Morel, Jean

Morel, Jean a French martyr to the cause of Protestant Christianity in its earliest days in France, was born in 1538 near Lisieux, of a poor and obscure family in Normandy. He sought the capital, and though without means contrived to pursue and finish a scholarly education, during this period earning his living partly by instruction, partly by work in a printing-office. Thereafter, it is not known from what motive, he made a journey to Geneva, and returned full of enthusiasm for the new religious doctrines. He then entered the service of the (Calvinistic) minister, Antoine de Chandieu, both as domestic and secretary. While in this position the police came to seize the books written in favor of the new religion, and he, along with his master, was arrested. Chandieu, at the reclamation of the king of Navarre, was soon set at liberty; but Morel was placed in one of the most dismal dungeons of the Chatelet, and thence transported to Fort l'Eveque, where he had to undergo numerous interrogatories. He resisted the entreaties of his judges and the urgent requests of his relatives, who tried to make him abjure his creed, and February 16, 1559, was declared a heretic, expelled from the Church, and surrendered to the secular power. Four days later he was found dead in the Conciergerie — rumor reported poisoned. Like the condemned dying in prison, his body was buried the day following; but by order of the procureur general it was disinterred, brought back to the Conciergerie, carried in a rubbish-cart to the area before the church of Notre Dame, and publicly burned, February 27, 1559.

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