Italy

“Sixteenth-century sources contain many references to Anabaptism in Italy, and later observers, among them Karl Benrath,have assumed an organic connection between Swiss or German Taufer and Italian congregations. Critical study of the extant evidence, however, fails to reveal such a relationship. Italy provides, therefore, a classic example of the misunderstandings that may result when loosely defined terms like ‘Anabaptism’ are used freely for polemical purposes. …

The free-thinking ideas of some of the refugees, reflecting a rationalistic approach to the fundamentals of Christianity, drew the attention of Swiss reformed leaders to them. Camillo Renato of Sicily was the most troublesome of these Italians.

He was active in Chiavenna in 1546 and succeeding years and became embroiled in controversy over the sacraments andother subjects with the Reformed pastor Mainardi. The struggle dragged on for several years and during its course Renato was condemned by synods and by  Bullinger himself. Mainardi called Ranto an ‘Anabaptist’ and listed his heresies: he rejected infant baptism and held un orthodox opinions concerning the nature of Christ, salvation, the existence of hell, and the sleep of souls. Another man, Tiziano by name and a friend of Renato, professing to be guided only by the Spirit, combined anti-Trinitarian views with rejection of infant baptism. Although he opposed the magistral use of the sword by Christians, neither he nor Renato w as associated with any northern Taufer community. Both Renato and Tiziano are best thought of as ‘spiritual reformers.’ There are scattered references to later Italian ‘Anabaptist’ activities in these border regions, but they are careless polemical accusations.”

~Excerpted from:

DeWind, Henry A. “Italy.” Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2011

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Brixen

“Brixen is a city and district in Tyr

ol (now part of Suditirol, Italy), in which there were large numbers of Anabaptists by

  1. On 23 December, 1527, the prince-bishop had sent out the order to watch the roaming agitators, ‘among whom there are said to be some who preach in corners about the new sect and rebaptism.’ … In the following years Anabaptists are found both north and south of the Brenner in constantly increasing numbers, and sharp edicts are repeatedly issued against them. … It was in the Brixen fief of Michelsburg that Anabaptism had taken root. Numbers of Anabaptists were taken from here to Brixen and sentenced to death, with the exception of those of whom it was said ‘that they were in general quite simple and of slight intelligence.’ Among those released was Agnes, the sister of Jakob Hutter of Moos, the founder of the Hutterian Brethren.”

~Excerpted from:

Loserth, Johann. “Brixen (Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Italy).”Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online 1953.

1538

  • On Oct. 31, 1538, Onophrius Griesinger was burned at the stake. He was a Hutterite.

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Klausen (Chiusa)

“Klausen is an ancient village of Tyrol, Austria, which became Italian after World War I. Towering over the town is the Saben abbey and the castle of Branzoll. In Anabaptist history Klausen is important. It was the scene of the last labor of several Anabaptist leaders. Here Georg Blaurock, one of the founders of the movement in Zurich in 1525, was burned to death. Several years later Jakob Hutter was put into the dungeon of Branzoll, and then burned at the stake at Innsbruck.

Seven Anabaptists were executed fortheir faith in Klausen. … When Georg Blaurock, who had just been banished fromSwitzerland, heard of the desire for the gospel in Tyrol, he was at once willing to take charge of Kurschner’s orphaned congregation. In May 1529 he came to Klausen with Hans Langegger. His success did not remain concealed from the government. To avoid capture, he went to other places to work, but in August he returned to Klausen and Gufidaun, and was betrayed to the authorities. On 14 August he and Hans Langegger fell into the hands of Hans Preu, the magistrate, and were burned 6 September 1529 at Klausen.”

~Excerpted from:

Loserth, Johann. “Klausen (Tyrol, Austria).”Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957

.

1529

  • On Sept. 6, 1529, George Blaur Ock and Hans Langegger were burned at the stake. Blaurock was one of the original members of the Swiss Brethren in Zurich. He was probably in his late thirties at the time of his death. His career as anAnabaptist lasted less than five years.

1531

  • On Oct. 2, 1531, Ulrich Mullner was beheaded.

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Michelsburg

“Michelsburg, a castle in Tyrol, Austria, near St. Lorenzen in the Puster Valley, played a significant part in the Anabaptist movement. In December 1527, the warden of Michelsburg received orders from the Brixen authorities to be on the lookout for Anabaptists coming from Venice. A year later the judge of Michelsburg searched for Anabaptists, who apparently escaped. The Brixen authorities ordered them pursued, and on 27 April 1529 the Michelsburg warden, Balthasar Gerhard, managed to arrest five Anabaptists, including the leader in the district, Gregor Weber of Pflaurenz, preacher and trustedfriend of Jakob Hutter. … In 1538, Bernhard, Cardinal of Trient, ordered the pastor of St. Lorenzen to devote all his energyto the eradication of the sectarians.Just at this time an exciting incident occurred in Michelsburg. Agnes von Waldhofen, awidow belonging to an old noble family, took all her cash and jewels and her little daughter to join the Brethren in Moravia. In spite of all precaution by local and higher authorities to prevent her leaving the country she apparently madeher way successfully to Moravia. … The list of martyrs of the Hutterian chronicles records a total of 48 executions in the Puster Valley, half of them at Michelsburg.”

~Excerpted from:

Dedic, Paul. “Michelsburg (Bruneck, Südtirol, Austria).” Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957

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1529

  • On June 17, 1529, Gregor Weber, Kaspar Mayrpaulle, and an Anabaptist woman were burned at the stake. On the sameday, Wilhelm Sambsfeuer was executed by beheading.

1531

  • At some point during the summer of 1531, Georg Schraffl, along with his servant, were executed.

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St. Lorenzen

1591

  • On August 5, 1591, Georg Wenger was executed by be heading.

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Venice

1562

  • In Oct. 1562, Gherlandi Giulio was executed by drowning. He was a Hutterite.

1565

  • On Feb. 26, 1565, Francesco della Sega and Antonio Rizzettowere executed by drowning. They were Hutterites.

 

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