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Zacharias Ursinus

1534-1583. German Reformer and theologian. Born at Breslau, he studied at Wittenberg, 1550-57. He is best known for his Heidelberg Catechism (1562), which exudes the spirit of Melanchthon* and agrees with the teaching of his favorite theologian, Peter Martyr* Vermigli. After a lengthy academic visit to Geneva in 1557, Ursinus taught at Breslau, where his 1559 thesis on the sacrament led to his dismissal. At Vermigli's request Elector Friedrich III appointed Ursinus to Heidelberg in 1561, where until 1568 he lectured on dogmatics. In 1570 the Palatinate adopted a church discipline at Ursinus's urgent request. He left Heidelberg in 1577 to continue with Zanchius at Neustadt. By their influence Ursinus and Zanchius made Melanchthon's Loci Communes standard reading for generations of Reformed pastors at Heidelberg.