by Janet Diane Mourglia-Swerdlow
July 12, 2009

from AbundantHope Website

Have you ever heard of the Waldensians?


If you haven't then you are not alone. Many people know that Mary Magdalene fled to the South of France with her children and followers after the staged death of her husband, Jesus.


From there she and her band of followers were forced to flee France and were eventually known as Waldensians.


These Waldensians organized themselves along the line of the New Testament, spreading seeds of thought that fueled the 16th Century Reformation. In fact, many credit the Waldensians as being the "Mother of the Protestant Reformation."


Yet you have probably never even heard of them!! Why not?

One Roman Catholic author, Rainier Sacho, wrote:

"There is no sect so dangerous as the Leonists (another name for Waldensians because they were from the Lyons section of France) for three reasons:

1. it is the most ancient; some say it is as old as Sylvester, others say it is as old as the apostles themselves

2. it is very generally disseminated; there is no country where it has not gained some footing

3. while other sects are profane and blasphemous, this retains the utmost show of piety; they live justly before men and believe nothing concerning God which is not good"

Sacho admits that the Waldensians flourished at least 500 years before the time of Peter Waldo, who later was credited by the Roman Catholic Church with beginning the sect.

The early Waldensians deny the official Roman Catholic version, and trace their ancestry back to earliest Christianity to the Church of Vaudois. Although many people believe that the earliest sacraments of the Waldensians are missing, they contend that the Waldensians followed the earliest literal application of the teachings of Christ as contained in the gospels.


They rejected mass and eucharist, and believed that the true Church was the community, not the buildings. They believed that the buildings should be destroyed. They did not believe in a hierarchal church and they believed in the right of women to preach - heretic at the time.

Accordng to Allix Churches of Piedmont:

"The Reformers held that the Waldensian Church was formed around 120 AD, from which date on they passed down from father to son the teachings they received from the apostles."

The year 120 is consistent with the dispatch of the disciples of Polycarp from Smyrna and Ephesus.

To end their persecution, in 1531 the Waldensians decided to align with the Protestant doctrine which they believed "the lesser of the evils" compared to the Roman Catholic Church, their other choice. In spite of this step, from 1540 to 1690 they witnessed a wholesale destruction of their churches

During this time period, the Duke of Savoy granted them peace in 1561. However, in 1624 Spanish troops tried to wipe them out, killing thousands of Waldensians. The Council for the Propagation of the Faith then met in Turin, resulting in all Waldensians being ordered back into the mountains of Italy. Even though they went, 15,000 troops were sent in to destroy them.


This massacre shocked Europe and in 1685 the Edict of Nantes was revoked which stopped the killing.

In 1686, Louis XIV asked the Duke of Savoy to persecute the Waldensians.


The Swiss offered the Waldensians exile, however another 20,000 were still killed. By this time it was thought that only about 200 Waldensians were left in the mountains. These remaining few fought so hard that 3000 imprisoned Waldensians were released and guaranteed safe passage to Switzerland. This happened in the middle of the winter.


All children under the age of twelve were separated from their parents. The children were sent throughout Europe to prevent return to their families and to be raised as Roman Catholics. Many Waldensians who left for Switzerland died on the twelve day journey through the bitter winter snow.


Sound like a familiar protocol for destroying history, family and TRUE religion?

The Waldensians fought again from 1690 to 1694 when they were granted religious liberty. But the senate in Turin, Italy forbade publication of the edict under penalty of death.


By 1700, it was written that,

"had they been able to, the Roman Catholic Church would have killed every single Waldensian until they had exterminated them from the face of the Earth."

In late 1800s, 45 families fled to Uruguay, then to,

  • New York City

  • Monett, Missouri

  • Valdese, North Carolina

More hidden history? Could you be a descendent of the Waldensians?


I am - my paternal great-grandparents and grandparents belonged to the Waldensian Church of Monett Missouri, one of the three Waldensian communities in the US.


However, eventually the Waldensians were forced to join other Protestant denominations and their true history became lost to the public.

This website-link might be interesting to explore: http //