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Henri Arnaud

1641-1721. Savoyard pastor and Waldensian leader. Born in France of Piedmontese parents, he became the organizer of the Waldensians* (also called Vaudois) on their historic return to their ancestral home in Savoy. Going back to Piedmont, he became a Waldensian pastor there in 1685. He and many others were forced to flee a short time later during the persecution inaugurated by Victor Amadeus II of Savoy. Arnaud went to Switzerland where he helped plan the so-called Glorious Return of the Waldensians in 1689. Financed and encouraged by numerous English and Dutch Protestants, Arnaud led the Waldensian band of about 1,000 as it fought its way back home. Shifting international political alliances brought relief from persecution in 1690 and its revival in 1696. Once again several thousand Waldensians went into exile, many of them to Württemberg in Germany, Arnaud founded a Waldensian settlement there and served as its pastor until his death.