This week in Christian history: Battle of Avarayr, John Calvin dies, Antipope deposed

John Calvin dies – May 27, 1564

An engraving from 1562 of Protestant Reformation leader John Calvin.
An engraving from 1562 of Protestant Reformation leader John Calvin. | Public Domain

This week marks the anniversary of when John Calvin, an influential Protestant theologian, preacher and writer, died in Geneva, Switzerland, at the age of 54.

A native of France whose name is also rendered Jean Cauvin, Calvin wrote the theologically influential Institutes of the Christian Religion. He argued for a predestination model of salvation, and helped establish a theocracy in Switzerland.

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The strain of his work is believed to have contributed to his failing health, with the Reformation leader experiencing a series of illnesses in the last years of his life, according to a History Today piece published in 2014.

“He was buried with little ceremony in, it is thought, the Cimetière des Rois,” noted History Today. “The grave was left unmarked, though in the 19th century a stone was placed on the one traditionally identified as the last resting place of the man [Calvin contemporary Theodore Beza] called ‘the greatest light there was in this world for the direction of the church of God.’”

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