August 8, 1471: Thomas a Kempis, Dutch mystic and devotional author of The Imitation of Christ, dies at age 91. In his classic, Thomas wrote, "We must imitate Christ's life and his ways if we are to be truly enlightened and set free from the darkness of our own hearts. Let it be the most important thing we do, then, to reflect on the life of Jesus Christ."
August 8, 1492: Albrecht Durer's art is published for the first time when one of his woodcuts serves as the title page for St. Jerome's letters. In a few years, he became one of the most famous painters and engravers in Germany.
August 10, 70: Roman troops, sent by Emperor Vespasian to put down a Jewish rebellion, break through the walls of Jerusalem and destroy the temple. Some said that the event occurred on the same day of the year as the earlier destruction of Solomon's temple by Babylonians.
August 11, 1253: Clare of Assisi, a Benedictine nun known for her spiritual relationship with St. Francis and for founding the Poor Clares, dies. In 1958, citing a legend that Clare once saw and heard Mass being celebrated miles away, Pope Pius XII proclaimed her the patron saint of television.
August 11, 1519: Johann Tetzel, the German Dominican priest whose peddling of indulgences inspired Martin Luther to write his 95 Theses, dies. Throughout Germany he infamously preached, "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs." [A good stewardship motto, eh? - ed.]
August 11, 1890: John Henry Newman dies. Ordained an Anglican in 1824, he later helped lead the Oxford Movement, aiming to restore the Church of England to its high church principles. [And about time, too. - ed.]
August 13, 1587: Members of Sir Walter Raleigh's expedition to Roanoke baptises Manko, the first American Indian convert to Protestantism.
August 13, 1667: Jeremy Taylor, English scholar, theologian, and author of Holy Living and Holy Dying, dies at 54.
August 14, 1248: Construction of the Cologne Cathedral begins. Workers completed it on the same date in 1880.