Daily Archives: September 18, 2009

Be careful where you start a fire

Piazza della Signoria in Florence with Savonarola marker showing. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Piazza della Signoria in Florence with Savonarola marker showing. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Yesterday morning I visited the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy. I think many people walk through this Piazza to get to the Uffizi Gallery and never notice the plaque about Savonarola. Sometimes groups of people were standing on the plaque. When it was clear, one man walked up and said to his companions “Who’s that?” The group walked on without an answer.

Daniel M. Madden says,

In the lovely Piazza della Signoria, the political forum of Florence in all ages, Savonarola arranged a huge bonfire in 1497 so that penitents won over by his words could do away with their wigs, perfumes, lotions, powers and other accouterments of an easy way of life. He himself was burned to death in the same piazza a year later as a heretic. The spot where he died is marked with a plaque. It is not far from the copy of Michelangelo’s statue of “David.” (A Religious Guide to Europe)

One may say anything he wishes as long as he does not step on the toes of those in authority. Jesus faced this problem when He dealt with the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem.

“If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” (John 11:48 ESV)

Here is a closeup of the plaque marking the spot where Savonarola died.

Plaque marking spot where Savonarola died. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Plaque marking spot where Savonarola died. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.