Saint Andrew’s Church
Monument of the Augustinians
For centuries the martyrdom of the Antwerp Augustinians, which was due to their Lutheran sympathies, was celebrated only by protestant Christians. Today the Catholics have ended this silence: since 2004 their legacy has not only been remembered in some far-away place but also in their own home, here in the Catholic church of St. Andrew’s, whose origins go back to the Augustinian monks. The text of the remembrance plate reads as follows:
‘Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness:
The kingdom of Heaven is theirs.’ (Mth. 5:10)
Here the Augustinians of the Saxon Province established themselves.
In 1513 these monks opened a chapel,
as a starting-point for the building of a monastery and of this church.
Here the first Lutheran sermon in Antwerp was held.
Here lived the Augustinians Hendrik Voes and Jan van Essen
who for their Lutheran sympathies
were executed in Brussels on the 1st of July 1523.
In that same year the monastery
was disbanded by order of Margaret of Austria.
In confused and confusing times
they too preached the Word of Christ…
‘Eyn Newes lied wyr heben aan…‘
(‘We break into a new song…’, a song by Martin Luther in honour of his two fellow-brothers and martyrs).