The Waldensians of Italy

Sep 12, 2021 554

BY: Janice Therese Mancuso

During the Middle Ages, the Waldensians – a religious sect that broke away from the Catholic Church before the Reformation – found their refuge in the mountains that form the border between Italy and France. First established in Lyon, France in the early 12th century, the name and philosophy of the Waldensians are said to have derived from Peter Waldo (or Valdo, Valdus and Waldesius, among others).

However, the similarities in the views of Claudius of Turin (Catholic Bishop, 817-827) are sometimes cited as the initial beginnings of the movement. It is noted that Waldo relinquished all his possessions, some compare him to Saint Francis of Assisi, so he could preach the Bible without any encumbrances. His newfound simple lifestyle provided him the freedom to preach the simple message of the Bible: to obey God. 

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