Jerome of Prague played a significant role in spreading the ideas of the Bohemian Reformation. He was known for his sharp intellect, eloquence, and fervent preaching. He openly criticized the corruption and excesses of the Roman Catholic Church, advocating for reform within the church.
Jerome of Prague, also known as Hieronymus of Prague, was a 15th-century Czech theologian, philosopher, and reformer. He was born in Prague around 1379 and was a contemporary of Jan Hus, another prominent figure in the Bohemian Reformation. Jerome studied at Charles University in Prague, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in 1398 and a Master’s degree in 1400.
Jerome was influenced by the teachings of John Wycliffe, an English theologian and early reformer. Wycliffe’s ideas, such as the authority of Scripture and the criticism of clerical abuses, deeply impacted Jerome’s own theological thinking.
In 1410, Jerome traveled to Oxford, where he became acquainted with the writings of Wycliffe. He brought back copies of Wycliffe’s works to Prague, where they had a profound impact on the emerging reform movement.
Jerome’s involvement in the Bohemian Reformation, along with Jan Hus, led to conflicts with the Catholic Church. He faced accusations of heresy and was eventually excommunicated by the Council of Constance in 1410. Despite this, Jerome remained steadfast in his beliefs and refused to recant his views.
In 1415, Jerome voluntarily went to the Council of Constance, hoping to defend his ideas and clear his name. However, he was arrested, imprisoned, and subjected to a trial. Despite his eloquent defense, he was found guilty of heresy and sentenced to death.
On May 30, 1416, Jerome of Prague was burned at the stake as a heretic. His martyrdom, along with the subsequent execution of Jan Hus, further fueled the flames of the Bohemian Reformation and contributed to the growing opposition to the Catholic Church in Bohemia.
Jerome of Prague’s legacy as a reformer and martyr had a profound impact on the Hussite movement and the later Protestant Reformation. His courageous stand for religious reform and his dedication to the principles of Scripture played a significant role in shaping the religious landscape of Central Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries.