pope Pius XII died. Born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, Pius became the bishop of Rome in 1939.
"Pius' death marked not so much the end of an era for the Church as an important transition before it embarked on major reforms under John XXIII (1958–63), who convoked the Second Vatican Council (1959–65)," noted Britannica.
Pius remains a controversial figure over his pronouncement that the Virgin Mary was assumed into Heaven and for allegations that he failed to do enough to save Jews fleeing the Holocaust.
"For much of the war, he maintained a public front of indifference and remained silent while German atrocities were committed. He refused pleas for help on the grounds of neutrality, while making statements condemning injustices in general," explained the site Jewish Virtual Library.
"Privately, he sheltered a small number of Jews and spoke to a few select officials, encouraging them to help the Jews."
Charles Finney's Conversion Experience on Oct. 10, 1821
This week marks the anniversary of when one of the most influential preachers in American history had his conversion experience.
Charles Grandison Finney, a native of Litchfield County, Connecticut, went to the forests of Adams, New York, in October 1821 to search in solitude for deeper spiritual meaning. It was on Oct. 10 that the spiritual epiphany occurred.
"Just at that point this passage of Scripture seemed to drop into my mind with a flood of light: 'Then shall ye go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. Then shall ye seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart,'" Finney wrote in his 1876 memoir.
"I had intellectually believed the Bible before; but never had the truth been in my mind. that faith was a voluntary trust instead of an intellectual state. I was as conscious as I was of my existence, of trusting at that moment in God's veracity. Somehow I knew that that was a passage of Scripture, though I do not think I had ever read it. I knew that it was God's word, and God's voice, as it were, that spoke to me."
Finney would go on to become the most prominent preacher of the Second Great Awakening, with some estimating that as many as 500,000 people came to Christ through his ministry.
Jacob Arminius Was Born on Oct. 10, 1560
This week marks the anniversary of the birth of Jacob Arminius, the 16th century Protestant theologian whose school of thought challenged that of famed Christian intellectual John Calvin.
Also called Jakob Hermanszoon, Arminius was born in Oudewater, Netherlands, eventually becoming professor of theology at the University of Leiden.
Arminius believed that human beings had a level of free will when it came to salvation, in contrast to Calvinism which stipulated that God has predestined the fate of people's salvation.
"The theology of Arminianism was not fully developed during Arminius' time, but was systematized after his death and formalized in the Five articles of the Remonstrants in 1610," the Christian Classics Ethereal Library explains.
"After his death the Synod of Dordrecht (1618–1619) judged his theology and its adherents anathemas and published the five points of Calvinism (later knows as TULIP) as a point-by-point response to the five points of the Arminian Remonstrants."