Category Archives: Katie Luther

The Anniversary of Luther’s Marriage

Schaff writes

On the evening of June 13, on Tuesday after Trinity Sunday, Luther invited Bugenhagen, Jonas, Lucas Cranach and wife, and a professor of jurisprudence, Apel (an ex-Dean of the Cathedral of Bamberg, who had himself married a nun), to his house, and in their presence was joined in matrimony to Catharina von Bora in the name of the Holy Trinity. Bugenhagen performed the ceremony in the customary manner. On the following morning he entertained his friends at breakfast. Justus Jonas reported the marriage to Spalatin through a special messenger. He was affected by it to tears, and saw in it the wonderful hand of God. On June 27 Luther celebrated his wedding in a more public, yet modest style, by a nuptial feast, and invited his father and mother and his distant friends to “seal and ratify” the union, and to “pronounce the benediction.” He mentioned with special satisfaction that he had now fulfilled an old duty to his father, who wished him to marry.*

*History of the Christian Church, vol. 7 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910), 458–459.

Condolences, Katie

February 20, 1546: Elector John Frederick wrote to Katie Luther to send his condolences for the death of Martin:

“Dear Special One,

“We have learned with deep sorrow that our dear devout Doctor Martin Luther has departed this life last Thursday. We do not doubt that the almighty God will be merciful to his soul. We try to gauge the immensity of your pain and sadness over Luther’s final departure. . . . Yet since none of us is able to oppose the gracious will of God almighty, who dealt with him so mercifully and kindly, we now commend him to the Lord. May it ease the burden of your grief and be a comfort to you that Luther departed this world as a Christian. For the sake of your husband we are ready to be at your and your children’s disposal and will not forsake you.” (Markwald, Rudolf: “Katharina Von Bora” pg. 174)

The Elector also took charge of all of the funeral arrangements. By this time the funeral procession from Eisleben to Wittenberg had begun.

The picture is of Elector John Frederick with the Reformers and is by Lucas Cranach the Younger.

-Rebecca DeGarmeaux

Happy Birthday Mrs Luther

Luther Loved Galatians

“The Epistle to the Galatians is my dear epistle. I have put my confidence in it. It is my Katy von Bora.” — Martin Luther

Today in the Life of Luther’s Wife

marienthronOctober 8, 1515: Sixteen year old Katharina von Bora is consecrated as a nun at the Marienthron (St. Mary’s Throne) convent in Nimbschen, near Grimma, Germany. Katie had lived here for the past six years and had lived in convents since the age of five.

Life in the convent was strictly regimented. Rules of silence were observed. Regular hours of prayer were kept for worship. Each nun had specific duties in the convent. Here Katie would have learned basic housekeeping skills and possibly some nursing skills since her aunt Magdalena von Bora ran the convent’s infirmary.

Did Katie make her vows willingly or did she feel coerced? There is no record that she ever answers that question. However, since convent life was really all she knew, it is understandable that taking the vows would have seemed a part of the natural progression of her life. It is also possible that, even if she a strong inclination to not take the vows, there would not have been any where else for her to live. We don’t know when her father died and it seems that she was originally placed in the convent because of the family’s finances as much as the educational opportunities afforded there.

So now, for the next seven and one half years, Katie would be a nun, striving to serve God in everything she did.

This 2011 photo of the remains of the Nimbschen convent are in the public domain

-Rebecca DeGarmeaux for Katie Luther