Historical Figures

Martin Luther

Coming from a copper mining father, Luther was born in Thuringia (Germany). He joined the University in 1501 and studied law. He entered the Augustinian convent in Erfurt in 1505, was ordained a priest in 1507, became a monk in 1509 and a doctor of theology in 1512.
Luther was indignant at the possibility for the faithful of the Church to be able to buy "indulgences" by participating in the construction of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. This approach, supported by the Pope, was denounced by Luther via the writing of his 95 theses which he wrote in October 1517.
Initiator of the Reformation, Luther clarified his thinking by publishing his great reforming writings in 1520. The foundations of these writings are justification by faith (Christians find God's salvation by faith alone, and not by works), the universal priesthood (believers are equal in baptism, and in fact are all priests), and finally the sole authority of the Bible. He defends the need for direct access to the Scriptures of the sacred text, without going through the religious institution or the clergy (he translated the Bible from Latin to German in 1534).
Excommunicated by the Pope in 1521, it is hidden by Frederick of Saxony, leader of the State of Saxony (Germany). He strives, throughout his life, to write writings to clarify and disseminate his thought. Married in 1525, he died in 1546 in his native town of Eisleben, Germany.

1483 - 1546


Man of the Church


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