Blogging the Reformers: John Alasco

John Alasco was born into one of the most influential families of Poland in 1499. At the age of 25 he was a Roman Catholic, but had heard of the Reformation and wished to examine it more fully. Therefore he traveled to Europe, and arrived in Zurich in 1525 to see Zwingli. He said to him, “Apply yourself, to the study of the sacred writings.”1 He later went to see Erasumus, and stayed in his house while he was there. Erasmus also gave him the advice to study the scriptures. Alasco therefore learned Hebrew and Greek and studied the scriptures. But when the king of Poland heard that he was with Erasmus, he ordered him to return to Poland and associate with nobility, since he was the heir to the throne. While in Poland, he was convinced to sign a document saying that he was a Catholic, but later he became a clear Protestant. He lost the kingdom and left Poland for the sake of Christianity. D'Aubigne said, “Alsco does not stand in the first rank of the men of the Reformation. But in one respect he surpassed them all ... He knew better than any one what it was to sacrifice for Jesus Christ the world...”2 He left Poland, and ministered in Friesland, the Netherlands, England and other places. He died on January 8th, 1560.

1 J. H. Merle D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 2000) volume 7, book xiii, p. 435

2 Ibid, p. 451


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