Papist Propaganda Against the Godly Reformers

This late sixteenth-century anti-Protestant broadside includes a large hand-colored woodcut depicting the Catholic Church under attack by seven historical figures and one allegorical representative of the Reformation.  Situated from left to right and numbered one through eight, these include: (1) Martin Luther (1484–1546); (2) “Unhold,” a demon;  (3) Philipp Melanchthon (1497–1560); (4) Ulrich Zwingli (1484–1531); (5) Johann Oecolampadius (1482–1531); (6) Caspar Schwenckfeld (1490–1561); (7) Andreas Rudolff-Bodenstein von Karlstadt (ca.1480–1541); and (8) Jean Calvin (1509–1564).   All eight are assisted by various devils.  In turn the Catholic Church is supported and strengthened by its four central towers, each identified with one of the four Doctors of the Western Church: St. Ambrose (ca. 339–397), St. Jerome (ca. 345–420), St. Augustine (354–430), and St. Gregory (ca. 540–604).

The English translation of the caption title, the text above the illustration, reads:

“Mirror of the militant, true, steadfast, age-old Catholic Church of God, against which many tyrants, heathens, Jews, and heretics revolt, tear down, burn, and break by storm, but which Church to this day remains steadfast against all storms, and which until the end of the world by God’s grace shall endure.”