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Pietro Paolo Vergerio the Younger PDF Print E-mail
Important Slavic Protestant Reformers

(Koper/Capodistria, Slovenia, 1498 – Tübingen, 1565)

Vergerio was born in Capodistria (today the town of Koper in Slovenia), located on the north-western tip of the Istrian peninsula. He came from a wealthy and reputable family. One of his forefathers who had the same name (Pietro Paolo Vergerio the Elder, 1370-1444) had been a well-known writer and teacher in Italy.
Vergerio studied law in Padua and after obtaining his doctorate worked as a lawyer and a judge in Italy. After his wife’s death he became a priest and served as a legate of Popes Clement VII (1478-1534) and Paul III (1468-1549). As a papal nuncio and diplomat Vergerio visited Luther in Wittenberg in 1535. As a reward for a successful trip to Wittenberg, Ferdinand I approved in 1536 that Vergerio be given the bishopric of Modrus in Croatia and later in his home town of Capodistria.
He was excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 1549 because he preached Reformation doctrines openly, and he fled to the Swiss Confederation. At first he was a pastor in Vicosoprano in Graubünden (Grisons), but he found his parish too unimportant because he desired to spend more time at the courts of the German princes.

When in November 1553 an opportunity came for Vergerio to become a counsellor to Duke Christopher of Wurttemberg (1515-1568), he moved to live in Tübingen. Because of this relocation, the Swiss Reformers became suspicious of Vergerio, especially Calvin who had at first been very fond of him. The rest of his life Vergerio was active as a Protestant minister, writer and special envoy who travelled widely in Europe, visiting Poland, Lithuania, Prussia etc. He died in Tübingen in October 1565 and is buried in the Stiftskirche. Primos Truber was with Vergerio during his last days of sickness as well as present at his funeral.

Vergerio, although an Italian, is nevertheless recognized in Slovenia today as the person who is largely responsible for introducing the Latin alphabet instead of the Glagolitic one.

Flacius wrote a dedicatory letter to Vergerio to accompany the second edition of his De vocabulo fidei, dated 1 January 1555 in Magdeburg (at the time this Epistola by Flacius was written Vergerio was a counselor to Duke Christopher in Württemberg). It contains Flacius’ concern for his “dulcissima patria” of Istria and he laments the persecutions against Protestants there carried out by the Venetian Republic.

Works:

-    De Republica veneta liber primus  (Toscolano: Paganini, 1526).
-    Ad oratores principium Germaniae, qui Vormatiae Convenerunt. Deunitate et pace ecclesiae (Venetia: Nicolini de Sabio, 1541).
-    Della afflittione et persecutione fatta sopra quei di Capodistria nello anno 1548 (Poschiavo: Dolfino Landolfo, 1549).
-    Instruttione Christiana (Poschiavo: Dolfino Landolfo, 1549).
-    Oratione de perseguitati et forusciti per lo Evangelio, et per Giesu Christo (Poschiavo: Dolfino Landolfo, 1549).
-    Il catalogo de libri, li quali nuovamente nel mese di maggio nell'anno presente MDXLVIIII sono stati condannati et scomunicati per heretici da M. Giovan Della Casa legat odi Venetia et d'alcuni frati. E aggiunto sopra il medesimo catalogo un iudicio et discorso del Vergerio (1549).
-    Del matrimonio de preti, et dalle monache (Basilea: Giacomo Parco, 1549).
-    Le otto difensioni del Vergerio vescovo di Capodistria. Nelle quali e notata et scoperta una particella delle tante superstitioni d'Italia et dalla grande ignorantia et ingiustitia de principi de sacerdoti, scribi et Farisei (Basilea: Giacomo Parco, 1549). Predgovor ovom djelu potpisao je humanista Caelio Secondo Curione.
-    Dodici trattatelli di M. Pietro Paulo Vergerio vescovo di Capodistria, fatti poco avanti il suo partire d'Italia (Basilea: Giacomo Parco, 1549).
-    Epistola del Vergerio, nella quale sono descritte molte cose della Citta, et dalla Chiesa di Geneva (Geneva, 1550).
-    Al serenesimo Re d'Inghilterra,  Eduardo sesto, della creatione del nuovo Papa Giulio III. Et quale habbia ad essere il concilio, che egli intende di fare (1550).
-    Trattato delle superstitioni d' Italia e dell' ignoranza de' sacerdoti (1550).
-    La historia di M. Francesco Spiera, il quale per havere in varii modi negata la conosciuta verita dell'Evvangelio, casco in una misera desparatione (Basilea: Ioannes Oporinus, 1551).
-    «Concilium non modo Tridentium sed omne papisticum, perpetuo fugiendum esse omnibus piis» (1553.)
-    Della Camera et Statua della Madonna chiamata di Loreto, la quale e stata nuovamente diffesa da Fra Leandro Albertii Bolognese, et da Papa Giulio III con un solenne Privilegio approbata (1554).
-    Historia di Papa Giovani VIII, che fu femmina (1556).
-    Dialogi IV de libro quem St. Hosius contra Vergerium edidit (1559).
-    Primus Tomus Operum Vergerii. Adversus Papatum (Tubingae: Ulrich Morhard, 1563.) – prvi dio sabranih djela.

Vergerije u Kopru