[K:JNWTS 27/2 (September 2012): 27-34]

The Confession of the Ecclesia Locarnensis Reformata of July 9, 1554

Introduction and Translation
James T. Dennison,Jr.

As the Lord has joined us in so many ways, both spiritual and political, and especially by geography and a common exile, let us be linked by an indissoluble chain and bond, so that when we have need of you we can approach you with confidence and you may do the same with us.

Thus wrote Celso Martinengo (1515-1557), pastor of the Italian Church of Geneva, Switzerland, to the Locarnesi of Zurich, Switzerland, on May 29, 1555.[1] Through this literary window, we become spectators of a drama that opens vistas upon the Italian Reformation and, in ways special to us, the Italian Calvinistic Reformation. Celso Massimiliano Martinengo became pastor of the Italian Church in Geneva in 1552, arriving from Basel where he was a close friend de martyr à Lucques (i.e., Peter Martyr Vermigli, 1500-1562).[2] He was aussitôt établi (“immediately established”) as pastor of the reconstituted church of Italian refugees by the Geneva Company of Pastors on his arrival in March.[3]

Geneva’s Italian community, all of whom had fled the Catholic Inquisition after embracing the Protestant Reformation in their homeland (especially Lucca[4]), had established a fledgling congregation in Calvin’s “citadel” in 1542. Bernard Ochino (1487-1564) began to preach to this group in that year,[5] but the body of exiled Italians did not constitute a formal “church”,[6] undoubtedly on account of the fluctuation in their numbers. When Ochino left in 1545 (eventually settling in Augsburg in 1546), the small group drifted to other worshipping assemblies in the city. However, with the arrival of Galeazzo Caracciolo (1517-1586) in 1551, the Italian ‘Church’ was reborn and Martinengo was sought out, called and installed.[7] Caracciolo[8] was a remarkable businessman as well as a fervent evangelical.[9] Caracciolo was also part of the “Peter Martyr Vermigli” connection of the Italian (Protestant) Diaspora; he had been converted by Vermigli’s preaching from 1 and 2 Corinthians in 1540/1541.[10] In fact, when Vermigli settled in 1542 in Strasbourg with Martin Bucer (1491-1551), Caracciolo visited him, perhaps in a struggle with his conscience over his wife’s adamant refusal to abandon Roman Catholicism. Nevertheless, he returned to Naples and his family, though his great-uncle, Giampietro Carafa (1476-1559), reconstituted the Inquisition in Italy in 1542 and would become Pope Paul IV in 1555. It was the Inquisition that pressured Galeazzo’s faith, further straining the relationship with his wife (Vittoria Carafa), his own family and his six children, finally sending him from Naples on March 21, 1551.[11] Without informing his family, he departed for Augsburg[12] and the court of Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V (1500-1558), no friend to the Reformation—all of which Caracciolo soon discerned. In addition, though ensconced in ‘Lutheran’ Augsburg, Caracciolo soon learned that church was no friend of the Calvinistic (Reformed) Reformation. Subsequently, on June 8, 1551,[13] Galeazzo passed through the gates of Geneva and immediately set to work to organize a worshipping Italian church in the city.[14] It was  a congregation which would attract numerous Protestant exiles, many of whom were sophisticated humanists. Among the latter were the closet anti-Trinitarians: Giorgio Biandrata (1516-1588), Matteo Gribaldi (1506-1564), Giovanni Gentile (ca. 1520-1566), Paolo Alciati (ca. 1515-1573) and more;[15] even Lelio Sozzini (Socinus) (1525-1562) visited the city in the winter of 1548/49.[16] The specter of anti-Trinitarianism would also hang over the Italian Church of Zurich, as we shall show below.

Italian Evangelicals in Locarno

The confessional subject of this article was the product of a bitter clash between evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics in 16th century Locarno.[17] This all too common Reformation and Counter-Reformation stand-off began in this city with the infiltration of the gospel of Zwingli. It was 1526 when an ex-Carmelite monk named Baldassare Fontana began to disseminate the evangelical faith in the city.[18] But it was a schoolmaster, Giovanni Beccaria, who solidified the Reformation in the city beginning in 1535.[19] Dubbed the “Apostle of Locarno”, Beccaria had abandoned Roman Catholicism by reading the Bible (sola Scriptura leading to soli Christi). Beccaria was in correspondence with Greek and Hebrew professor, Konrad Pellikan (1478-1556) of Zurich, perhaps in conjunction with evangelical literature supplied by a favorable Protestant magistrate, Joachim Bäldi of Glarus.[20] He was joined by other early Locarnesi converts, notably: Taddeo Duno (de Dunis), a physician[21]; a merchant, Ludovico Ronco[22]; Varnerio Castiglione; the lawyer, Martino Muralto (de Muralto); and a native itinerant ‘evangelist’ named Benedetto di Locarno who had been preaching the Reformation in Italy and Sicily before returning home. Eventually, a church was organized (1546) with the assistance of a Protestant minister from Chiavenna.[23]

From 1546 to 1548, the church grew steadily (“believers increasing daily”—Beccaria wrote to Pellikan). Roman Catholic reaction was now galvanized by the governor of Lucerne, Jakob Feer, who was alarmed at the Protestant advance in Locarno and directed that Beccaria be banished. A year later, Beccaria was challenged to a debate with a Dominican monk named Fra Lorenzo.[24] They confronted one another on August 5, 1549. As Beccaria bested his opponent from the Word of God, the governor (Niklaus Wirz) interrupted by addressing Beccaria with the demand, “Do you agree with the doctrine of the Church of Rome?” Beccaria replied, “Insofar as it agrees with the Word of God.” Wirz ordered the arrest of Beccaria, but the crowd surrounding the debate hall was so enraged at this breach of privilege that Wirz was forced to reconsider and set Beccaria free. He immediately escaped to Zurich where he appealed for help for the beleaguered church in Locarno.

For the next five years (1549-1554), the Locarnesi Protestants remained quiet and withdrawn, seeking to maintain the peace of the community. But finally, the town clerk, Walter Roll, an inveterate Catholic, joined with other magistrates to press the matter of conformity to the Roman Church. First labeling the Protestants a “sect”, he mandated attendance at confession and Easter Mass for all inhabitants of Locarno (February 1553).[25] It was then decreed that all inhabitants of Locarno pledge their faith in the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church upon pain of deprivation (of property) and expatriation (from Locarno). The edict was read March 10, 1554. In July 9, 1554, the statement of faith below was delivered to the city fathers in rebuttal of the charges of sectarianism and “Anabaptism”.

Brief Confession of the Articles of the Christian Faith and Sacraments by the Believers of Locarno[26]

We believe in one God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, who governs, rules and guides all things by his wisdom and who has adopted us into the inheritance of his kingdom by his eternal counsel through the death of his only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

And in Jesus Christ his only Son, natural, coeternal and consubstantial—our Lord. Conceived by the Holy Spirit, not from the seed of man, [but] from the Father (on account of his great love, Eph. 2:4), sent into the world (Gal. 4:4) in the fullness of time for this purpose—that having redeemed them (Eph. 1:7) by his death and blood, those whom he had elected from eternity (Eph. 1:4), were brought and reconciled for a people unto himself. Born of the virgin Mary, true God and man, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was wounded for our transgressions and afflicted for our sins (Isa. 53:5). Crucified and was truly dead and was buried, he descended into hell and came alive again the third day; afterwards he ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty, so that he may intercede for us (Rom. 8:34), our sole advocate and mediator (1 Tim. 2:5), from thence he is coming to judge the living and the dead.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, the third person in the Godhead (divinitate), through whom our hearts are illumined and regenerated.

And in the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the living temple of God (2 Cor. 6:16), outside of which there is no salvation.

The remission of our sins through the blood of Christ (Eph. 1:7), the resurrection of the flesh, of which Christ is the firstfruits (1 Cor. 15:23), the down-payment and pledge (pignus) (Eph. 1:14[27]) of our resurrection.

Life everlasting and then “we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17).

Concerning the Sacraments

On the sacraments, of which there are two—baptism and the Lord’s supper—we consider two things: one external, which is to be sure the visible sign; the other internal, which is invisible, by which the visible is signified.

We think baptism ought to be conferred on children as on adults without any papist ceremonies; and that it is to be in no way repeated, whatever the fanatical Anabaptists prattle. By which baptism, we bear witness ourselves, assenting to the promises of Christ, washed by the blood of Christ, put to death and being raised up with him, in order that we may walk henceforth in newness of life.

Through the Lord’s supper, we bear witness to the body of Christ offered on the cross and his blood poured out for our sins—that it is true food and life-giving drink and the salvation of our souls. And celebrating the gracious remembrance of such benefits, we give thanks to God the Father through his Son our Lord.

That which is left, of serving the Lord, we do not doubt that our adversaries henceforth will take occasion of slandering us as rebaptisers (annabaptismi), because we are forced to baptize our little children privately in our dwellings by minister friends from the churches of the Rhetian lords, since we ourselves have neither public ministry nor public place. But, if God the Father of mercies vouchsafes to effect through you our lords, that which holds among us (as we are confident), in granting us a public place and authority to call a public minister approved by you (we do not doubt that you know about the matter), we do not disagree a finger’s width[28] from the churches of our lords—Zurich, Bern, Basel and Schafusia—and our adversaries unjustly accuse (us) as heretics. Therefore, God vouchsafes for his mercy to effect our salvation through Jesus Christ alone. Amen.

Offered to our four illustrious lords of public affairs on July 9, 1554.

Ejection from Locarno

The following November, the Swiss Diet declared that the Locarno evangelicals were to return to the Catholic Church or vacate the city by March 3, 1555.[29] Two hundred families demurred. They were given a day to reconsider. The following afternoon, two hundred fathers and their families walked two abreast into the town hall. They were once again asked to abandon their Protestant faith. In unison, they replied, “We will live in it! We will die in it! It is the only saving faith!”[30]

On March 5, 1555, this band of dissidents was ordered to quit the city. In the dead of winter, with most of the Alpine passes frozen shut, this group of exiles made their way to the northern end of Lake Maggiore, crossed near Bellinzone into Helvetia and settled at Roveredo. Here they passed a frigid two months awaiting the thaw of the passes in order to complete their odyssey to Zurich. The previous December, Antonio Mario Bessozi of Chiavenna (banished from Locarno in 1552) had written to Zwingli’s successor in Zurich, Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575), asking permission for the Ecclesia Locarnensis reformata to settle in his city. Bullinger encouraged the move and on May 12, 1555, one hundred thirty-three Locarnesi arrived in Zurich.[31]

The city fathers assigned the group a place of worship in the Third church of Zurich (St. Peter’s).[32] The exile community urged Beccaria to assume the duties of pastor, but he declined (though he appears to have supplied the congregation for a few months). Next choice was Bernard Ochino, now in Basel and recently returned from London where he had labored in the company of Peter Martyr Vermigli since 1547. The death of King Edward VI of England (1553) and the succession of ‘Bloody’ Mary Tudor forced both Italian Calvinists to flee for the continent in 1554. Vermigli took refuge in Strasbourg. Ochino accepted the invitation to become the first pastor of the Italian church in Zurich (even as he had provided the initial preaching in the Italian church of Geneva). His first sermon to the new group was delivered June 23, 1555.[33] Less than two weeks prior (June 12, 1555), the congregation had been organized with the election of four ruling elders: Giovanni Beccaria, Ludovico Ronco, Alberto Trevano and Martino Muralto. Peter Martyr Vermigli would be added to this elder board when he arrived as Old Testament Professor at the Zurich Academy in 1556.

Troubles in Zurich

Still, trouble seemed to follow the Locarnesi evangelicals like a plague.[34] The heterodox (and worse) Italian humanists who roamed Europe at this time sought the kindred culture of their native nationality and gravitated to the Italian communities in Reformation cities. Zurich was no different in this regard than Geneva (see above). Already in the spring of 1555, Bullinger was alerted to a visit in Zurich by Lelio Sozzini. The former was urged to protect the Locarnesi from the errors of their guest. Lelio’s nephew, Faustus, would himself visit Zurich in 1558 and 1562.[35] Emerging anti-Trinitarian Socianism was a danger to the ecclesia Locarnensis reformata as it was a peril to evangelical and Reformed Italian congregations everywhere. In 1563, with the publication of Ochino’s Dialogi XXX, it appeared that the pastor of the Italian church in Locarno had imbibed the festering Servetian and Socinian error.[36] “Dialogues 19 and 20” of his book hinted that the historic orthodox doctrine of the Trinity was: a papal error—a papal imposition (the common propaganda line of the anti-Trinitarians); not found in the Bible (the duplicitous “no creed but the Bible” slogan of the rationalistic humanists—fundamentalists of the left, turning the teaching of Scripture on its head, as all left-wing fundamentalists still do); a “three-headed god” notion fabricated by the ancient councils of the church (so as to suppress free inquiry and liberty of conscience). Taplin’s review of this portion of Ochino’s tome is judicious, but leaves us with the ambiguity which has dogged the Italian pastor since the work was published, i.e., both anti-Trinitarians and Trinitarians claim him in this phase of his later career and each in turn does so with no little justification. Ochino would be banished from Zurich in 1563. Even Bullinger would despair of defending him, for in proposing a qualified New Testament doctrine of polygamy (“Dialogue 21”), Ochino had finally become persona non grata. On November 21, 1563, the Council of Locarno ordered him to vacate the city before the end of the year. Sadly, Ochino would die in disgrace, poverty and exile in Moravia the following year.

The theological difficulties provoked by Italian humanism were matched by bias against the Italian community on the part of the natives of Zurich. One of the innovative and energetic ventures of the Italian Protestant Diaspora in 16th century Europe was the formation of what has been labeled the Grand Boutique. This mercantile enterprise featured the manufacture and sale of textiles, and in particular the flossed silk goods eagerly sought throughout the continent. The business was very popular as well as highly profitable. One of the notable versions of this ‘capitalistic’ enterprise was the joint effort between Francesco Turrettini and David and Heinrich Wertmüller/Werdmüller established in Zurich in 1587.[37]

But the success of the Locarnesi provoked jealousy within the guilds which controlled industry and commerce in Zurich. So intense was the hostility of the opponents of the energetic Italian community that the Council placed a guard around St. Peter’s church during the Italian worship service in order to prevent disturbances from without.[38] By 1558, the Council, in sympathy with the xenophobia of native Zurichers, barred the Locarnesi from citizenship in the city as well as membership in the local labor guilds. The prejudices of the modern labor union movement have deep roots—hostility to industry, enterprise and ultimately capitalism goes back to the protectionist schemes of the Middle Ages and beyond. Envy and greed still shackle initiative, innovation and hard work.

The ‘little flock’ of Italian Calvinists, drawn into union with the justifying God-man alone, found themselves ‘strangers and exiles’ wherever they settled in Reformation Europe.[39] These who abandoned Catholicism for Protestantism cut themselves off from their native geography and culture. As pilgrims of evangelical and Reformed Christianity, they struggled to find a place—a place to live without persecution, a place to worship without ridicule and eviction, a place to work without prejudice, a place to confess their faith without qualification. The Locarnesi of Zurich, like the Lucchesi of Geneva, adapted in measure to their exile, but it is the voice of their profession, their confession, their affirmation that reveals their sojourning heart—the hearts of those possessed by the end of the age and the eschatological Pilgrim in whom and through whom they reached journey’s end, even as they dwelt between the times.

[1] This is one of two surviving letters from the Italian pilgrims of Geneva to their compatriot sojourners in Zurich; the second epistle came from the ruling elders of the Italian Church in Geneva on August 1, 1555 encouraging the Lucarno brethren with solidarity in the Protestant faith. Cf. Mark Taplin, The Italian Reformers and the Zurich Church, c. 1540-1620 (2003) 98-99. The background provided by Taplin’s work is foundational to my article and translation.

[2] Martinengo had become a Protestant through Peter Martyr’s influence at San Frediano in Lucca, where the former was a canon and the latter the prior. About 1541, Vermigli established a small Bible institute in which Martinengo taught Greek, Jerome Zanchius (1516-1590) taught doctrine and the converted Jew, Emmanuel Tremellius (1510-1580), taught Hebrew.

[3] Registres de la Compaigne des Pasteurs de Genéve au Temps de Calvin, 1546-1553 (1964) 137.

[4] For background on the Lucchesi, cf. James T. Dennison, Jr., “The Life and Career of Francis Turretin,” in Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology (1997) 3:639-58. Additional details may be found in the introductions to: “The Confession of the Italian Church of Geneva (1558)” and the “Lattanzio Ragnoni’s Formulario (1559)” in James T. Dennison, Jr., Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation (2010) 2:111-16 and 161-80 respectively (hereafter RCET).

[5] The Italian exiles first met in the Chapel of the Cardinal of Ostia located in Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Genève. This Chapel was later called L’auditoire de Philosophie and is known today as the Chapelle des frères Macchabées.

[6] Ochino had no official office, nor did the group have official status under the 1541 Ordonnances ecclésiastiques; cf. Dennison, Turretin, op. cit., 3:651, n. 20.

[7] The congregation initially met in the College de la Rive (though this site no longer exists, it was located north of the present College, founded as the Academy by Calvin in 1559) until November 1551 when the Council assigned them La Madelaine for Sunday services (still located where it was in the 16th century). During the week, they held services in the Auditoire (originally built as Notre Dame de la Neuve); it is called Auditoire de Calvin today and is on the south side of the Cathédrale. For the location of Caracciolo’s residence on the north side of the Cathédrale, a few houses east of Calvin’s, cf. William Monter, Calvin’s Geneva (1967) 175.

[8] He was heir to the title Marquis of Vico, but forfeited the use of it when he was declared a heretic (it was awarded to his oldest son). However, in Geneva, he was routinely addressed with this honorific. Cf. Calvin’s letter “Au Marquis de Vico”, July 19, 1558 in Corpus Reformatorum (1877) 45:255-59 (Calvini Opera 17)—hereafter CR and CO respectively; see also Calvin’s “Dedicatory” to the revised edition of his commentary on 1 Corinthians (1556), which echoes the impact of the Corinthian correspondence upon Caracciolo.

[9] His devotion to the Protestant and Reformed faith was tested when he “left (his) wife . . . for the sake of the kingdom of God” (Luke 19:29). His wife’s refusal to join him in abandoning Catholicism and Italy resulted in a famous divorce case in Calvin’s Geneva; cf. Robert Kingdon, “The Galeazzo Caracciolo Case: Divorce for Religious Desertion,” in Adultery and Divorce in Calvin’s Geneva (1995) 143-65. For a biographical sketch including a likeness of Caracciolo, cf. Machiel A. van den Berg, Friends of Calvin (2009) 196-205.

[10] His odyssey began with the circle gathered around Juan de Valdés (1498 or 1509/10-1541), whose formative impact on young Italian evangelicals (including Peter Martyr Vermigli) was profound. For Valdés, see the introduction to his “Catechism (1549)” in RCET 1:527-36. Vermigli was appointed prior of San Frediano in Lucca in 1542, where his preaching on Paul’s epistles changed the lives of many, including members of the Turrettini/Turretin family. Lucchesi and Locarnesi alike owed a great debt to this “phoenix from the ashes of Savanarola”.

[11] Repeated appeals for Vittoria to join him in Geneva and several perilous trips to Italy in order to attempt to persuade her in person to fidelity to their bond were consistently rebuffed. Galeazzo finally resorted to ‘the Pauline privilege’ (1 Cor. 7:15) and was granted a divorce from his wife by the Council and Pastors of Geneva on Nov. 7, 1559. On Jan. 15, 1560, he married a widow, Anna Framéry, and spent twenty-six happy years with her until his death. She died a short time later in 1587; cf. Kingdon for details.

[12] Perhaps on account of his service to the Emperor in 1532 when Charles was resident in Brussels.

[13] Note Calvin’s remark in a letter dated June 15, 1551 that he has “recently arrived” (CR 42:134/CO 14). Caracciolo would come to Calvin’s defense in the infamous anti-predestinarian controversy of 1551 with the latter’s nemesis,  Jerome Bolsec (†1585) (cf. “Consensus Genevensis: Calvin on Eternal Predestination [1552],” in RCET, 1:692-820). van den Berg  (op. cit., 197, n. 2) notes that he was a “witness à charge” (“witness for the prosecution”) during the trial of Bolsec in the Fall of 1551. Bolsec was expelled from Geneva on Dec. 23, 1551.

[14] Caracciolo was made a citizen of Geneva in 1555 and subsequently awarded a seat in the Council of Two Hundred and the Council of Sixty. In 1556, he was elected a ruling elder in the Italian Church.

[15] The insinuation of the radical Italian anti-Trinitarianism into the Italian congregation came to a head in May 1558. The “Confession of the Italian Church of Geneva (1558)” (RCET, 2:111-16) was drafted by John Calvin and the successor to Celso Martinengo, namely Lattanzio Ragnoni (†1559), who was chosen pastor on the former’s death in 1557 (cf. n. 4 above for Ragnoni’s Formulario, itself an orthodox Trinitarian and Reformed declaration directed, in part, against the Italian radicals). The Confession was a brief but direct Trinitarian response to the emerging Unitarianism humanists who were devoted disciples of the late Michael Servetus (1511-1553). Caracciolo’s signature does not appear on this document (RCET, 2:116) because he was on a journey to Italy at the time in his final attempt at a face-to-face appeal with his incorrigible Catholic wife. During his absence, Calvin directs a letter to him in Italy dated July 19, 1558 in which he describes the trials with the anti-Trinitarians and the formulation of the Confession of the Italian Church; cf. CR 45 (CO 17): 255-59—English translation available in Jules Bonnet, Letters of John Calvin (1858) 3:440-46.

[16] It was his treatise, Brevis explication in primum Johannis caput (1561), which launched the Socinian (i.e., Unitarian) attack on the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. Lelio’s nephew, Faustus Sozzini (1539-1604), would borrow from his uncle’s work in leading this neo-pagan charge against the revealed doctrine of the Trinitarian Deity, especially from his refuge in Poland (Rakov/Racovia). For more on the Trinitarian disputes in the Italian Church in Geneva, see the Confessions cited in n. 3 above. NB as well the Hungarian and Transylvanian documents in that volume.

[17] Locarno had belonged to the Duchy of Milan until the 15th century. It was in the late 15th and early 16th century that the city on Lake Maggiore was transferred to the Swiss Confederation; cf. Taplin, 67ff. which includes a map of the region.

[18] Thomas M’Crie, History of the Progress and Suppression of the Reformation in Italy in the Sixteenth Century (1833) 161. He wrote to Zwingli: “Fainting with thirst, I come to the fountain of living water, like the poor Lazarus or humble woman of Canaan, who would be satisfied with the crumbs from the Lord’s table” (cited in The Presbyterian Review and Religious Journal 19 [January 1846]: 23; cf. M’Crie, 57). Taplin’s essay omits this letter and dates Fontana’s initial appearance in Locarno to 1531 (70).

[19] Cesare Cantù suggests he hailed from Milan, Gli eretici d’Italia (1866) 3:85.

[20] Taplin, 71.

[21] Duno would compose De persequutione adversus Locarnensis (ms dated 1602) as a record of events he experienced; cf. Taplin, 70.

[22] Ronco would wed Caterina Merenda, the second wife of Peter Martyr Vermigli, when she was widowed on his death in 1562.

[23] Martyrologia; or Records of Religious Persecution (1851) 3:493.

[24] Cf. the review of Ferdinand Meyer, Die Evangelische Gemeinde in Locarno . . . (1836) in The Presbyterian Review and Religious Journal 19 (January 1846): 22-41. The dispute was to include 15 Theses on papal supremacy, justification, purgatory, etc. In fact, the encounter never advanced beyond the first proposition and descended into chaos on the interference by Wirz.

[25] Taplin, 74.

[26] I have translated the Latin text which is found in Emidio Campi and Christian Moser, “Das Bekenntnis von Locarno 1554,” in E. Busch, et al, Reformierte Bekenntnisschriften, Bd. 1/3 (1550-1558) (Neukirchener, 2007) 329-38, esp. 335-38.

[27] Campi and Moser’s citation here reads Eph. 1:12 (p. 336, n. 28) which is a mistake for v. 14 where the Vulgate contains pignus (as v. 12 does not).

[28] Or a “finger nail’s width” from the Latin latum quidem unguem.

[29] John Calvin dispatched a letter to Bullinger on January 13, 1555 in which he wrote, “I should have wished exceedingly to encourage the unfortunate brethren of Locarno by some consolation at least, that they might understand that we feel sympathy for them . . .” (Jules Bonnet, Letters of John Calvin [1858] 3:115).

[30] Martyrologia, op. cit., 494.

[31] Taplin, 79ff.

[32] Ibid., 83.

[33] Ibid., 85.

[34] Italian humanistic/rationalistic anti-Trinitarianism was designated the “Italian Plague”.

[35] Ibid., 144-45.

[36] Ibid., 111-169 for full discussion.

[37] Cf. Dennison, “The Life and Career of Francis Turretin,” in Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology (1997) 3:640. Turrettini had launched his silk business in Geneva in 1575.

[38] Taplin, 104.

[39] Their ‘theological host’ in Zurich, Heinrich Bullinger, would dedicate his Cent sermons sur l’Apocalypse de Jésus Christ (1564) to the fugitifs & chassez (“fugitives and cast offs/exiles”) of French, Italian and English strangers in Geneva. Cf. the “Preface” dated September 1, 1557. The exilic experience defines the identity of the Italian Protestant Diaspora, as even their patrons and sponsors acknowledged.