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 an influential early church thinker, the banishing of a popular preacher, and the conclusion of one of Billy Graham's greatest crusades.
Swiss Protestant Preacher Pierre Viret Ordered to Leave France — Aug. 27, 1565
This week marks the anniversary of when popular Swiss preacher Pierre Viret was ordered to leave France due to his spreading of Protestantism.
A native of Orbe, Switzerland, Viret started out as a devout Catholic who in 1527 moved to Paris to study for the priesthood.
However, by 1530, Viret had joined the nascent Protestant Reformation and preached his first sermon in his hometown at age 20.
France enacted an edict in 1565 banning all foreign born clergy. On Aug. 27, 1565, Viret was given notice that he had a few days to leave the city of Lyon, where he had been preaching.
Viret's expulsion was part of a growing hostility between Catholics and Protestants in France, which led to what was later dubbed the "Second War of Religion."
St. Augustine Dies — Aug. 28, 430
This week marks the anniversary of the death of one of the most influential and prolific Christian writers in human history.
St. Augustine of Hippo was born in what is now Algeria to a devout Christian mother and a pagan father. Baptized as an adult, he became bishop of Hippo and wrote enduring works like The City of God and Confessions.
"Augustine's literary and intellectual abilities, however, gave him the power to articulate his vision of Christianity in a way that set him apart from his African contemporaries," noted Britannica.com.
"His unique gift was the ability to write at a high theoretical level for the most discerning readers and still be able to deliver sermons with fire and fierceness in an idiom that a less cultured audience could admire."
In 429, a tribe known as the Vandals invaded North Africa and eventually laid siege to Hippo. During the tribulation, Augustine came down with a fever and died.
"Augustine remains a central figure both in Christianity and in the history of Western thought," noted Religionfacts.com. "Augustine's writings helped formulate the theory of just war."
"It is largely due to Augustine's influence that Western Christianity subscribes to the doctrine of original sin, and the Roman Catholic Church holds that baptisms and ordinations done outside of the Roman Catholic Church can be valid ..."
Billy Graham Concludes Major New York Crusade — Sept. 1, 1957
This week marks the anniversary of when the Rev. Billy Graham concluded a major crusade in New York City.
Considered his longest and largest series of revival meetings, the New York Crusade lasted 16 weeks and recorded approximately 2.3 million attendees.
"On what was planned to be the final night of the Crusade (July 20, 1957), 100,000 people jammed Yankee Stadium to hear Billy Graham preach. At that time, it was the largest crowd in the stadium's history," noted the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
"Because of popularity, the New York Crusade was extended to Sept. 1, 1957. Nearly 2.4 million people attended the meetings and more than 61,000 made decisions for Christ."
After the 1957 crusade, Graham made multiple returns to the Big Apple, including in 1960, 1969, 1970, and 1991.