Prague, July 6 (CTK) – A mass was celebrated to remember the 601st anniversary of the burning at the stake of Czech church reformer John Huss by medieval authorities over his efforts to improve the society and church in the early 15th century in the Bethlehem Chapel in Prague Tuesday.
Huss was declared a heretic by a church council and burnt at the stake in Constance (now Germany) on July 6, 1415. He was a key predecessor to the 16th-century Protestant movement.
He preached in the Bethlehem Chapel.
The divine service was led by patriarch of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, Tomas Butta. The ceremony was attended by Culture Minister Daniel Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL).
The day of Huss’ martyr’s death is celebrated as a national holiday in the Czech Republic.
“The 601 years since the judicial murder of a martyr of conscience and reformer John Huss is a tremendous memento,” Herman said during the ceremony.
By insisting on his truth, Huss lost everything he could, including his life, Hermann said.
“For all of us and especially those active in the civil service, his example is a great challenge,” he added.
The people in the church prayed together for the persecuted and unfairly imprisoned, for the victims of totalitarian regimes everywhere in the world and for the seriously ill.
There was also a prayer for the staff of humanitarian organisations and the refugees.
Huss was one of the church reformers. He was against indulgences and he claimed that the Holy Scripture, not papal decrees and encyclicals should be the sole source of faith.
Huss ́s contribution to the development of Christianity has made him one of the most outstanding Czechs in history.