Joshua Gianavello defended the Waldenses from persecution with every fiber of his body. Even after enemy soldiers captured his wife and daughters, he fought on. More men joined his army, including Waldenses from another valley.
At last Joshua decided to take the offensive and do some attacking of his own. On the morning of May 28, 1655, Gianavello roused his men before daybreak, and they all prayed for victory. Then they left their mountain fortresses and headed for San Segonzo, a city filled with enemy soldiers.
When the alarm rang, marksmen took their places on the walls and then gasped. Slowly advancing on their positions were hundreds of . . . hay bags! They rolled over the fields, being pushed by unseen men hiding behind them for protection. Bullets whizzed from the walls but only pierced hay, not flesh.
When the bags stopped at the base of the walls, the men above began throwing down anything they could find in order to crush the advancing army, but Joshua and his men set the hay on fire, filling the air with thick, choking smoke. In the confusion that followed, he and his soldiers broke through the gates of the city. Enemy soldiers fell under their flashing swords. An entire regiment of Irishmen who’d hoped to get rich off of dead Waldenses’ property perished along with 650 other soldiers.
«Be faithful, even to the point of death,» says God in Revelation 2:10, «and I will giveyou life as your victor’s crown.» Joshua Gianavello and his people lived and died by those words