Ellen G. White in Europe 1885-1887


Up the Mountain to Bobbio

After the visit, William and Mary, Elder Bourdeau, and Ellen White went up the mountain to Bobbio to visit the cave where a group of Waldensian refugees had been suffocated in the smoke of a fire ignited by their persecutors. W. C. White was not with his mother on her first visit, so these sites of heroic martyrdom were of thrilling interest to him. As a child he had sat at his mother's knee as she read the history of the Waldenses to him and to James White, and now he was visiting the very scenes where Waldensian history had been made. EGWE 179.1

The little party ate their lunch near the cave and, after a time of prayerful consecration, descended the mountain to Villar Pellice, where an open-air meeting had been scheduled. This innovation was necessary because of the large crowds coming to the meetings. EGWE 179.2

“It was entirely a new thing under the sun for them to hear a woman speak, and yet after I had spoken a few moments there was the best attention. I spoke to about 300 people. Some were seated upon the wall of the enclosure, some on steps that led to the meeting room above. The piazza above was well filled with people. It was to all a novel meeting house. We had the canopy of heaven above us for a covering, the earth—which is the Lord's—beneath our feet.”—Manuscript 62, 1886. EGWE 179.3

Early in the week there was yet another sight-seeing trip, this one to Angrogna, the valley of groans. The little group walked out over a beautiful green tableland. A white-haired Vaudois led them to a place where the plain ended abruptly, falling off hundreds of feet. The Waldenses here had been attacked by their enemies who had come from Turin to burn their village. As they fled from their homes, they were driven like cattle across this plain, and were forced off the edge of the cliff. And what was their offense? They believed the Bible and dared to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. This, Rome would not tolerate. EGWE 179.4

“We are told that thousands were driven off from this precipice to be mangled and torn to pieces or instantly killed by their descent upon the sharp and jagged rocks. Some bodies were suspended upon the pointed rocks, which fastened into their clothing, and their remains were found two or three weeks afterward.”—Ibid. EGWE 180.1

Then God's messenger added soberly, “And this is the church which claims to be a successor in the direct line of Jesus Christ and the apostles!” (ibid). EGWE 180.2

Finally on Thursday, April 29, after she had spoken seven times during her visit, the White party left Italy, bound for Geneva. EGWE 180.3