The letter which was delivered to the Oetenbach convent on September 30, 1527, changed Anna Adlischwyler’s life for ever. The author was Heinrich Bullinger, a priest and friend of Swiss reformer Huldrych Zwingli.
“You and you alone fill my thoughts,” Bullinger admitted to the young nun. He wanted to live with her and share everything – “the sweet and the sour”. “You are young, and God did not give you your body for you to remain a nun for ever and do nothing to bear fruit,” he wrote. After singing the praises of marriage, Bullinger got to the point: “Read this letter three or four times, think about it and ask God to reveal his intention to you.”
Just a few years earlier such a love letter would have been unthinkable. But since the Reformation things were different, in Zurich too. Priests were getting married and nuns, who had devoted their lives to God, were turning their backs on life behind a convent wall. Even Martin Luther married a lady of the cloth who was 16 years his junior.
Henry IV, King of France, issued the Edict of Nantes on the 30th of April, 1598
After he came to power, he did not forget his Protestant former co-religionists. The Edict of Nantes, which he promulgated in 1598, though it recognized Catholicism as the official religion of the French state, gave Protestants certain important rights-religious rights, such as freedom of conscience and liberty to continue worship in places where they had done so before 1597; civic rights, such as eligibility to hold public offices; and political rights, such as permission to hold public assemblies and maintain 450 places with garrisons as strongholds. This edict, the first in Europe to permit two religions to coexist legally under one political government, was rigidly enforced by Henry until he was assassinated by the Catholic fanatic Ravaillac in 1610.*
The Edict was then rescinded by the Papist’s puppet king.
*Henry IV. In Who’s Who in Christian history (p. 312).