Claes Praet (d. ca. 1556)

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Claes (de) Praet, an Anabaptist martyr, was executed at Ghent, Belgium, by burning at the stake, probably in the last half of 1556 or early months of 1557. Claes had been deeply impressed by witnessing the death of some steadfast Anabaptist martyrs. He had been baptized in 1552 at Antwerp. Shortly before his imprisonment he had visited the Mennonites in Emderland, both for trade and spiritual contacts. He was married and had children. Nothing further is known about his life. His imprisonment lasted about two months. Het Offer des Heeren and later martyr books contain a letter of Claes, written from his prison, in which he speaks at length of his trials. At the end of this letter Claes greets "the whole church, scattered in all countries." The hymn says that Claes willingly came to the stake, to which he was bound for burning. Concerning Claes the hymn was written: "De werlt op de Christen verstoort, vangen, dooden aen menich oort" (The world, annoyed by the Christians, seizes and kills them at many places), which is included in Het Offer des Heeren.


Dit Boec wort genoemt: Het Offer des Heeren, om het inhout van sommighe opgheofferde kinderen Godts . . . N.p., 1570: 239-256. Available in full electronic text at:

Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doopsgesinde 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, 167-173.

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: 554-660.  Available online at:

Verheyden, A.L.E. Het Gentsche Martyrologium (1530)-1595). Brugge: De Tempel, 1946: 23, No. 45.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder. Macleod, AB, and Vienna, 1923: 66.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1953

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MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Claes Praet (d. ca. 1556)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 24 Jul 2024.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1953). Claes Praet (d. ca. 1556). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 July 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 616. All rights reserved.

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