As a child, Peter Martyr Vermigli dreamed of becoming e a teacher of God’s Word. Finally, after many years of diligent study, he turned into one of the most respected leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, the only type of church in Europe at that time. He taught and preached so well that people came from other cities to hear him. In spite of his popularity, he felt more and more uncomfortable in his position, because he was forced to do, say, and teach things that he found contrary to the Bible. At the same time, the Roman Catholic Church became increasingly hostile against those who raised questions. His only option was to leave his position, his country, and his friends.
This book takes young readers through Vermigli’s first disillusions with the church of his day, his struggle of conscience, his monumental decision to leave his country, and his life as an exile. By crossing the Alps, Vermigli was able to serve God according to his internal calling, which was confirmed by the external calling of the Reformed churches in Germany, Switzerland, and England. Even if today he is not as well known as other Reformers, in his day he was highly esteemed and many church leaders sought his advice. His teachings and writings proved vital in shaping the Protestant Reformation in Europe – particularly in England and Germany – and are still read, appreciated, and translated into many languages today. His influence continued long after his death.
“We are deeply in Simonetta Carr’s debt. She has written yet another excellent book for young readers: a remarkably good introduction to Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562), a very important figure of sixteenth-century Reformation. He was a learned Augustianian monk whose distinguished career in the Catholic Church in Italy, until his flight in 1542, was followed by an equally distinguished career as reformer in Strasbourg, Oxford, and Zurich. Carr succeeds admirably in placing Vermigli’s life and work in these different settings and provides us with yet another window into the European Reformation. A magnificent achievement.” — Emidio Campi, Professor Emeritus of Church History and Director Emeritus of the Institute for Swiss Reformation History at the University of Zurich and author of several books and articles on Vermigli and the Swiss Reformation.
“As the author of The Mystery of History, a world history curriculum for children, it is my opinion that bold and courageous stories of the Protestant Reformation are largely absent in today’s world. For this reason, I’m very happy to see the release of Peter Martyr Vermigli by Simonetta Carr. By the details offered throughout the story, the author demonstrates a clear understanding of the tumultuous time period when Peter Martyr lived. At the same time, Mrs. Carr paints vivid scened to her young readers of real people with real problems who loved a real God! Protestants and Roman Catholics of any age could benefit from this sobering story of faith and courage in an otherwise difficult time period—one that our modern minds struggle to grasp.” — Linda Lacour Hobar, Author of The Mystery of History, www.TheMysteryofHistory.com
Joel Spector (1949-2016) was an acclaimed portrait artist and illustrator of children’s books. He came to America at age 12 with his sister as part of Operation Peter Pan, a mass exodus of unaccompanied children from Cuba. He lived in New Milford, CT, with his wife Rowena, and had four children. He died on October 13, 2016, at 67 years of age, after a months-long battle with esophageal cancer. He completed the illustrations for this book during the last stage of his illness. He will always be remembered for his elegant artwork and his deep generosity.