Michael Fischer was an Anabaptist martyr. His death sentence, pronounced on 7 August 1587 in Ingolstadt, states that he had joined the Anabaptists about 20 years previously and persuaded others to do so. During his imprisonment of 12 weeks the Jesuits tried in vain to lead him back into the Catholic Church. An account of the execution as given by an eyewitness and found in the Hutterian chronicles relates that as soon as the sentence was pronounced he was at once led to the site of execution, accompanied by a Jesuit and another monk, who were still trying to convert him. At the place of execution they held a crucifix before his eyes and bade him look at it. Fischer shook his head and told the executioner to proceed, for he wished to die loyal to his faith; he knelt, motionless and unafraid. The executioner was so dismayed by this exhibition of courage that he did not behead him correctly, and had to be led back into the city with a firm supporting hand.
Fischer's martyrdom is sung in an anonymous hymn beginning "Mich ursacht euch zu singen." It is found in two manuscripts in Pressburg, one in Gran, and one in Budapest, and also in Die Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder, p. 785 f.
Beck Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883: 299 f.
Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doopsgesinde of Weereloose Christenen, Die om ‘t getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker geleden hebben ende gedood zijn van Christi tijd of tot desen tijd toe. Den Tweeden Druk. Amsterdam: Hieronymus Sweerts, …, 1685: 756.
Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs’ Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour… to the Year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1951: 1062. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm. He is called Michael Vischer.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 v. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 648 f.
Die Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder: Gesangbuch darinnen viel und mancherlei schöne Betrachtungen, Lehren, Vermahnungen, Lobgesänge und Glaubensbekenntnisse, von vielen Liebhabern Gottes gedichtet und aus vielen Geschichten und Historien der heiligen Schrift zusammengetragen, allen frommen Liebhabern Gottes sehr nützlich zu singen und zu lessen. Scottdale, Pa. : Mennonitisches Verlagshaus, 1914. Reprinted Cayley, AB: Hutterischen Brüdern in Kanada, 1962.
Wolkan, Rudolf. Die Lieder der Wiedertäufer. Berlin, 1903. Reprinted Nieuwkoop: B. De Graaf, 1965: 235.
Cite This Article
Loserth, Johann. "Fischer, Michael (d. 1587)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 1 Oct 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Fischer,_Michael_(d._1587)&oldid=94650.
Loserth, Johann. (1956). Fischer, Michael (d. 1587). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 1 October 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Fischer,_Michael_(d._1587)&oldid=94650.
Herald Press website.
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