Jelis, Bernaerts (d. 1559)

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Bernaerts (Gielis van Gent) Jelis (Gillis, Gieles, Michiel), an Anabaptist martyr, was imprisoned and suffered martyrdom at Antwerp, Belgium on 18 June 1559, with Adriaen Pan. He was a native of Thielt, Flanders. He had been a preacher in Ghent (Offer, 379). In 1556 a price of 100 Caroliguilders was placed on his head. He apparently then moved from Ghent to Antwerp. His will, two letters to his wife, and a letter which he wrote to his brothers and sisters after he had been sentenced to death are found in the Martyrs' Mirror. These letters testify to his courage and constancy, indeed to the spirit of the Anabaptists of the time. In the Offer des Heeren (1562) there is a hymn of seven stanzas which commemorates his death: "Gebenedyt God in des hemels pleyn, Verbreyt zijn wercken goet."  (See also Gielis van Gent.)


Een Lietboecxken, tracterende van den Offer des Heeren, in Dit Boec wort genoemt: Het Offer des Heeren, om het inhout van sommighe opgheofferde kinderen Godts . . . N.p., 1562, Amsterdam: 373-392. Available in full electronic text at:

Antwerpsch archievenblad IX: 2, 8; XIV: 26 f., No. 291.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Die Lieder der Wiedertäufer. Berlin, 1903. Reprinted Nieuwkoop, B. De Graaf, 1965: 68.

Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doops-gesinde 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: Part II, 251.

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: 624. Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-196. Vol. I: 196.

Author(s) Otto Hege
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Hege, Otto and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Jelis, Bernaerts (d. 1559)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 6 Jul 2020.,_Bernaerts_(d._1559)&oldid=162678.

APA style

Hege, Otto and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1957). Jelis, Bernaerts (d. 1559). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 July 2020, from,_Bernaerts_(d._1559)&oldid=162678.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 104. All rights reserved.

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