Martin Luther, Doctor and Confessor

Martin Luther died on February 18, 1546

On November 10, Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, Germany, the oldest child of Hans and Margarethe Luther.  He was baptized the next day, the day Martin of Tours is remembered, thus he was named after that saint.  There was a saint assigned to nearly every day and people did not so much follow a calendar with dates, but noted the days by their assigned saint.

The family soon moved to Mansfield, where Luther received his early education.  At age fourteen he was sent to Magdeburg.  He completed his preparatory education in Eisenach.  He attended the University of Erfurt in 1501. In 1505 he joined the Augustinian monastery at Erfurt.  In 1508 he was sent to Wittenberg to continue his theological studies.  With another monk, he traveled to Rome in 1510 and upon his return to Wittenberg in the spring of 1511.  He received a Doctor of Theology in 1512.  Wittenberg University would remain his home base for the rest of his life.

In the winter of 1546, Luther went to his birth place, Eisleben, to arbitrate a quarrel between two counts over some division of land.  His efforts were successful.  He preached and at some point, indicated that he had said enough.

He suffered a heart attack soon after.  One of his associates, Justus Jonas, asked, “Will you stand firm in Christ and the doctrine which you have preached?”  Martin answered, “yes.”  On February 22, he was buried in the Castle Church at Wittenberg, where his remains lie today.

Prayer: O God, defend and purify the Church in our own day, and grant that we may boldly proclaim Christ’s faithfulness unto death and His vindicating resurrection, which You made known to Your servant Martin Luther through Jesus, our Savior.

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