Master Jan Hus – one of the greatest Czech personalities

June 24th, 2015 hurries to inform that Czech Post has designed a special commemorative stamp in honor Master Jan Hus – one of the greatest Czech personalities. The item was put into circulation on the 17th of June.

Master Jan Hus (often referred to in English as John Hus or John Huss) was born around 1370 in Husinec and died on 6 July 1415 in Constance. The teaching of this significant theologian, preacher and medieval Church reformer led to the creation of the Hussite movement and the launch of the Church Reformation movement.

Hus was one of the first Church reformers who forerun the following reformers Luther, Calvin and Zwingli by almost one century. He studied at the University of Prague where he became a teacher in 1398 and the dean of the Faculty of Arts in 1401. In 1409-1410, he served as chancellor of the University and advocated a larger share of Czechs in the University management. After his ordination as a priest, he was appointed a preacher at the Bethlehem Chapel in Prague.

In his religious works he criticised the moral failings of the Catholic Church. For instance, in his major writing on the Church, entitled "De Ecclesia", Hus tried to prove that the head of the Church is Jesus Christ so that Christians do not have to obey the pope if his orders contradict the Bible. This meant an attack against the pope's right to act as the head of the Church. He accepted some of the ideas of English theologian John Wycliffe who is together with Hus considered as one of the first Church reformers. Both criticised crusades and called for following the Bible.

Jan Hus is considered as one of the greatest Czechs. The date of his burning at stake became a Czech public holiday. His legacy was adopted by the Hussites and later also by other denominations originating in the Czech and Protestant Reformation movements.