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Franciscus Sonnius (1506-1576) Source: Wikipedia Commons Wikipedia Commons

Franciscus Sonnius (Frans van der Velde), professor of theology at the University of Leuven, Belgium, thereupon (1560) Roman Catholic bishop, first of 's Hertogenbosch, then of Antwerp, is known in Mennonite history as an inquisitor. He was born 12 August 1506 at Zon in Brabant. In 1545 he was appointed to oversee the extirpation of heresy in the Dutch provinces of Holland and Zeeland, and in 1553 also in Friesland. He also dealt with Anabaptists. The martyrs gave him a good testimony, saying that he was willing to hear them and that he was moderate. The insolence and brutality of many other inquisitors were foreign to Sonnius. He wrote to his instructor that he preferred a certain lenience toward the heretics, trying to save souls and rejecting all kinds of cruelty. Sonnius died 30 June 1576 in Antwerp.


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Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: v. I, 379 f.

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Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published September 2008

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MLA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Sonnius, Franciscus (1506-1576)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. September 2008. Web. 25 Apr 2019. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Sonnius,_Franciscus_(1506-1576)&oldid=68243.

APA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. (September 2008). Sonnius, Franciscus (1506-1576). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 April 2019, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Sonnius,_Franciscus_(1506-1576)&oldid=68243.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 581. All rights reserved.

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