Jan Huss was born sometime around 1369 – 1371 in Bohemia, which is currently in the Czech Republic. He was drawn to the priesthood because of the tranquil lives led by priests and he was eventually ordained as a priest in 1400. Sometime in the early 1400s, Huss came in contact with the writings of John Wycliffe and was profoundly affected by them. John Wycliffe taught that people should be permitted to read the Bible in their own language. In those days, anyone who had a non-latin Bible in their possession was threatened with execution. Because a large majority of people were uneducated, this meant that the Bible could only be read by priests who could read Latin. At the same time, it was common during Holy Communion to only administer the bread to congregants, but restrict the wine to the priest. Huss rejected this practice as contrary to Scriptures and taught that Communion should be given in its entirety. Huss also encouraged people to seek to know Christ through the scriptures as opposed to miraculous signs and his reformist ideas caused tensions between him and the church leadership.
The Church finally had enough of Huss and his followers and he was put on trial in June 1415 and condemned to death on July 6, 1415 because of his writings and beliefs. Asked to recant, he refused and asked the council to convince him through Scriptures that he was wrong. After his death in 1415, his teachings continued to spread and his followers continued to teach the importance of giving both the bread and the wine during Holy Communion. In 1436, the Bohemian Church signed a pact agreeing to administer the Holy Communion in its entirety.
Jan Huss was a thinker, reformer and martyr who lived and died for what he believed.
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