Facts of Faith


Hunted Like Wild Beasts

The Earl of Tholouse was finally forced to bow to Rome, and God’s people were hunted as wild beasts everywhere. Here are some of the laws of Louis IX, King of France, A. D. 1229: FAFA 131.1

Canon 3. - The lords of the different districts shall have the villas, houses, and woods diligently searched, and the hiding places of the heretics destroyed. Canon 4. - If any one allows a heretic to remain in his territory, he loses his possession forever, and his body is in the hands of the magistrates to receive due punishment. Canon 5. - But also such are liable to the law, whose territory has been made the frequent hiding-place of heretics, not by his knowledge, but by his negligence. Canon 6. -The house in which a heretic is found, shall be torn down, and the place or land be confiscated. Canon 14 - Lay members are not allowed to possess the books of either the Old or the New Testament.” “Hefele’s Councils,” Vol. V, pp. 981, 982. (“History of the Sabbath,” New, p. 558). FAFA 131.2

These laws were only echoes of the “Bulls” of the popes. But while the Waldenses on the French side of the Alps were being exterminated, the pope had a more difficult task to destroy them in the Piedmont Alps. From Pope Lucius III (A. D. 1181-1185) to the Reformation in the sixteenth century the persecution of the Waldenses was the subject of many papal anathemas.” Army after army was sent against them, and all manner of trickery was resorted to in order to destroy these honest, plain, Christian people. In 1488 Albert Cataneo, the papal legate came with an army into the midst of Val Louise. The inhabitants fled into a cavern for shelter, and the soldiers started a fire at the mouth of the cavern and smothered the entire population of 3,000, including 400 children. Then Cataneo entered the Piedmont side. Here the Waldenses retreated to Pra del Tor, their “Shiloh of the Valleys.” Cataneo ordered his soldiers into the dark, narrow chasm that formed the only path to this citadel. The poor Waldenses were now bottled up, and their enemies were proceeding towards them, sure of their prey, but God beard earnest prayers: FAFA 131.3

“A white cloud, no bigger than a man’s hand, unobserved by the Piedmontese, but keenly watched by the Vaudois, was seen to gather on the mountain’s summit.... That cloud grew rapidly bigger and blacker. It began to descend.... It fell right into the chasm in which was the Papal army.... In a moment the host were in night; they ... could neither advance nor retreat. [The Waldenses] tore up huge stones and rocks, and sent them thundering down into the ravine. The papal soldiers were crushed where they stood.... Panic impelled them to flee, ... they threw each other down in the struggle; some were trodden to death; others were rolled over the precipice, and crushed on the rocks below, or drowned in the torrent, and so perished miserably.” — “History of the Waldenses,” J. A. Wylie, pp. 48,49. FAFA 132.1

In 1544 the treacherous and heartless Catholic leader, D’Oppede caused the terrible butchery of thousands of Waldenses. At Cabrieres he wrote a note to the people, saying that if they would open the gates of their city he would do them no harm. They, in good faith, opened the gates, and D’Oppede cried out: “Kill them all.” Men, women, and children were massacred or burned alive. In 1655 there was another massacre of Waldenses. After the Catholic leaders had made several vain attempts to break into the fastnesss of the mountains where the Waldenses lived, and were defeated, the Marquis of Pianesse wrote the various Waldensian towns to entertain certain regiments of soldiers to show their good faith. These Christian people, who always had such sacred regard for their own word, never seemed to learn that it is a fundamental Catholic doctrine, that Catholics need not, and should not, keep faith with heretics, when the interest of the “Church” is at stake. After they had sheltered the soldiers, and fed them of their scanty store, a signal was given at 4 a. m., April 24, 1655, and the butchery began. FAFA 132.2

“Little children, Leger says, were torn from the arms of their mothers, dashed against the rocks, and cast carelessly away. The sick or the aged, both men and women, were either burned in their houses, or hacked in pieces; or mutilated, half murdered, and flayed alive, they were exposed in a dying state to the heat of the sun, or to flames, or to ferocious beasts.” — “Israel of the Alps” Dr. Alexis Muston, Vol. I, pp. 349, 350. FAFA 132.3

These people suffered tortures too terrible to mention, which only devils in human form could have invented. The towns in the beautiful valleys were left smoldering ruins. A few people saved themselves by flight to the mountains. FAFA 133.1