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People Around Luther


Katharina von Bora

On June 13, 1525, Luther married the former nun Katharina von Bora. However, it wasn't a marriage of love. Luther helped Katharina and a few other nuns to flee from the convent and married them to honorable men. However, he wasn't able to find someone for Katharina. Since Luther was still single himself, he decided at short notice to marry her. She took care of their possessions and their guests. Katharina had 6 children with Martin Luther.

LutherroseJohann, Elector of Saxony,
known as Johann the Steadfast (1468 - 1532)

When his father Ernst Elector of Saxony died Johann the Steadfast and his brother Friedrich the Wise assumed the reins of government of Saxony (after the dead of his brother he inherited the title of Elector). As his nickname indicates, he had a positive attitude towards the Protestant Reformation. He was Martin Luther's souverain and well disposed towards him. In 1527 the Lutheran Church was established as state church whose Chief Bishop was the Elector.


Johann Friedrich Elector of Saxony,
called Johann the Magnanimous (1503 - 1554)

Like his uncle Friedrich the Wise and his father Johann the Steadfast, Johann the Magnanimous was a supporter of the Protestant Reformation. He came to see Martin Luther while he stayed at the Veste Coburg and gave him a signet ring with the famous Luther rose. As head of the Schmalkaldic League, Johann Friedich supported the Protestant Reformation military and politically in 1546/47. He lost the electoral rank and much of his territory including the university town Wittenberg when the Schmalkaldic League suffered defeat. Johann Friedrich was the father of Johann Friedrich II, Duke of Saxony (1529 - 1595) whose tomb is in the Church of St. Moriz in Coburg. He was also the grandfather of Johann Casimir, Duke of Saxe-Coburg (1564 - 1633).

Philipp Melanchthon

Philipp Melanchthon was a reformer, theologian, university professor, teacher, and a close friend of Martin Luther.  How close this friendship was, is shown by the quotation from Melanchthon:  "I would rather die than be separated from this man." He was also one of his companions when Luther traveled to the City of Coburg. After Luther's death, Melanchthon became the spokesman of the reformation.

Justus Jonas the Elder

Justus Jonas the Elder was gifted in a number of areas. He was a humanist, hymn writer, Lutheran theologian, and a lawyer.  In the year 1521, he took a position as provost at the Wittenberg Castle Church. There, he taught together with Luther as a professor of theology. He was an important personality of the reformation time and appeared primarily through translations of Martin Luther's and Philipp Melanchthon's writings. He served the reformers as a lawyer for legal issues.

 

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