The Waldensian Emblem
The Waldensian Emblem dates from the year 1640.
The lighted candle denotes “The Word of God.” The blue field or night blue sky represents darkness. The seven stars represent the “Seven Churches in the Book of Revelation.” The Latin motto Lux Lucet In Tenebris signifies “A Light is Shining in the Darkness of Night,” or “The Burning Word of God is Bringing Light and Splendor Among Men.”
The two branches, one of oak normally on the right and one of green laurel on the left, tied together at the bottom, indicates, “Hope and Strength and Power.” The green laurel stands for “Hope and Glory.” Thus we have Hope, Power, and the Glory of God.
The Waldensian Church is the oldest evangelical church in existence, dating back at least to the 12th century, some say back to the first century, and thus anticipating the Reformation by at least four hundred years. Beginning in the 13th century and extending through the 18th century severe persecutions diminished the Waldensian population.
The importance of the Scriptures remained. In the Waldensian Valleys in the Alps, it was most unusual to find a family who had not memorized at least one book of the New Testament, based on their fear that persecution might deprive them of the written word. In the New World, they continued the practice of having children memorize one chapter of the Bible.
The church also assumed responsibility for education. Many mission teachers assisted in the work of the Church. Since there was no money available for books, either in the church or at school, many long hours were spent copying materials. The traveling preachers, called barbas, memories two NT books by heart, sometimes in two languages.