Jan Hus

Jan HusProfile

Heresiarch, the “spiritual inheritor” of John Wyclif. He received the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from the University of Prague in 1393 and 1396, respectively. Four years later he was ordained a priest, and became rector of the university from 1402 to 1403. He was greatly influenced by the writings of Wyclif, translated his Trialogus into Czech, and helped to circulate it even after the ecclesiastical authorities had condemned 45 of Wyclif’s propositions in 1403. In 1408, however, when all the writings of Wyclif were ordered handed over to the archdiocesan chancery for correction, Hus obeyed the order and declared that he condemned whatever errors these writings contained. The following year, Hus again became rector of the university, and was reported to Rome for his Wycliffite tendencies, with the result that Archbishop Zbynk (Sbinco) received a Bull from Pope Alexander V ordering him to withdraw Wyclif’s writings from circulation, and forbid any preaching except in cathedral, collegiate, parish, and cloister churches. Hus and his adherents protested to John XXIII against these measures, and were excommunicated by the archbishop on 10 July 1410. Hus was summoned to appear before the pope but sent representatives in his stead, and sentence of excommunication was pronounced against him in February 1411. Besides continuing to defend Wyclif, he attacked the Bulls issued by John XXIII proclaiming indulgences to all who would supply funds for the crusade against Ladislaus of Naples, and when he aroused the university and populace to treating with indignity the members of the papal commission, the Roman authorities took the more vigorous action of not only reiterating his former excommunication, but also placing his residence under interdict, and finally ordering his imprisonment. Late in 1412 Hus left Prague for Austi, where he wrote his principal work De ecclesia. As no effort was made to imprison him he returned to Prague in 1414 and posted his treatise De sex erroribus on the walls of the Bethlehem chapel, where he had been preacher. From these two treatises a number of propositions of a heretical character was submitted to the new archbishop, and when the Council of Constance assembled in November 1414, Hus appeared before that body, gave an account of hie doctrine, was tried, condemned, and executed.



MLA Citation

  • “Jan Hus”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 September 2010. Web. 18 September 2020. <http://catholicsaints.info/jan-hus/>