The Day the Melanchthons Married

melanchthonPhilipp Melanchthon married Katharina Krapp on November 27, 1520.

Apparently, Philipp had decided that his work and studies were to be his bride. For years he resisted the urgings of his friends for him to marry for fear that his studies would suffer. His friends, including Martin Luther, strongly disagreed. They even went so far as to choose a bride for him.

In some ways we know very little about Philipp Melanchthon’s wife, Katharina. She was the daughter of Wittenberg’s highly esteemed mayor and tailor Hans Krapp. She and Philipp spent the next 37 years in what was reported to be a very happy marriage. Together they had four children, Anna, Philipp, Georg, and Magdalene. The Melanchthon and Luther children spent much time playing together since their homes were next door to each other.

Katharina was a strong support to her husband. She stood by him when his friends condemned him for his doctrinal weakness. She also nursed him during his physically weak times. In short, Philipp’s marriage to Katharina did for him just the opposite of what he feared. Instead of it tearing him down, it sustained and strengthened him.

Despite all that they had in common, Katharina Melanchthon and Katie Luther never became close friends. But they did share these traits – they were hard workers who had deep love, respect, and support for their respective husbands.

Katharina Melanchthon died in 1557 while her husband was in Heidelberg furthering the cause of the Reformation.

No pictures of Katharina Melanchthon seem to exist today. This picture of Philipp is from 1532, is attributed to Lucas Cranach the Elder and is in the public domain.

-Rebecca DeGarmeaux (on Facebook)

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