When I visited Erfurt Germany, I had the incredible privilege of going inside the chapel of the Augustianian Monastery. There were several reasons I wanted to go there, but one primary reason was to visit the grave of Johannes Zachariae. If the name Johannes Zachariae doesn’t mean anything to you yet, don’t worry!
In the year 1414, the Council of Constance (Konstance) was convened in Constance Germany to solve multiple problems. Those “problems” included three individuals claiming to be pope, the teaching of John Huss, and many other challenges the church was facing. The council lasted over 4 years.
In 1415, the Council requested John Huss (Jan Hus) attend the council, and promised him safe passage. Branded a heretic, they knew the only way that he would come was if they promised him safety. He arrived, and the council promptly sentenced him to be burned at the stake. He died a martyr on July 6, 1415.
According to writings, as his executioners were about to burn Hus at the stake, he wrote in his prison cell, “Today you burn a goose, but in one hundred years a swan will arise which you will prove unable to boil or roast.” I wrote about this before, and you can read it here.
Interestingly enough, the man who offered Hus safe passage if he came to Constance, the man who was one of the main accusers of Hus, was an Augustinian monk by the name of Johannes Zachariae.
13 years later, Zachariae would die in Erfurt, and was buried in the chapel of the Augustinian Monastery in that small village.
In 1505, 90 years after Hus made that proclamation, Martin Luther entered that same Monastery, and announced his desire to spend the rest of his life serving God. Luther would take his final vows, while he lay prostrate on the platform, yes, on the grave of Johanes Zachariae.
Ironic? Perhaps, but God used Luther mightily as a Reformation spread across Germany, and ultimately the world, that was never stopped! Perhaps John Hus was right.