Geneva, April 1, 1545
written in Latin
CALVIN'S STAUSBERG COMMUNITY WAS THE MODEL FOR THE FIRST HUGUENOT COMMUNITY IN MEAUX FRANCE
CALVIN'S "CONSTITUTION" WAS THE INSPIRATION OF THE FRENCH PROTESTANT CHURCHES IN THE FIRST SYNOD AT PARIS
Calvin Introduces Pierre Viret, his deputy in his ministry, to a sick friend who is visiting Lausanne to seek advice about his illness. He recommends that the friend show Viret the marks of kindness and goodwill of which those whom they find most worthy are deserving, Calvin describes the friend as one of two brothers, of ancient and noble lineage, both devout, learned and admirably studious, and states that the illness is doubtless to a great extent the result of overwork. Calvin gives the names other colleagues in Lausanne as references (Comes, Celius and Ribittusso) so that they may see that they are among friends, and asks that greetings be given to these colleagues.
Pierre Viret (1511-1571) studied in Paris and joined other reformers at Geneva. In 1536 he preached in Lausanne to such effect that the whole community declared itself Protestant. The implacable hostility of the senate in Berne which voted against him eventually obliged him to withdraw to Geneva, where he had already deputized for Calvin during the latter's absence in 1540.
Of the friends to whom Calvin refers;
Comes was later alienated from Viret when he left the ministry to devote himself to medicine, which the letter suggests he was already practicing.
Celius Secundus, an Italian scholar and an early convert to Lutheranism, was arrested in Italy for his preaching, escaped and later sought refuge in Lausanne where he was appointed principal of the college. He wrote many books on theology.
Addressed in autograph on the verso:
'Fideli Christi servo Petro Vireto Lausannensis ecclesiae pastori, fratri et amico Charissimo'