Like all true Reformers, the women of the Protestant Reformation were passionate about the Word of God. Although they lived at a time when owning your own Bible could be punishable by death, history records they handled the Word of God as skillfully as their male counterparts. As one author explains, “They were steeped in Scripture and even the comparatively uneducated, who appear in the martyrologies and the heresy trials, gave their judges a terrific run at any point involving the Word of God.” 
Nowhere in Protestant history is this fact so clearly evidenced than in the life of a French Huguenot woman, named Phillipine De Luns. We know very little about her life story, but the few facts we do have are enough to humble and challenge us.
On September 4, 1557, the church where she worshipped was surrounded by an angry mob. Many escaped, but not everyone. Phillipine was arrested and thrown into prison where, for over a year, she resisted efforts to coerce her into renouncing her faith. Finally, she stood before her judges.
Judge: “Do you believe in the mass?”
Phillipine: “About this sacrament I will believe only what is found in the Old and New Testaments. I have not yet found there that the mass is from God.”
Judge: “Will you receive the wafer?”
Judge: “No; I will receive only what Christ has sealed.”
Judge: “How long is it since you confessed to the priest?”
Phillipine: “I do not remember, but I do know that I have daily made confession to my Lord. Other confession is not commanded by Christ, for He alone has the power to forgive sin.”
Judge: “What do you believe about prayer to the Virgin and to the saints?”
Phillipine: “I know no other prayer than that which our Lord taught to His disciples. To Him we must go, and to no other. The saints in paradise are happy, that I know, but pray to them I will not.”
Judge: “Do you observe fasting on Friday and Sunday?”
Phillipine: “No; because it is not commanded in the Bible … I do not believe in any other commandment than that Christ gave. And nowhere in the New Testament do I find that power is given to the pope to rule the Church.”
Judge: “… the spiritual and worldly powers are ordained of God, and should be obeyed.”
Phillipine: “The Church has no other authority in it than that of Christ.”
Judge: “Who taught you this?”
Phillipine: “The Old and New Testaments.” 
On September 27,1558, she was led like a lamb to the slaughter. When asked to give her tongue to have cut off, she responded, “I care not if my body suffer, why should I care for my tongue.”  After burning her face and feet with torches, she was strangled and her body burned.
Phillipine prevailed through faith in the word of God. Matthew 4:4 says, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” What about us? Are we sustained by faith in the living word of God? Do we know how to wield “the sword of the spirit which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17)? Could we defend the doctrines of the faith as ably as Phillipine?
They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. – Hebrews 11:36-40
May the same grace of faith that caused Phillipine to sooner die than deny her faith be mightily at work in us too.
Related Post: The Women of the Tower of Constance
 Roland H. Bainton, Women of the Reformation: In Germany and Italy (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007), 14.
 James I Good, Famous Women of the Reformed Church (Birmingham: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2007), 97-98.
 Ibid, 100.