Before his 60th birthday, John Wycliffe suffered the first of three strokes. The friars rejoiced at the news and rushed to Wycliffe’s bedside believing he would repent of the “evil” he had done to them and the church, by violently attacking the Catholic Church’s practice of indulgences—the selling of forgiveness for sins and the buying of one’s way out of purgatory. Gathered about the supposed dying man’s bedside, the friars said to him, “You have death on your lips, be touched by your faults, and retract in our presence all that you have said to our injury.”

Motioning to his attendant to set him up in the bed, Wycliffe responded in a clear and strong voice, “I shall not die, but live; and again declare the evil deeds of the friars.” Astonished and embarrassed, the monks all hurried from the room.