School, Studies, Profession
Martin Luther was born in Eisleben on November 10, 1483. His father worked as a foreman in the copper mine. Luther learned Latin during his school time in Eisenach (1498 - 1501). After studying philosophy in Erfurt, at that time the most important city in the empire with 90 churches, he joined the Augustinian friary there in the summer of 1505. There are many stories about this decision, but the most quoted one is the legend of the thunderstorm: According to it, Luther was traveling from Mansfeld to Erfurt when a lightning bolt struck near him and he made a solemn vow… In 1507, Luther was ordained into the priesthood.
Break with the Official Church
In the autumn of 1508, Luther took a teaching assignment and studied Theology at the University of Wittenberg (graduated as a Doctor of Theology). A momentous event took place in 1517. In that year, Luther wrote his 95 Theses against the practice of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church and published them at a prominent place on the main door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. The break with the official church fell at his feet. Thereafter, the Wittenberg monk was persecuted by the Pope.
Marriage and Family
In 1525, Luther married the former nun Katharina von Bora. He had 6 children with her.
Luther left deep tracks. He composed fundamental reformation writings. In them, he developed his thoughts on the church, sacraments and the priesthood: religious inwardness, return to the solitude of the scriptorium, the precedence of personal freedom over state interests in power - much of that which marks German cultural history dates back to Luther. In addition, the reformer played a decisive role in the standardization of the German language through his widely disseminated writings. He died on February 18, 1546 in the city where he was born, Eisleben. He was buried in the Castle Church in Wittenberg.