Algerius (d. 1557)

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Burning of Algerius, student from Padua, Rome, 1557.
Engraving by Jan Luiken in Martyrs Mirror, v. 2, p. 189 of Dutch edition.
Source: Rijksmuseum.

Algerius was a martyr known through the Martyrs' Mirror, which states definitely that he was an Anabaptist. He came from the kingdom of Naples and had as a young student in Padua been admitted to the church through baptism by a brother. Soon thereafter he was thrown into prison; from there he wrote to his brethren a deeply moving letter, joyfully enthusiastic, showing a thorough knowledge o£ Scripture. He endured all torture steadfastly. He was sent to Venice and there every means was employed to persuade him to recant. It was in vain. Now he was brought to Rome and delivered to the Pope, who tried in vain to convert him and then gave him over to a most terrible death in 1557. The letter mentioned above deserves to be made accessible to all. Van Braght characterizes it with these words: "In this letter there is such wisdom, such holiness and dignity that we have read it countless times. Thereby our love to God has been rekindled, as also our zeal not only to live with Christ, but also, if necessity required it, to die for Him and for His truth."

Algerius is the subject of a hymn in the Ausbund, the 29th hymn, written by Hans Büchel (or Bichel). This hymn was published in the first full edition of the Ausbund in 1583, and predates the Martyrs' Mirror by quite a few years. The hymn title is: "Ein ander Marter-Lied von einem Christlichen Ritter, Algerius genannt, zu Rom jaemmerlich verbrennt, Anno 1557."


Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doops-gesinde of Weereloose Christenen, Die om 't getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker geleden hebben ende gedood zijn van Christi tijd of tot desen tijd toe. Den Tweeden Druk. Amsterdam: Hieronymus Sweerts, 1685: Part II, 185-190.

Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour . . . to the Year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1951: 570-573. Available online at:

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 27 ff.

Snyder, C. Arnold. "Addition or correction to article." Personal e-mail (30 June 2014).

Author(s) Christian Neff
C. Arnold Snyder
Date Published June 2014

Cite This Article

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Neff, Christian and C. Arnold Snyder. "Algerius (d. 1557)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2014. Web. 2 Oct 2023.

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Neff, Christian and C. Arnold Snyder. (June 2014). Algerius (d. 1557). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 October 2023, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 53-54. All rights reserved.

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