Henri Arnaud (pastor)

Henri Arnaud (Pastor)

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Henri Arnaud (pastor)

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Henri Arnaud (September 20, 1641, Embrun, Hautes-Alpes – September 8, 1721) was a pastor of the Waldensians in Piedmont, who turned soldier in order to rescue, and who did rescue, his co-religionists from their dispersion under the persecution of Victor Amadeus II the Duke of Savoy. When the Waldensians were exiled a second time, Arnaud accompanied them in their exile to Schönenberg, and continued to act as their pastor until his death.


Arnaud was born in Embrun, Hautes-Alpes, France. About 1650 his family returned to their native valley of Luserna, where Arnaud was educated at La Tour (the chief village), later visiting the college at Basel (1662 and 1668) and the Academy at Geneva (1666). He then returned home, and seems to have been pastor in several of the Waldensian valleys before attaining that position at La Tour (1685).

Christian leader

He was thus the natural leader of his co-religionists after Victor Amadeus II of Savoy expelled them (1686) from their valleys, and most probably visited Holland, the ruler of which, William of Orange, certainly gave him help and money. Arnaud occupied himself with organizing his 3000 countrymen who had taken refuge in Switzerland, and who twice (1687–1688) attempted to regain their homes. The English revolution of 1688, and the election of William to the throne, encouraged the Waldensians to make yet another attempt. Furnished with detailed instructions from the veteran Josue Janavel (prevented by age from taking part...
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