October 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