On this date in 1563 (Dec. 29th), Sebastian Castellio died. (He was born sometime in 1515.) Preacher. Theologian. Advocate for religious tolerance and freedom of thought. Advocate for separation of church and state. On October 27, 1553, Castellio was in Geneva where he witnessed the burning at the stake of Michael Servetus for denying the doctrine of the Trinity. Castellio was outraged by this event, and accused reformer John Calvin of having Servetus murdered. In 1554 Castellio wrote (under a pseudonym) a pamphlet entitled “Should Heretics Be Persecuted?” He died in Basel and was buried in the tomb of a noble family. Later, however, his enemies dug up his corpse, burned it, and scattered the ashes.
~The Marginal Mennonite Society Heroes Series.