|Michaelsburg in Pustertal, Sued Tirol, where many Anabaptist with imprisoned during the 1500's|
Today as I read from The Chronicle of the Hutterian Brethren V1, I came upon the story of Martin from Villgraten and Kaspar Schuster who were imprisoned in this castle in 1538. This is one of the places I saw while in Europe this past August. We couldn't go inside that day, because it was closed, nonetheless, I was extremely grateful to get to see yet another place which has historic significance for Hutterites. It's amazing how our history came alive for me on this trip, and also how much more I get out of reading our Chronicle now! The places I visited are now much more than just names in a book. I know I've said this a number of times...but, some things bear repeating: I will always be grateful to all the people, now dear friends, who took time to tour these sites with us. To see their passion for our history was truly inspiring!
In 1538 brother Martin from Villgraten and Kaspar Schuster were held in prison at Michelsburg Castle in the Puster Valley for the sake of divine truth. After making a courageous stand, they were condemned to death and executed with the sword and remained steadfast to the end. We still have their songs, which give us much to think about, for they show us how these brothers were comforted in their bonds and suffering and how the love of God burned in their hearts. From this love nothing could separate them: neither tribulation nor fear nor persecution, neither hunger nor poverty, nakedness nor peril. No sword was too sharp, no fire too hot, no devil too evil, no man too active on the side of the devil. Nothing could turn them away from God and his truth, from their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. What they confessed with their lips, they also testified with their blood through the grace and power of God. (page 176, The Chronicle of the Hutterian Brethren V1)
Powerful words indeed and what a testament of a deep and abiding faith! This is just one of many, many such stories - here not only as a legacy for all Anabaptists, but a witness to the world. May their zeal and courage serve as a reminder to keep the flame of faith burning bright!