Jan Hus Burned at the Stake – July 6, 1415
This week marks the anniversary of when Jan Hus, a Central European Catholic priest widely considered to be the forerunner of the Protestant Reformation.
Born in Bohemia, Hus preached for reform within the Medieval Church and was influenced by the English Reformer and Bible translator John Wycliffe.
Hus' objections to items like the practice of indulgences and certain pilgrimages led to his excommunication and eventually being burned at the stake.
As part of his punishment, Hus had to wear a paper miter with demonic illustrations on it and then have his books and personal possessions burned as well.
"When he arrived at the place of execution, he knelt down and prayed with a joyful heart and a bright countenance. Then they stripped him down to his shirtsleeves, chained and roped him to a stake and piled wood around him to such a height that his head was barely visible," claimed one contemporary account.
"When the strong flames blazed up, he stopped singing and praying. But his spirit as we devoutly believe, reached with the flames to heaven, to the company of angels, just as Elijah did."