Another day, another national holiday—that’s the motto we love! On July 6, Czechs celebrate one of the most controversial priests in their history – Jan Hus.
Let’s discover the faith of Jan Hus and if he has anything to do with geese.
Who is Jan Hus?
The timeline takes us to the early 15th century—the time when Jan Hus made some noise in the church structure and its approaches to spirituality. Quite a controversial yet brave action, assuming the Middle Ages period.
Jan Hus was a Czech theologian and philosopher who later became a church reformer and an inspiration for the Hussitism movement, the predecessor of Protestantism. People remember him for his fundamental teachings and influence on the Bohemian religious denomination.
No wonder he happened to be a rector at Charles University from 1409–1410. Such a bright mind did not last long.
Jan Hus and his journey to the church
‘Take me to the church!’ was the true intention of Hus, not Hozier. In fact, going to church was one of the ways Jan Hus tried to escape poverty. To do so, he traveled to Prague to sing and serve in several churches—this was quite a success for such a young boy.
It was also an excellent way for Hus to discover his passion for churches. Later, Hus would commit his life to theology by acquiring an education as a priest and continuing his teaching at the university.
During his professional journey as a professor, Hus criticized several aspects of the Catholic Church in Bohemia. For instance, views on ecclesiology, simony, the Eucharist, and other theological elements.
Conflict with Alexander V
Most people did not admire Hus’s views on the church, and he ended up having a conflict with Alexander V, the pope. In fact, the pope was persuaded to act against Hus by supporting the Bohemian Church authorities. Alexander V even issued a Papal Bull, a paper meant to excommunicate Hus. Yet it was never enforced to the full extent of the law. Hus was still spreading his new vision of the church.
Antipope John XXIII, a successor of Alexander V, was more successful and brave in getting rid of Hus. Interestingly, Antipope John XXIII forced Hus to live in an axile for his ex-communication.
This was a tricky and intelligent move. As soon as Hus arrived at the axile and shared his vision of the church, authorities put him in prison, without a doubt. His ideas were regarded as the “black sheep” of society and were simply unacceptable in the 15th century.
I would not for a chapel of gold retreat from the truthreplied Hus, with the pure intention of never changing his view of the church. He believed he could turn the church into a better place out there. Sadly, big dreams did not come true during his life.
Hus was burned for heresy against the Catholic Church. Some say he could have heard Psalms while flaming as a match. Others claim that he predicted that ‘God would raise others whose calls for reform would not be suppressed.’ This was true and proven by Martin Luther.
The Legacy of Jan Hus
Jan Hus’s followers and teachings remained loyal even after his execution. They refused to elect another Catholic monarch and participated in papal crusades, also known as the Hussite Wars.
In Bohemia and Moravia, most of the population remained Hussite until the 1620s. The time when the Protestant movement became a thing and dominated Europe.
Interestingly, the Czechs did not celebrate the Jan Hus holiday until 1918. This year, Czechoslovakia was established, bringing some perks, including the feast which inflames political and theological passions.
The event became more of an official character as public figures started to appear to commemorate Jan Hus and his activities. Festive ceremonies, usually supported by the Hussite Church, provide warm memories and celebrate the theological views of Jan Hus even today.