And A Happy Anniversary to the Melanchthons
Apparently, Philipp had been determined to live his life as a bachelor. He was fully dedicated to his work and was afraid that domestic life would hinder his teaching and research. His friends, including Martin Luther, totally disagreed. While Luther at this time was totally avoiding marriage for himself, he realized that a wife was exactly what his friend and colleague needed. He helped to arrange the marriage and was a strong supporter of it.
Philipp and Katharina’s marriage was a happy one. Katharina proved to be a strong support for her husband both emotionally and physically. She stood by him when he face opposition from the other reformers and nursed him when he was ill.
Philipp and Katharina had four children: Anna, Philipp, Georg, and Magdalene.
For reasons that remain unclear, Kathrina and Katie Luther never became good friends. It seems that the Melanchthons initially disapproved of Martin and Katie’s marriage. Speculation has also been raised as to whether Katharina, who was born in a higher social class than Katie, resented a former nun now rising above her socially. The rift was obviously mended between Philipp and the Luthers and the Melanchthon and Luther children were playmates. But the Katies never became close despite all that they had in common.
Katharina Melachthon died in 1557 while Philipp was in Heidelberg furthering the cause of the Reformation.
This painting of Philipp Melanchthon is by Lucas Cranach the Elder
And yes, she would have married anyone to rid herself of her maiden name. #TragicGermanNames