Christianity is a faith with a long and detailed history, with numerous events of lasting significance occurring throughout the ages.
Each week bring 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 Mother Teresa, the beginnings of a major American university, and the advancement of Sunday school.
Mother Teresa Dies — Sept. 5, 1997
This week marks the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa at age 87. Born in 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia, as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, Mother Teresa became renowned for her charity work in India.
"Mother Teresa received various honors for her tireless and effective charity. She was awarded the Jewel of India, the highest honor bestowed on Indian civilians, as well as the now-defunct Soviet Union's Gold Medal of the Soviet Peace Committee," noted Biography.com.
"In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her work 'in bringing help to suffering humanity.'"
By 1996, the nun's body was giving out, with The New York Times reporting in her 1997 obituary that she had been "hospitalized several times ... with heart, lung, kidney and other problems, and also suffered ill health in earlier years."
Nearly 20 years after her death, the Roman Catholic Church canonized Mother Teresa as an official saint, setting the date on the eve of the anniversary of her death, Sept 4.
Founding of Harvard University — Sept. 8, 1636
This week marks the anniversary of the founding of Harvard College, which later became Harvard University.
The Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony voted to establish the school, originally called "New College," primarily as a way to educate Christian clergy.
"It was named after the college's first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution," noted Harvard.
"A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the university's best known landmark."
Despite the vote, the actual creation of the college took a few years, spurred on by an effort to advance Puritan theology over competing spiritual ideas.
William Fox Founds Sunday School Society — Sept. 7, 1785
This week marks the anniversary of when British merchant William Fox founded the Sunday School Society, an influential organization aimed at educating Christian children.
A deacon at London's Prescott Street Baptist Church, Fox sought to create what one historian called "a plan for the universal education of the poor."
An organization that included other denominations, the Sunday School Society's work soon spread throughout other parts of the British Empire and inspired the creation of a similar group in the United States.
"In twenty-seven years it formed or aided 3,730 Sunday schools, having a membership of 303,981; gave away 8,001 Bibles, 70,537 Testaments, and 329,695 spelling and reading books," wrote Sunday School Society leader Edwin Wilbur Rice.