Pierre Viret

Pierre Viret ( Orbe * 1511, † May 4, 1571 in Orthez ), was a Swiss reformer, who worked in Geneva, Lausanne and France.


Viret studied return ( with John Calvin at the same time ) in Paris at the Collège de Montaigu, but had to because of his espousal of the Reformation in 1531 in his home in Canton Vaud. At the request of Guillaume Farel he held from May 6, 1531 Protestant sermons in his home town of Orbe and the surrounding villages. From 1534 he supported Farel in the enforcement of the Reformation in Geneva. When in 1536 the Reformation was there officially accepted and Calvin began his service as a preacher, Viret moved to Lausanne, which had just come under the dominion of the Canton of Bern. Here he took in October at the Colloquy of Lausanne, in part, through which the Reformation was officially adopted, and subsequently worked as a preacher and leader of the Reformed Academy, which was of great importance for the Swiss Reformation. After the expulsion of Calvin and Farel 1538 he returned to Geneva, then sat down but successful for the recall of a Calvin. In 1542, he was able to resume his work in Lausanne again.

Because of a dispute over church discipline he was deposed in 1559 from Bern's advice and moved back to Geneva. As most teachers of the Lausanne Academy accompanied him, with them, the Académie de Genève was founded in Geneva. His failing health prompted him in 1562 to seek the warmer southern France. Here he played a leading role in building the Huguenot Church. In Nîmes, he was successful as a preacher and school, but switched in 1563 to Montpellier and Lyon, 1565 to Orange. From 1566 he spent the last years of his life on behalf of Jeanne d' Albret of Navarre as a teacher of the Academy in Orthez. He died on the way to the Synod of La Rochelle, 1571st


Viret acted not only as a preacher and teacher, but also because of its numerous and extensive publications. In addition to the interpretation of the Bible bothered him particularly questions of ethics, and political ethics.

On a relief at the Geneva Reformation Wall shows how Pierre Viret on February 22, 1534 takes place at a meeting in a house in the Rue Basses in the presence of Guillaume Farel and Antoine Froment in Geneva for the first time a reformed baptism.

Writings (selection )

  • Dialogues qui est à présent du désordre au monde. Causes of the d' iceluy, et du moyen pour y remedier, desquelz l' ordre et le tiltre s'ensuit. Geneva 1545 hrsgeg. by Ruxandra Vulcan, Labor et fides, Genève 2012
  • Exposure familière sur le symbole of apôtres contenant le articles de la foi et un sommaire de la religion chrétienne. Geneva 1543.
  • Remonstrances aux Fidèles qui avec les conversent papistes. Geneva 1547.
  • Exposure familière de l' oraison de notre Seigneur Jésus- Christ et des choses de dignes considérer sur icelle. Geneva 1548.
  • Traità divers pour l'instruction of the Fidèles qui résident et conversent ès lieux et il ne leur pays Esquel est permis de vivre en la liberté et de l' pureté Évangile. Geneva, 1559.
  • Exposure familière of principaux points you Catéchisme et de la doctrine chrétienne. Geneva 1561st
  • Instruction chrétienne en la doctrine de la Loi et de l' Évangile, Geneva 1564 ( re: Pierre Viret: Oeuvres complètes, vol I. Edited by A.-L. Hofer ISBN 2-8251-1416-2. . )
  • L' Interim, Lyon 1565