Katharina von Bora Luther, 1499-1552
Katharina, “Katie” was five when her mother died and she was sent to a convent. In 1515 she took vows as a nun, but in 1523, she along with seven other nuns were rescued from the convent and taken to Wittenberg. Katharina and Martin were married on June 13, 1525. They were blessed with six children. Katharina needed to be a skilled manager of the household, for the home was often filled with people enjoying Luther’s hospitality.
Luther took to calling her, “my Lord Katie.”
In a letter to Katharina, Luther writes,
“Most holy Ms. Doctor, We thank you very kindly for your great concern that kept you awake. For from the day you (started) worrying about us, a fire right outside of our quarters’ door was eager to consume us.” He added that a stone almost fell of his head from the ceiling of the chamber in which he was staying. “I am concerned that if you do not stop worrying, the earth might swallow us up at the end.”
In his Table Talks he is quoted, “To have grace and peace in marriage is a gift second only to the knowledge of the Gospel….Kate; you have a god-fearing man who loves you. You are an empress, realize and thank God for it.”
She continued to live in Wittenberg after Luther’s death in 1546, though her state was one of impoverishment much of the time. In 1552, while traveling with her children to escape the plague, she died in an accident.