John Calvin (1509-1564) was born in France and became a lawyer and later a theology student. He wrote the Institutes of the Christian Religion. He was introduced to Luther’s teachings while he was a student in Paris and agreed with Luther’s views on predestination. He created and systemized the Reformed tradition in Protestantism.
Strange but True
- For much of his life, John Calvin was very sick. He had migraine headaches, arthritis, kidney stones, gout, and more. Sometimes people had to carry him to the pulpit so he could preach.
- Because of his illnesses and stomach troubles, John often ate only one meal a day.
- John was only 55 years old when he died, but in the 16th century that wasn’t so young, since many people died before age 50.
We’re not sure where John is buried because he didn’t want his grave to have a name on it. (He wanted people to honor God, not him.)
John Calvin and You
If your church is a Reformed Church, you’re connected to John Calvin!
Years ago in the Netherlands, many Dutch people followed the teachings of John Calvin in what they called “Reformed” churches. When Dutch people came to live in Canada and the United States, they started Reformed churches in their new homeland.
Today, Reformed people aren’t only Dutch—they’re African American, Cuban, Hmong, Korean, Navajo, Nigerian, and more. John Calvin has touched the lives of people all over the world!
Things and People Named After John Calvin
John Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States
Calvin in the cartoon “Calvin and Hobbes”
Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Calvin Theological Seminary
Click here to read more about John Calvin.