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God delights in those who honor him

Known in advance

God knew his people in advance, and he chose them
to become like his Son.
Romans 8:29 NLT

The Reforming Monk

Girolamo Savonarola was born in 1452 in Ferrara, Italy.
He was a sensitive and serious boy who was enamored
with the study of religion. He started training as a
physician, but his idealism caused him to drop out and
join a Dominican order to fight the evils of the world.

Savonarola was deeply distressed by the corruption
within the Catholic Church and what he saw as a lack
of piety among its leaders. He spent his time praying,
fasting, and teaching the novice monks. He became
famous as a preacher. He preached about God's
pending judgment, the need for repentance, against the
worldliness of the clergy, the evils of the ruling class,
and the general corruption of secular living.

Savonarola used his power and popularity to bring about
reform of church and state. He is considered an early
reformer within the Catholic Church. Under his leadership
Florence underwent a startling transformation:
businessmen restored ill-gotten gains, there was much
Bible ready, and the churches were crowded. At the
same time, Savonarola made many enemies.

With the passage of time, community support for
Savonarola's strict views started to wane. On
May 13, 1497, Alexander VI excommunicated Savonarola
from the church on the grounds that he had disobeyed
the pope's commands. He was arrested in April 1498,
tried for sedition and heresy and was brutally tortured.
On May 23, 1498, he was publicly hanged and his body

In the succeeding years the majority of citizens of
Florence went back to their old ways, yet many
permanently changed. One of those was a sculptor
named Michelangelo.

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Christian History
by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten (Tyndale, 2003),
entry for May 13.

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