Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he will step down from the papacy on Feb. 28.
It’s been nearly 600 years since the last time a pope resigned. That was on July 4, 1415, when Angelo Correr renounced his claim to the papacy as Pope Gregory XII. His reign was from 1406 to 1415.
So what else was happening in 1415?
» Manuel Chrysoloras was a pioneer in the introduction of Greek literature to Western Europe during the late middle ages. He died on April 15, 1415.
» On May 4, 1415, religious reformers John Wycliffe and Jan Hus were condemned as heretics at the Council of Constance.
» Jan Hus was burned at the stake in Constance on July 6, 1415. He was a religious thinker and reformer, born in Southern Bohemia in 1369. He initiated a reform movement based on the ideas of John Wycliffe. His followers became known as Hussites. The Catholic Church did not condone such uprisings, and Hus was excommunicated in 1411.
» The army of England’s King Henry V lands on the mouth of Seine River on Aug. 13, 1415.
» Frederick III was born in Innsbruck, Austria, on Sept. 21, 1415. He went on to become the King of Germany and the Holy Roman Emperor.
» The Battle of Agincourt took place in a farmer’s field in northern France on October 25, 1415. It was one in a series of encounters between France and England that has become known as the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453).
» John IV succeeded his father as Duke of Brabant in Brussels, Belgium, in October 1415, after his father died at the Battle of Agincourt.