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Martin Luther
1483 - 1546

 


The German reformer Martin Luther was the first and greatest figure in the 16th-century Reformation. A composer of commentaries on Scripture, theology, and ecclesiastical abuses, a hymnologist, and a preacher, from his own time to the present he has been a symbol of Protestantism.
 

 

Martin Luther was born at Eisleben in Saxony on Nov. 10, 1483, the son of Hans and Margaret Luther. Luther's parents were of peasant stock, but his father had worked hard to raise the family's status, first as a miner and later as the owner of several small mines, to become a small-scale entrepreneur. In 1490 Martin was sent to the Latin school at Mansfeld, in 1497 to Magdeburg, and in 1498 to Eisenach. His early education was typical of late-15th-century practice. To a young man in Martin's circumstances, only the law and the church offered likely avenues of success, and Hans Luther's anticlericalism probably influenced his decision that his son should become a lawyer and increase the Luther family's prosperity, which Hans had begun. Martin was enrolled at the University of Erfurt in 1501. He received a bachelor of arts degree in 1502 and a master of arts in 1505. In the same year he enrolled in the faculty of law, giving every sign of being a dutiful and, likely, a very successful son.


Religious Conversion

Between 1503 and 1505, however, Martin experienced a religious crisis which would take him from the study of law forever. His own personal piety, fervently and sometimes grimly instilled by his parents and early teachers, and his awareness of a world in which the supernatural was perilously close to everyday life were sharpened by a series of events whose exact character has yet to be precisely determined. A dangerous accident in 1503, the death of a friend a little later, and Martin's own personal religious development had by 1505 started other concerns in him.

Then, on July 2, 1505, returning to Erfurt after visiting home, Martin was caught in a severe thunderstorm in which he was flung to the ground in terror, and he suddenly vowed to become a monk if he survived. This episode, as important in Christian history as the equally famous (and parallel) scene of St. Paul's conversion, changed the course of Luther's life. Two weeks later, against the opposition of his father and to the dismay of his friends, Martin Luther entered the Reformed Congregation of the Eremetical Order of St. Augustine at Erfurt. Luther himself saw this decision as sudden and based upon fear: "I had been called by heavenly terrors, for not freely or desirously did I become a monk, much less to gratify my belly, but walled around with the terror and agony of sudden death I vowed a constrained and necessary vow."

Luther's early life as a monk reflected his precipitate reasons for entering a monastery: "I was a good monk, and kept strictly to my order, so that I could say that if the monastic life could get a man to heaven, I should have entered." Monastic life at Erfurt was hard. Monks had long become (with the friars and many of the secular clergy) the targets of anticlerical feeling. Charged with having forsaken their true mission and having fallen into greed and ignorance, monastic orders made many attempts at reform in the 15th and 16th centuries. The congregation at Erfurt had been reformed in 1473. The year before Luther entered the Augustinian order at Erfurt, the vicar general Johann Staupitz (later Luther's friend) had revised further the constitution of the order.

Luther made his vows in 1506 and was ordained a priest in 1507. Reconciled with his father, he was then selected for advanced theological study at the University of Erfurt, with which his house had several connections.


Luther at Wittenberg

In 1508 Luther was sent to the newer University of Wittenberg to lecture in arts. Like a modern graduate student, he was also preparing for his doctorate of theology while he taught. He lectured on the standard medieval texts, for example, Peter Lombard's Book of Sentences; and he read for the first time the works of St. Augustine. In 1510 Luther was sent to Rome on business of the order and in 1512 received his doctorate in theology. Then came the second significant turn in Luther's career: he was appointed to succeed Staupitz as professor of theology at Wittenberg. Luther was to teach throughout the rest of his life. Whatever fame and notoriety his later writings and statements were to bring him, his work was teaching, which he fulfilled diligently until his death.

Wittenberg was a new university, founded in 1502-1503, strongly supported by the elector Frederick the Wise. By 1550, thanks to the efforts of Luther and his colleague Philip Melancthon, it was to become the most popular university in Germany. In 1512, however, it lacked the prestige of Erfurt and Leipzig and was insignificant in the eyes of the greatest of the old universities, that of Paris. It was not a good place for an ambitious academic, but Luther was not ambitious in this sense. His rapid rise was due to his native ability, his boundless energy, his dedication to the religious life, and his high conception of his calling as a teacher.

The intellectual climate which shaped Luther's thought is difficult to analyze precisely. The two competing philosophic systems of the late Middle Ages - scholasticism (derived from the Aristotelianism of St. Thomas Aquinas) and nominalism (derived from the skepticism of William of Ockham and his successors) - both appear to have influenced Luther, particularly in their insistence on rigorous formal logic as the basis of philosophic and theological inquiry. From Ockhamism, Luther probably derived his awareness of the infinite remoteness and majesty of God and of the limitation of the human intellect in its efforts to apprehend that majesty.

Luther's professional work forced him further to develop the religious sensibility which had drawn him to monasticism in 1505. In the monastery and later in the university Luther experienced other religious crises, all of which were based upon his acute awareness of the need for spiritual perfection and his equally strong conviction of his own human frailty, which caused him almost to despair before the overwhelming majesty and wrath of God. In 1509 Luther published his lectures on Peter Lombard; in 1513-1515 those on the Psalms; in 1515-1516 on St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans; and in 1516-1518 on the epistles to the Galatians and Hebrews. Like all other Christians, Luther read the Bible, and in these years his biblical studies became more and more important to him. Besides teaching and study, however, Luther had other duties. From 1514 he preached in the parish church; he was regent of the monastery school; and in 1515 he became the supervisor of 11 other monasteries: "…. write letters all day long," he wrote, "I am conventual preacher, reader at meals, sought for to preach daily in the parish church, am regent of studies, district Vicar, inspect the fish-ponds at Leitzkau, act in the Herzberg affair at Torgau, lecture on St. Paul, revising my Psalms, I seldom have time to go through my canonical hours properly, or to celebrate, to say nothing of my own temptations from the world, the flesh, and the devil."


Righteousness of God

Luther's crisis of conscience centred upon the question of his old monastic fears concerning the insufficiency of his personal efforts to placate a wrathful God. In his own person, these fears came to a head in 1519, when he began to interpret the passage in St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans which says that the justice of God is revealed in the Gospels.

Luther, the energetic monk and young theologian, felt himself to be "a sinner with an unquiet conscience." After an intense period of crisis, Luther discovered another interpretation of St. Paul's text: "I began to understand that Justice of Go…. to be understood passively as that whereby the merciful God justifies us by faith…. At this I felt myself to be born anew, and to enter through open gates into paradise itself." Only faith in God's mercy, according to Luther, can effect the saving righteousness of God in man. "Works," the term which Luther used to designate both formal, ecclesiastically authorized liturgy and the more general sense of "doing good," became infinitely less important to him than faith.

The doctrine of justification, taking shape in Luther's thought between 1515 and 1519, drew him into further theological speculation as well as into certain positions of practical ecclesiastical life. The most famous of these is the controversy over indulgences. In 1513 a great effort to dispense indulgences was proclaimed throughout Germany. In spite of the careful theological reservations surrounding them, indulgences appeared to the preachers who sold them and to the public who bought them as a means of escaping punishment in the afterlife for a sum of money. In 1517 Luther posted the 95 Theses for an academic debate on indulgences on the door of the castle church at Wittenberg. Both the place and the event were customary events in an academic year, and they might have gone unnoticed had not someone translated Luther's Latin theses into German and printed them, thus giving them widespread fame and calling them to the attention of both theologians and the public.

News of Dr. Luther's theses spread, and in 1518 Luther was called before Cardinal Cajetan, the papal legate at Augsburg, to renounce his theses. Refusing to do so, Luther returned to Wittenberg, where, in the next year, he agreed to a debate with the theologian Johann Eck. The debate, originally scheduled to be held between Eck and Luther's colleague Karlstadt, soon became a struggle between Eck and Luther in which Luther was driven by his opponent to taking even more radical theological positions, thus laying himself open to the charge of heresy. By 1521 Eck secured a papal bull (decree) condemning Luther, and Luther was summoned to the Imperial Diet at Worms in 1521 to answer the charges against him.


Diet of Worms

A student of Luther's described his teacher at this period: "He was a man of middle stature, with a voice which combined sharpness and softness: it was soft in tone, sharp in the enunciation of syllables, words, and sentences. He spoke neither too quickly nor too slowly, but at an even pace, without hesitation, and very clearly…. If even the fiercest enemies of the Gospel had been among his hearers, they would have confessed from the force of what they heard, that they had witnessed, not a man, but a spirit."

Luther throughout his life always revealed a great common sense, and he always retained his humorous understanding of practical life. He reflected an awareness of both the material and spiritual worlds, and his flights of poetic theology went hand in hand with the occasional coarseness of his polemics. His wit and thought were spontaneous, his interest in people of all sorts genuine and intense, his power of inspiring affection in his students and colleagues never failing. He was always remarkably frank, and although he became first the centre of the Reform movement and later one of many controversial figures in it, he retained a sense of self-criticism, attributing his impact to God. He said, in a characteristic passage: "Take me, for example. I opposed indulgences and all papists, but never by force. I simply taught, preached, wrote God's Word: otherwise I did nothing. And then, while I slept or drank Wittenberg beer with my Philip of Amsdorf the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that never a prince or emperor did such damage to it. I did nothing: the Word did it all. Had I wanted to start trouble, I could have started such a little game at Worms that even the emperor wouldn't have been safe. But what would it have been? A mug's game. I did nothing: I left it to the Word."

Great personal attraction, absolute dedication to his theological principles, kindness and loyalty to his friends, and an acute understanding of his own human weakness - these were the characteristics of Luther when he came face to face with the power of the papacy and empire at Worms in 1521. He was led to a room in which his collected writings were piled on a table and ordered to repudiate them. He asked for time to consider and returned the next day and answered: "Unless I am proved wrong by the testimony of Scripture or by evident reason I am bound in conscience and held fast to the Word of God. Therefore I cannot and will not retract anything, for it is neither safe nor salutary to act against one's conscience. God help me. Amen." Luther left Worms and was taken, for his own safety, to the castle of Wartburg, where he spent some months in seclusion, beginning his great translation of the Bible into German and writing numerous tracts.


Return to Wittenberg

In 1522 Luther returned to Wittenberg, where he succeeded in cooling the radical reforming efforts of his colleague Karlstadt and continued the incessant writing which would fill the rest of his life. In 1520 he had written three of his most famous tracts: To The Christian Nobility of the German Nation, which enunciates a social program of religious reform; On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, on Sacraments, the Mass, and papal power; and Of the Liberty of a Christian Man, a treatise on faith and on the inner liberty which faith affords those who possess it.

The Lutheran Bible, which was "a vehicle of proletarian education" as well as a monument in the spiritual history of Europe, not only gave Luther's name and views wider currency but revealed the translator as a great master of German prose, an evaluation which Luther's other writings justify.

Besides these works, Luther had other matters at hand. His name was used now by many people, including many with whom he disagreed. The Reformation had touched society and its institutions as well as religion, and Luther was drawn into conflicts, such as the Peasants' Rebellion of 1524-1525 and the affairs of the German princes, which drew from him new ideas on the necessary social and political order of Christian Germany. Luther's violent antipeasant writings from this period have often been criticized. His fears of the dangerous role of extreme reformers like Karlstadt and Thomas Münzer, however, were greater than his hope for social reform through revolution. Luther came to rely heavily upon the princes to carry out his program of reform. In 1525 Luther married Katherine von Bora, a nun who had left her convent. From that date until his death, Luther's family life became not only a model of the Christian home but a source of psychological support to him.

Luther's theological writings continued to flow steadily. Often they were written in response to his critics or in the intense heat of debate with Protestant rivals. Among those great works not brought about by conflict should be numbered the Great Catechism and the Small Catechism of 1529 and his collection of sermons and hymns, many of the latter, like Ein Feste Burg, still sung today.


Debates with Theologians

In 1524-1525 Luther entered into a discussion of free will with the great Erasmus. Luther's On the Will in Bondage (1525) remained his definitive statement on the question. In 1528 Luther turned to the question of Christ's presence in the Eucharist in his Confession concerning the Lord's Supper, which attracted the hostility of a number of reformers, notably Ulrich Zwingli. In 1529 Luther's ally Melancthon arranged a discussion between the two, and the Marburg Colloquy, as the debate is known, helped to close one of the early breaches in Protestant agreement.

In 1530, when Charles V was once again able to turn to the problems of the Reformation in Germany, Luther supervised, although he did not entirely agree with, the writing of Melancthon's Augsburg Confession, one of the foundations of later Protestant thought. From 1530 on Luther spent as much time arguing with other Reformation leaders on matters of theology as with his Catholic opponents.

Luther's disputes with other theologians were carried out with the same intensity he applied to his other work: he longed for Christian unity, but he could not accept the theological positions which many others had advanced. He was also fearful of the question of a general council in the Church. In 1539 he wrote his On Councils and Churches and witnessed in the following years the failure of German attempts to heal the wounds of Christianity. On the eve of his death he watched with great concern the calling of the Council of Trent, the Catholic response to the Reformation.

In the 1540s Luther was stricken with diseases a number of times, drawing great comfort from his family and from the lyrical, plain devotional exercises which he had written for children. In 1546 he was called from a sickbed to settle the disputes of two German noblemen. On the return trip he fell sick and died at Eisleben, the town of his birth, on Feb. 18, 1546.
 


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Martin Luther (1483-1546), German theologian and Augustinian monk, demonised as the original heretic by some, others revering him as brother and co-apostle of Christ wrote 95 Theses (1517). Luther's teachings caused much division in the 16th century but they were also the catalyst inspiring reform and change for the Lutheran and Protestant traditions. The leader of the Reformation, he saw it not only as revolt against ecclesiastical abuses but a plea for the Pope to affirm the Gospel, wherein lay the doctrine of justification of faith by faith alone.

Born `Luder' and named after St. Martin of Tours, Martin would later change his last name to Luther. He was born 10 November 1483 at Eisleben, in the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, the son of Hans Luder, a farmer and his wife, Margaretha Luder née Lindemann. Hans Luder would become successful in the then copper mining boom of nearby Mansfeld.

Young Martin attended Latin school in Mansfeld, then in 1497 he went to a boarding school in Magdeburg; two years later he moved to Eisenach and lived with relatives while attending school there. In 1501 at the age of eighteen Luther entered the University of Erfurt where he studied the liberal arts, and in 1505 attained his Master's degree with the intention of studying Law as was his father's wish. However that was not to be as it is said that while Luther was just outside of Stotterheim one day after visiting his parents he was caught in a terrific thunderstorm where lightning struck nearby, thus throwing him to the ground and in his terror he called out "St. Anne Help me! I will become a monk!" It's most likely he was considering a life of the cloth before this event, much to his father's chagrin. His friends and family tried to convince him to continue his studies in Law but he vowed to keep his promise, and entered the Mendicant order of the Augustinian monks at the Black Monastery in Erfurt in July of 1505.

Luther was introduced to the monk's daily life of prayer, fasting, and manual labour that would last two years. Plagued with uncertainty and doubt as to his own salvation he struggled for enlightenment through fasting, flagellation, and confession, though it only seemed to deepen his need to find meaning with God. In 1507 he was ordained as priest and started Theological studies at the University of Erfurt. Thus began five years of rigorous study in Humanist ideology, 'Ad Fontes! - Back to the Source!', the Bible in its original Hebrew and Greek. He received his doctorate in Theology in 1512 and became professor at Wittenberg University, lecturing on Psalms (1514-15), Letter to the Romans (1515-16), Letter to the Galatians (1516-17), and Letter to the Hebrews (1517-18). Living in the ancient city of Wittenberg on the Elbe, this was a period of intense study for Luther, especially of Letter to the Romans, whereupon he came to realise finally that it is by the grace of God alone that one receives justice, not by doing good works.

“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, `The one who is righteous will live by faith.'” (Romans 1:17)

Luther also served as priest for Wittenberg's City Church in 1514, at a time when many of his parishioners were going to neighbouring ones in order to purchase indulgences as a bypass of confession. This commerce in salvation was detestable to Luther, and there was also rumour that the Dominican monk, Johann Tetzel, could redeem the sins of the deceased by such trade as well. Luther preached against it, and in his famous 95 Theses (1517) he wrote to his superiors asking they put a stop to the sale of indulgences. If there is one representative symbol of the Reformation, it is from the legend of Luther nailing his Theses to the door of the Wittenberg church.

It is certain that Luther sent his Theses to area bishops and friends and it was not long before they were in circulation in nearby Leipzig, and Nuremberg and Basel. There was much discussion and controversy surrounding them, humanists and princes approving, the Roman Catholic church denouncing. Tetzel of course was vehemently opposed and accused Luther of heresy, in the order of Jan Hus, threatening to burn him at the stake. Emperor Maximilian denounced Luther as a heretic and in 1518 The Papal Court ordered an inquisition in Rome. Karl V continued the fight against Luther. Luther's Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences was written in 1517.

As Luther became distanced from Rome between 1520 and 1521 he continued to write including Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, The Babylonian Captivity and The Freedom of the Christian Man. These works furthered his isolation and on 15 June, 1520 the Papal Bull of excommunication in which Luther was given sixty days to recant his teachings was delivered at the height of the inquisition. Luther reacted strongly and it is said he exclaimed in his protest:

“Because you, godless book, have grieved or shamed the holiness of the Father, be saddened and consumed by the eternal flames of Hell ”.

Luther burned the Papal Bull, along with various books by his enemies, and the book of church law in December of 1520 in Wittenberg, where the Luther Oak (Luthereiche) sprouted. Cardinal Cajetan pleaded with him to recant, though Luther ended up fleeing the city in fear of his life. By 1521 the Pope had excommunicated Luther from the church. Hoping to weaken the Pope's political influence in his empire, Frederick III the Wise, Elector of Saxony offered protection to Luther, though he also ended up wanting Luther to recant. Luther and the princes who supported him were given safe escort to the Imperial Diet of Worms, setting out in April of 1521. Along his journey he was welcomed and cheered, but his journey was for naught, for he again refused to recant to the Emperor:

“Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the Popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen. ”

Luther stated “I am finished” and set out on his journey home. An Imperial Act (Wormser Edikt) was imposed, labelling Luther an outlaw and giving anyone licence to kill him without penalty. With Luther’s knowledge a mock kidnapping by `bandits' was carried out by Friedrich the Wise and his men. He was taken to Wartburg Castle in Eisenach in order to protect him from harm. While in hiding he called himself Junker Jörg (Knight George) and grew his hair and a beard; rumours of his death circulated. It is said that Luther suffered delusions and torment by demons and evil spirits, and his life of exile surely increased his paranoia. There is a legend of him throwing his inkwell at the devil in a fit of anger.

During his exile of 1521, Luther continued to keep contact with his supporters, including his dear friend Phillip Melanchthon (1497-1560) to whom he wrote Let Your Sins Be Strong. They had met at the University where Luther introduced him to reformed theology, and Melanchthon taught him Greek. Melanchthon was one of the first to join the Reformation movement. Melanchthon's Loci communes (1521) greatly influenced Luther's future writings. During this period Luther also devoted himself to the translation of the original Greek New Testament into German, which took him a mere eleven weeks and was published in 1522. This work helped to develop a standardised version of German, and made accessible the bible to commoners. After the Old Testament was translated, the complete Bible in German was printed in 1534.

Wittenberg had become the centre for the Reformation; worship service was changed and by 1521 three priests had married. When Luther returned in 1522 he was once again at the helm, and began preaching the Gospel throughout Germany. An important work during this period was Luther's To the Councilmen of all Cities within German Territories; Christian Schools Ought to be Kept Up outlining the obligation of the community to provide for the needy, and proper education with funds from the newly set up system of a "Common Treasury" of collecting financial donations. The relative calm was not to last and in 1525 peasant protest reared its head, fronted by Thomas Münzer, priest and one-time follower of Luther. They called for more just economics, even at the downfall of authorities, though they were defeated at the battle of Frankenhausen during which tens of thousands were killed and most of the year's crops destroyed.

Having taken a vow of chastity and often preaching on the virtues and importance of marriage, Luther wrote in a letter to Bavarian noblewoman Argula von Grumbach, his response to her query as to whether he would ever marry;

“Nevertheless, the way I feel now, and have felt thus far, I will not marry. It is not that I do not feel my flesh or sex, since I am neither wood nor stone, but my mind is far removed from marriage, since I daily expect death and the punishment due to a heretic. Therefore I shall not limit God’s work in me, nor shall I rely on my own heart. Yet I hope God does not let me live long.”

However, as he wrote to John Rühel, “in defiance of the devil and all his adversaries”, Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora (1499-1552) on 27 June 1525. The University of Wittenberg gave them a silver goblet and the city magistrate gave them gifts. `Kate' was a nun who had taken refuge in Wittenberg after having fled the convent Nimbschen, near Grimma. Martin and Kate would have six children together. She was an avid gardener, cattle breeder and competent Lady of the house and her and Martin led a happy life together. Many of Luther's circle of friends and supporters were dismayed by his marriage, including Melanchthon, who had not been invited and who deemed it a foreshadowing of bad luck. The Luther's lived in the Augustinian monastery, a bustling and happy home. They had many houseguests and boarders, including students and widows who would provide some much needed income, in addition to Luther's modest income, towards the running of the household. Luther would sometimes jokingly refer to her as `Lord Kate' because of her bossy and commandeering motherly ways, though no doubt it was necessary at times. Luther's sisters' six children would live with them after her death. Among the various works Luther wrote during this time were the Baptismal Book, Wedding Book and Small and Large Catechism (1529). He was also a lover of song, “The one who sings, prays double”, and contributed towards the singing of hymns in Christian congregations. He wrote the Smart Songbook and many hymns including the choral A Mighty Fortress is Our God in 1527.

Many changes were enacted during the Reformation, including allowing the parish to take the wafer and the wine during Communion. Luther was constantly defending the Reformation to the Roman Catholic faction and he also argued bitterly with Dutch humanist Erasmus von Rotterdamm. His Jesus was born a Jew (1523) was considered conciliatory at the time and now deemed anti-Semitic, as well as his Jews and their Lies (1543). In his later years Luther wrote Against the Papacy at Rome Founded by the Devil wherein he dealt his final blow to the Roman Catholic church.

Luther had been suffering from various physical ailments like arthritis, digestive upset and heart problems for years and they were continuing to weaken him, yet he continued to teach at the University of Wittenberg and fight for reform. It is said that his last lecture ended with the words “I am weak, I cannot go on.” He also continued to write including On the Councils and Churches (1539). This same year Katy suffered a miscarriage and Luther was by her side throughout, Lutherans all over the world praying for her recovery. He wrote Disputation on the Divinity and Humanity of Christ in 1540. Whilst the plague was sweeping Europe, the untimely death of his daughter Magdelena sets him off into a deep depression and ruminations on the signs of the End Days.

Against the Papacy at Rome Founded by the Devil (1545) is said to be one of Luther's most coarse and vehement works he ever produced. Scatological satires of the Pope and Rome accompany it. The same year, Luther had returned to his birthplace in Eisleben with his three sons to assist in settling an inheritance dispute between the landed gentry Mansfeld Counts. After suffering prolonged chest pains, he did not have the strength to return home to Wittenberg and Martin Luther died on 18 February 1546 in Eisleben. It is said that some of his last words were the prayer of the dying;

“Into your hands, I command my spirit. You have saved me, Father, you faithful God.”

He was laid to rest in the Chancel of the Castle Church in Wittenberg; Johannes Bugenhagen pronounced the oration. He is buried beneath the floor of the church, the stone marking his tomb stating: “Here lies the body of Martin Luther, Doctor of Sacred Theology, who died in his hometown Eisleben in the year of our Lord 1546 on the 18th day of February after having lived for 63 years, 2 months and 10 days.”

In Eisleben the home and room where he died has been memorialised. The city of Wittenberg today is still at its heart a spiritual and cultural centre for Europe. One of the countries' most popular folk festivals celebrates the Luther's marriage.

After her husband's death, and in the wake of the Smalkaldian War, Kate fled Wittenberg. Most of the Luther property was in ruins when she returned, and the plague drove her away from the city again. Katharina Luther died of consumption at the age of fifty-three on 20 December 1552. She is buried in the Marienkirche, Torgau.

Part of the last written words of Luther were:“Virgil's shepherd poems cannot be understood, except by one who has been a shepherd for five years. Virgil's poetry about agriculture cannot be understood, except by one who has been a farmhand for five years. Cicero's letters cannot be understood, except by one who has participated and lived within a large community for 25 years. The Holy Scriptures do not have a satisfactory taste for me or anyone else, unless he has spent 100 years ruling a community as the prophets Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist, Christ and the Apostles.”

 

 

 

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