IDELETTE STORDEUR DE BURE CALVIN (born 1500,died 1549) was the only
wife of the French reformer
* 1 Life * 2 Calvin on Idelette * 3 Notes * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links
Idelette de Bure came from Vlaminck, today
Calvin was so caught up in his labors that he did not seem to
consider marriage until age 30 or so. He asked friends to help him
find a woman who was "chaste, obliging, not fastidious, economical,
patient, and careful for (his) health". His fellow laborer Martin
Idelette bore Calvin one son and possibly a few daughters, all of whom died in infancy. In response to the slander of Catholics who took this for a judgment upon them for being heretics, Calvin said he was content with his many sons in the faith. Idelette busied herself attending to Calvin in his many illnesses, faithfully visiting the sick and afflicted, and making her home a refuge for those who fled for their lives and their faith.
Though she survived the plague when it ravaged Geneva, Idelette died after a lengthy illness in 1549. Upon her deathbed she was patient, and her words, edifying, e.g.: "O God of Abraham, and of all our fathers, in thee have the faithful trusted during so many past ages, and none of them have trusted in vain. I also will hope".
CALVIN ON IDELETTE
What Calvin wrote to Pierre Viret some days after her death will illustrate her character further.
I have been bereaved of the best companion of my life, of one who,
had it been so ordered, would not only have been the willing sharer of
my indigence, but even of my death. During her life she was the
faithful helper of my ministry. —
From her I never experienced the slightest hindrance. She was never troublesome to me throughout the entire course of her illness; she was more anxious about her children than about herself. As I feared these private cares might annoy her to no purpose, I took occasion, on the third day before her death to mention that I would not fail in discharging my duty to her children. Taking up the matter immediately, she said, ’I have already committed them to God.’ When I said that that was not to prevent me from caring for them, she replied, ’I know you will not neglect what you know has been committed to God.’ Lately, also, when a certain woman insisted that she should talk with me regarding these matters, I, for the first time, heard her give the following brief answer: ’Assuredly the principal thing is that they live a pious and holy life. My husband is not to be urged to instruct them in religious knowledge and in the fear of God. If they be pious, I am sure he will gladly be a father to