Letters of Comfort to the Persecuted Church
From the depths of a pastor’s heart come letters of hearty biblical comfort for persecuted believers. Written to men and women facing imprisonment, banishment, suffering, and death, these letters capture the heart of the Gospel and offer consolation and sincere comfort for those suffering for the sake of Christ.
Written by Pierre Viret (1511-1571), a Swiss Reformer and close friend of John Calvin, these letters overflow with a pastoral concern for the souls as well as the physical needs of his readers. Republished several times throughout the Reformation era, Viret’s letters appear now for the first time in the English language, and the comfort they offer to an afflicted church is as pertinent today as it was the day he wrote them.
About the Author
Pierre Viret (1511-1571) was a 16th century Reformer and was one of John Calvin’s closest friends, working together together in Geneva for many years, and continuing to correspond regularly when Viret left Geneva to accept a call to pastor the church at Lausanne. There he also founded an Academy for training men for the ministry, many of whom ended up being missionaries and some suffering martyrdom.
Late in life, Viret returned to Geneva to work alongside Calvin until 1561. He became a real strengthening influence to persecuted believers in many nations. His own life was by not at all a peaceful one. He was critically wounded by a Catholic priest in the early years of his ministry, and in 1535 was served a bowl of poisoned spinach soup at Geneva. Though he recovered from the attempted murder, the poison ruined his health, and he suffered greatly the rest of his life. Nonetheless, besides his preaching and writing (which included over 50 books), he set aside considerable time for letter writing, especially to the afflicted.