John Wycliffe was the first to promote the Reformation. He is known as “The Morning Star of the Reformation”. He was born in about 1320 near Yorkshire, England. In 1374 he went to Lutterworth and lived there for the rest of his life.
John was against indulgences and believed the scriptures should govern the church not the Pope. The Pope greatly disliked him for his preaching. He was widely popular in England so the Pope was wasn’t as harsh as he could have been. Pope Gregory issued five bulls (official documents) against John. He did not however excommunicate him.
At the time it was believed that God’s Word should not be for everyday use to the people. John believed otherwise and wanted everyone to have access to one. He began to translate the Bible for people to read. He died before it was completed but his friend was credited for finishing it.
In the year 1384, John Wycliffe, suffered from a stoke and died. His followers were known as the Lollards and continued his teachings.
He was so hated by the Pope that his works were all burned and his bones dug up and also burned. All of this was an attempt to rid of what John had started. John’s teachings instead lived on and despite the struggles of the Pope they continued to flourish.