Statue of Peter Waldo at the Reformation Monument in Worms.
||Peter Waldo (or Valdès de Lyons) was a successful merchant in Lyon in the late 1100's who underwent a religious conversion in about 1170. He renounced his wealth and began to preach a doctrine of voluntary poverty. Pope Alexander III affirmed his vow of poverty in 1179, but he was forbidden to continue preaching because he was a layperson. However, he and his followers ( the Poor Men of Lyon or Waldensians) were excommunicated for violating the ban on preaching and were banished from the city. Pope Lucius III included them among the heretics in his Bull of excommunication at Verona in 1184.
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© 2004 Mark Gstohl, PhD.