A SAD DAY
- February 24, 1582: Pope Gregory XIII Decreed Calendar Reform
Pope Gregory XIII issued a Papal Bull to drop ten days from the calendar. In Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, and other major Roman Catholic countries, the day following October 4, 1582 was to be October 15, 1582. The Julian calendar, which had been in effect for 1600 years, was to be replaced by the Gregorian calendar, the fruit of research and calculation by a group of mathematicians and scholars assembled by the Vatican. They were seeking to find the perfect calendar. Western Europe at that time was infatuated with the pagan Greek concept of "perfection". The removal of ten days was meant to correct the error accumulated since A.D. 1, and to bring the date back in line with the seasons.
Most Roman Catholic countries quickly adopted the new calendar, but Protestant countries at first refused to make the change decreed by a pope. It wasn't until 1701 that the Protestant cantons of Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the greater part of Protestant Germany made the switch, and England didn't move to the Gregorian calendar until 1752, with Sweden coming on board the following year. By that time, 11 days had to be added instead of the original 10. Even more resistant than the Protestant nations were the Eastern Orthodox countries. It took the Bolshevik revolution of 1918 to make the change in Russia, and the Greek Masonic Lodge didn't go Gregorian until 1923.
If you would like to learn more about why the Orthodox Church uses the Julian Calendar as the basis of its Ecclesiastical year, please read the following: "The Struggle Against Ecumenism" by Holy Transffiguration Monastery, "The Orthodox Church Calendar" by Ludmilla Perepiolkina and the various articles at HOCNA TORONTO - Defense of the Faith