Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Huguenots: Calvinists in Gallia

Powerful reform movement in Gallia

Huguenots are Calvinist reformers in Gallia. In the early years of the movement for reform, it seems possible that Protestant reformers will prevail in Gallia against leaders of the Latin Church in and out of Gallia. 

Nobility and middle class

One important reason for this possibility: many people of the nobility and middle class favor progressive reform over conservatism or, later, restoration.


The nobility command soldiers. When Latin Church leaders attempt to end the movement of reform through violence, Huguenot leaders ably respond in kind. As always in such situations, the violence spirals out of control.

St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre (1572)

Several thousand reform leaders are in Paris for a royal wedding. Catherine de’ Medici, mother of both Charles 9th, king of France, and of Marguerite of Valois, the bride, has arranged the marriage of her daughter with the reformer Henry of Navarre. The marriage is opposed by the pope, the king of Spain, conservative church leaders, and many ordinary Parisians.

An explosion of violence occurs in Paris on the night of August 24, 1572, the Feast of St. Bartholomew. The king of France orders members of his Swiss Guard to murder prominent reformers. Soon Parisian mobs are roaming the streets in search of reformers and start murdering men, women, and children. The killing lasts for two days. Several thousand die.

This violence against reformers spreads to other cities in Gallia and lasts several months. Eventually tens of thousands of reformers and members of their families are murdered.

Henry IV: Edict of Nantes (1589)

The St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre occurs only six days after the marriage of Latin Christian Marguerite of Valois to French Christian Henry (1553-1610), king of Navarre (>1572). Seventeen eventful years later (1589), Henry also becomes king of France. One of his first official acts is to bring an end to years of civil war by issuing the Edict of Nantes. It guarantees French Protestants the right to believe and worship as they please.

Copyright © 2022 by Steven Farsaci.
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