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Peter Waldo

Peter Waldo was the founder of a radical ascetic Christian movement in 12th-century France.

Specific details of his life are largely unknown. It is believed that he was a rich merchant in Lyons making his money by "wicked usury", when around 1160 he was transformed into a radical Christian and gave his real estate to his wife, and the remainder of his belongings he distributed as alms to the poor.

Waldo also began to preach and teach on the streets, based on his ideas of simplicity and poverty notably that "No man can serve two masters, God and mammon." By 1170 he had gathered a number of followers and they came to be called The poor men of Lyons, the poor of Lombardy, or the Poor. They were also referred to as the Waldensians or Waldenses and also Albigensians along with the Cathars. The Catholic church branded them as heretics and massacred them during the 12th and 13th centuries.

External link

  • Link to the Medival sourcebook text about Peter Waldo

Last updated: 02-26-2005 20:40:45