Pürchner, Hans (d. ca. 1555)

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Hans Pürchner (Pichner), an Anabaptist martyr of Saalen, a village near Bruneck, Austria (now Italy), was captured in 1555 at Kortsch in the Adige on a missionary tour with Gelg Federspiel and taken to Schlanders. Federspiel escaped. Pürchner was brutally tortured to make him betray where and with whom he had lodged; but he be­trayed none of them. After the trial he was unable to stand or to raise his hands to his mouth to eat. For six months longer he was held in a dark dun­geon with chains on his hands and feet. Many learned men, priests, monks, noblemen, and others "beset him hard for two days and an entire night," to bring about his conversion; but he remained "steadfast in the Lord." Since he was unable to kneel he was leaned in a sitting position against a pillar and thus beheaded. One of the priests who debated with him was Leonhard Dax, who later became an Anabaptist.

Two songs were written to commemorate his death: "Fröhlich wollen wir singen jetzund in Gottes Nam," by Sigmund Hosauer, and "Mit Freuden wollen wir singen, wie wir's beschlossen han," by Claus Felbinger. Zieglschmid sug­gests that both of these hymns may be revisions of a hymn written by Pürchner.


Beck, Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883; reprinted Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1967: 240.

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, 162.

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: 550. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 413.

Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder. Scottdale, 1914: 436-46.

Stauffer, Ethelbert. "Märtyrertheologie und Täuferbewegung," Ztscht für Kirchengeschichte, 1933: 591.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Die Lieder der Wiedertäufer. Berlin, 1903. Reprinted Nieuwkoop : B. De Graaf, 1965: 209 f., 229.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder. Macleod, AB, and Vienna, 1923: 262.

Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüder: Ein Sprachdenkmal aus frühneuhochdeutscher Zeit. Ithaca: Cayuga Press, 1943: 346 f.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Pürchner, Hans (d. ca. 1555)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 17 Nov 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=P%C3%BCrchner,_Hans_(d._ca._1555)&oldid=146074.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1959). Pürchner, Hans (d. ca. 1555). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 November 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=P%C3%BCrchner,_Hans_(d._ca._1555)&oldid=146074.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 234. All rights reserved.

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