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== Savonarola and the growth of reform ideas==
The Friars of Saint Marco were repressed when the de Medici regained power in Florence. They had the last rector of the Friars hunted down and executed without a fair trial. The influence of the great Dominican was to live on. His own order especially throughout Europe revered his memory and regarded him as a saint. Savonarola religious ideas soon spread, and his writings were widely read. The growth of publishing made many of his sermons and his visions available outside Italy. His writings were very popular in Germany and Switzerland <ref>. There was a growing demand for meaningful reform of the Church and there was a sense that the Papacy was wicked and corrupt. The life and death of Savonarola inspired many in these countries and they saw him as the victim of a corrupt Pope and whose only crime was to seek the reform of the Church. He was seen by many clerics as martyr. Among those who read him was a German Augustinian monk, by the name of Martin Luther, he was deeply impressed by Savonarola. He studied the writings of the Florentine preacher declared him to be a martyr. Historians believe that the Italian friar influenced Luther, as seen in his ideas on faith and the doctrine of justification by faith alone. In France many of his works were translated and published and Savonarola came to be regarded as a precursor of evangelical reformers<ref>Weinstein, Donald "Savonarola the Rise and Fall of a Renaissance Prophet" (Fontana Press, New Haven, 2011), p. 117</ref>. Savonarola had shown that it was possible to defy the Pope and that a ‘godly’ republic based on the scriptures was possible and this inspired many in the years before the Reformation. There is some debate, over whether the Italian Friar influenced Jean Calvin the founder of Calvinism. Many believe that the theocracy that was established in Geneva by Calvin was inspired in part by the example of Savonarola. The Swiss city-state was like Florence, during the supremacy of Savonarola dominated by the Church and committed to a political system that was based on the Christian scriptures.
[[File: Savonarola Three.jpg|200px|thumb|left|A painting of the execution of Savonarola]]
 
== Savonarola and the Counter Reformation==
Savonarola’s memory lived on in Italy. Within the Dominican Order Savonarola was repackaged as an innocuous, purely devotional figure and he inspired many of those who led the Counter Reformation. This was an effort to revive and to reform the Catholic Church to combat the rise of Protestantism. The Catholic reformers were inspired by the example of Savonarola and his experiment in Florence<ref> Weinstein, p. 219</ref>. He was a model for their activities. They believed that they should use their influence with the populace to help in the reformation of society and the church. The writings of the Friar were studied by many leading Catholic reformers as they sought ways to reform the Church. Despite being excommunicated and convicted as a heretic, an unofficial cult to the saint was dedicated in Rome. Several future saints were inspired by the Florentine preacher and they revered his memory. Among the saints who revered him were Saint Phillip Neri, the, founder of the Oratorians. He was a Florentine who had been educated by the San Marco Dominicans and his new order was very much influenced by Savonarola’s ideals. Another saint who was, influenced by the Florentine was Saint Catherine Ricci. It seems that Savonarola persuaded many in the Catholic Reformation that they should not only reform the Church but also society <ref> Olin, John C The Catholic Reformation: Savonarola to Ignatius Loyola: Reform in the Church, 1495–1540 (Fordham University Press, 1992), p. 201</ref>. This influenced many to help the poor and the marginalized, to make society a better place. However, while Savonarola inspired many reformers they also learned from his example and did all they could they avoid his fate. The Catholic reformers worked within the Church such as Saint Phillip Neri <ref> Olin, p. 212</ref>. He was a member of the Catholic hierarchy and sought to reform the Church from within. Another example of this was Saint Charles Borromeo, the Archbishop of Milan, who worked to reform both the Church and society of Milan by working within the official channels <ref> Olin, p 217</ref>. There were many who worked to create a society that was modelled on the teachings of Christ but they all made sure that they did not offend or challenge those in power. The leaders of the Catholic Reformation learned from the example of Savonarola and adopted a cautious approach so that they would not fall victim to the machinations of the powers-that-be.