The Burial of Katie Luther

lutherDecember 21, 1552: Katie Luther was buried at the City Church (St. Mary’s) in Torgau, Germany. Between the plague spreading through the area and the Emperor waging war against the German princes, it was not considered safe to return Katie’s body to Wittenberg to be buried next to Martin’s.

Torgau had become the home away from home for Wittenberg University during the war. Therefore, many of Martin and Katie’s closest friends were able to attend the funeral. The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Paul Eber, invited the university students to attend the service. At 3:00 in the afternoon, they gathered at the house where Katie had died and lined the route from the house to the church.

A life-sized plaque depicting Katie was soon erected in the church. The plaque includes both the von Bora coat of arms and Luther’s seal. It’s inscription reads: “On December 21, 1552, Dr. Martinus Luther’s blessed surviving widow, Katherina von Bora, died blissfully here at Torgau.”

This picture of Katie Luther’s memorial plaque is by Andreas Praefcke on Wikimedia Commons.

-Rebecca DeGarmeaux (on FB)