Massacre of Vassy – March 1, 1562
This week marks the anniversary of the Massacre of Vassy (sometimes spelled Wassy), which involved a slaughter of French Protestants, also called Huguenots.
In January of 1562, France's Catholic monarchy issued an edict that gave a limited level of religious tolerance for its growing Protestant minority.
Soon after, however, Catholic soldiers stormed a barn in Wassy where 300 Huguenots were worshipping. According to History.com, about 60 people were killed and about 100 were wounded. The massacre is credited with sparking the French Wars of Religion.
“For the Protestants, this attack appeared premeditated and the massacre is considered to be the beginning of the wars of religion,” explained the Virtual Museum of Protestantism.
“From the Catholics point of view, hostilities began with the attack on Orléans by Prince Louis of Condé, on the 2nd April 1562.”