Girolamo Savonarola, was a preacher and reformer who died as Martyr for Christ. Intellectually very talented, he devoted himself to the study of philosophy and medicine. As a young man, he could not bear the wickedness, paganism, and corruption among the Italian Christians.
He recognized that the clergy who were in the highest levels of the church hierarchy are responsible for spreading this corruption, and publicly denounced them.
Savonarola joined the Dominican monastery at Bologna, where he devoted his time in prayer and study of scriptures. After being ordained as a priest, he first started preaching and instructing others in the monastery.
Girolamo Savonarola martyr of Christ
He then started his ministry as an itinerant preacher moving across towns and cities of North Italy with the message of repentance. He condemned the pagan culture and immoral life prevalent among the Christians. Known to be the ‘hellfire preacher,’ Savonarola consistently preached about the wrath of God and the need for immediate repentance of the people.
Many people were saved, and many renewed their relationship with God. His call for introducing laws against corruption and laxity in church reformed church functioning and redirected its purpose. Due to his influence, many parts of Italy, especially Florence city, saw a spiritual revival. The city became a Christian republic, with the scriptures as the basis of their law.
The city’s council started functioning on the advice of Savonarola. With his wisdom, the country was able to thwart wars and establish peace with the neighboring countries. However, Savonarola’s outspokenness against corruption and his reformative ideas earned him powerful enemies in the church.
On Palm Sunday in 1498, he was arrested and tortured for several days. He used the time of his imprisonment to compose the meditations on Psalms. After the trial, the Pope declared him a heretic and sentenced him to die. He was hanged on gallows and then burned publicly.
Beloved, how can you contribute to Christian renewal in present times?Take away from the article
“Lord, give me the strength to denounce false teachings and corruption in the churches. Amen!”Word of Prayer