Module 2: Francis I and The Protestants
Persecution of the Protestants began under Francis 1.
The Catholic Church in France was being challenged by the influence of a few pre-Reformers.
- Jacques Lefevre D’Etaples was a Professor at the Sorbonne who had spent the better part of his life translating Scripture from original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts.
- Louis de Berquin was a lawyer, nobleman counsellor of Francis I and close friend of his sister, Marguerite of Navarre. He studied and translated Lutheran and Reformed works into French, basically evangelizing those on his estate.
- Students of Lefevre – Willian Farel, Nicholas Cop, John Calvin and other Catholic clergy from Meaux were also targeted for persecution and escaped to Switzerland.
Persecution of those desiring to read and teach the Scriptures began in earnest while Francis I was away at war and Louise of Savoy was regent.
When Francis I was released from captivity, he joined the Catholic clergy and Catholic noblemen in severe persecution of the French Protestants (named Huguenot and called ‘heretics’).