Jan Hus

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Super omnia vincit veritas!

Jan Hus (ca. 1369July 6, 1415) was a Czech religious educator and reformer who was excommunicated, condemned and put to death by Roman Catholic authorities on the charge of heresy.


  • I call God to witness that all I have written and preached, has been to rescue souls from sin. There can be no turning back. My Lord walked the path of truth and duty, even though it took Him to Calvary. Can I, one of his humble followers, turn back now? To witness to God's truth is more important than life. Joyfully then, will I confirm with my blood all the writings and preachings of truths that I've held. Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commit my spirit.*
    • Last words before John Hus died singing, being martyred July 6, 1415
  • God is my witness that I have never taught or preached that which false witnesses have testified against me. He knows that the great object of all my preaching and writing was to convert men from sin. In the truth of that gospel which hitherto I have written, taught and preached, I now joyfully die.
    • Jan Hus (1415); quoted in: Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and General Literature, Volume 12, 1891, p. 401
  • Melius est bene mori, quam male vivere (...) qui mortem metuit, amittit gaudia vitae; super omnia vincit veritas, vincit, qui occiditur, quia nulla ei nocet adversitas, si nulla ei dominatur iniquitas.
    • It is better to die well, than to live wrongly (...) who is afraid of death loses the joy of life; truth prevails all, prevails who is killed, because no adversity can harm him, who is not dominated by injustice.
      • Quoted in John Huss: His Life, Teachings and Death, After Five Hundred Years (1915) by David Schley Schaff, p. 58.
      • Jan Hus in Letter to Christian of Prachatice, probably the most influential of his quotes, first adopted as the motto by Hussite warriors, centuries later this motto was inscribed on the banner of the Presidents of the Czechoslovakia and now (in Czech translation) is inscribed on the banner of the President of the Czech Republic.
  • O sancta simplicitas!
    • O holy simplicity!
      • Quoted in The Routledge Dictionary of Latin Quotations (2005) by Jon R. Stone, p. 188
      • Spoken by Hus as he was being burned at the stake and saw an elderly peasant adding wood to the fire

A Companion to Jan Hus (2015)

A Companion to Jan Hus (2015) edited by František Šmahel
  • The people from Prague and other Czechs should be whipped who speak half Czech and half German (...) And who could enumerate how the Czech language has already been corrupted, so that the true Czech hears they speak, but he does not understand them. And from that arises envy, anger, conflict, strife and Czech humiliation.
    • pp. 190-191.
  • It is impossible that Christendom finds its peace in God's will, if the priesthood is not being called to order.
    • p. 194.
  • Even a most evil man is better than the devil!
    • pp. 201-202; Jan Hus in Booklet against the Cook-priest in response to the rival priest who swore that Hus is worse than any devil.
  • If I knew a foreigner from anywhere in his virtue who would love God and would be interested in the good more than my own brother, he would be dearer to me than my brother. And hence I prefer good English priests over timid Czech priests and good German over an evil brother.
    • p. 225.
  • The only law that a Christian should listen to and read is the law of God's Commandments. And it is not right to comply with, implement or observe any other law.
    • p. 231.

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