Dr. Curt Daniel on Vermigli

Of historical interest:

Peter Martyr Vermigli (1500-1562) was more or less Bucer’s successor at Strassbourg. An Italian by birth, he was forced to leave for safer pastures to the north of the Alps. He worked awhile in Zurich and Basel, and like Bucer went to Cambridge to teach. And like Bucer, Luther and many other Reformers, Vermigli was a former Catholic priest. (Interestingly, the Reformers who were formerly priests usually married ex-nuns, while non-priests like Calvin and Beza usually did not).

Vermilgi’s importance is greatly ignored. He was the contemporary with whom Calvin had the most theological affinity–even more than Bucer and Bullinger. Calvin always spoke highly of him, probably higher than any other. Vermigli is quoted in Calvin’s Institutes more than any other contemporary, and more than any other of any age except Augustine. His Loci Communes (Common Places) was as large as Calvin’s Institutes and nearly as influential in its day (Curt Daniel, The History And Theology Of Calvinism, p. 21).

In the Appendices under the heading Heroes Of The Reformation, Daniel says that “Beza described [Vermigli] as ‘a phoenix sprung from the ashes of Savonarola'”.*

*Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498) was a “pre-Reformer” who rebuked papal immorality, denied papal infallibility, and opposed civil and clerical corruption. He was convicted, tortured, hanged and burned at the stake.

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