Mahieu Waghens (d. 1538)

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Mahieu Waghens, an Anabaptist martyr, burned at the stake on 15 August 1538, on the Vrijdagsmarkt at Ghent, Belgium. He was a peddler and the leader of the early Anabaptist congregation of Ghent. This congregation used to meet in his home, and when no preacher was present Mahieu delivered an address. He held some revolutionary views; e.g., the believers should be ready to clear away evils and abuses in Ghent, when necessary even by force. These ideas were very rare among the Belgian Anabaptists and if the congregation of Ghent may have shared the principles of its leader at this moment, it soon chose the way of peaceful nonresistance, following the footsteps of its Lord. On the scaffold before the execution took place Mahieu was placed on show with a placard on which was found the inscription, "Archdeacon of the Anabaptists." After the execution his carbonized corpse was hanged on the gallows together with this placard.


Verheyden, A. L. E. Het Gentsche Martyrologium (1530-1595). Brugge: De Tempel, 1946: 4, No. 11.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Mahieu Waghens (d. 1538)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 14 Jul 2020.

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1957). Mahieu Waghens (d. 1538). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 July 2020, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 441. All rights reserved.

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