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By Menno Simons, John Christian Wenger

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How Menno came to doubt the dogma of transubstantiation as held by the Catholic Church is not clear. He must have come in contact in some way with the teaching of Martin Luther or the other reformers on this point, either in books, or through the circulation of such ideas by word of mouth. As early as 1521 a Hollander by the name of Hoen had begun to teach the view that the elements used in the Lord's Supper were not actually transformed, but were merely symbols of the suffering and death of Christ.

At first he shrank back from the thought as a whispering of the devil; but he could not get rid of the doubt, even by the use of the confessional. How Menno came to doubt the dogma of transubstantiation as held by the Catholic Church is not clear. He must have come in contact in some way with the teaching of Martin Luther or the other reformers on this point, either in books, or through the circulation of such ideas by word of mouth. As early as 1521 a Hollander by the name of Hoen had begun to teach the view that the elements used in the Lord's Supper were not actually transformed, but were merely symbols of the suffering and death of Christ.

The next years, from 152831, were rather years of gradual enlightenment. He says of his own experience during this time, that by the enlightenment and mercy of the Lord I increased in the knowledge of the Scriptures and soon was considered by a few, although undeservedly, as an evangelical preacher, that is, as one who preached sermons based upon the Scriptures. Men began to seek him because it was said that I preached the Word of God and was a good man. Menno's progress in the Gospel was slow.

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