Reformation Day: 5 lesser-known Protestant leaders

Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562)

Peter Martyr Vermigli
Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562), Italian leader in the Protestant Reformation. |

Peter Martyr Vermigli was a native of Florence, Italy and the son of a shoemaker. He was ordained a priest in 1525, but by the 1540s he had come to support the Reformation.

After being exiled from his home in Italy, he traveled to the Central European city of Strassburg in the 1540s and then taught at Oxford in England beginning in 1547.

Vermigli was again forced to flee persecution from Catholic authorities when Queen Mary took power in England, eventually returning to Strassburg.

“Peter Martyr is little remembered today, but in his day he was widely recognized for his brilliance, his learning, his piety and his influence,” wrote W. Robert Godfrey of Westminster Seminary California in 1999.

“Excerpts from his writings circulated widely as Loci Communes published in Latin in 1576 and in English in 1583. Josiah Simler who preached a funeral oration for him aptly named him ‘an ambassador of Jesus Christ, to divers cities and nations.’”

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