Jerome of Prague’s Brave Finish - 1416
Jerome of Prague was a follower of Jan Hus, the reformer of Bohemia. The Council of Constance burned Hus despite a promise of safe conduct by Emperor Sigismund. Jerome recklessly ventured to Constance himself, where he was also captured, tried, and sentenced to death. On this day, 30 May 1416, he was burned to death. He went to the stake with a smiling face. When the fagots were lighted, he sang the Easter hymn, “Hail, Festal Day,” and protested his innocence. His last words were in Bohemian, “Father God, forgive me my sins.” Among Jerome’s words at the stake was this warning to his persecutors:
“You condemn me, though innocent. But after my death I will leave a sting in you. I call on you to answer me before Almighty God within a hundred years.”
Dallman, William. John Hus: A brief story of the life of a martyr. St. Louis, Missouri: Concordia Publishing House, 1915.