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Saints of the Reformation

[December 8, 2016 | No Comment | ]

by Mark Lack
Martin Luther may have been condemned as a heretic by the Roman Church, but as he lay holed up in Wartburg Castle, he felt more like a hermit. In 1521, Luther had been declared an outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor for refusing to recant his writings against the papacy. Luther’s life was in danger, and so under the protection of the Elector of Saxony, Frederick the Wise, he had gone into hiding at the Wartburg. Castle-bound for almost a year, the Reformer passed the time writing letters, …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, Reformation 500, Saints of the Reformation

[October 31, 2016 | One Comment | ]

by Edward G. Kettner
When the Reformation began in 1517, Martin Luther was not alone. A member of the faculty at the University of Wittenberg, he already had colleagues who supported him in his discovery of the Gospel. He certainly became prominent in the aftermath of the writing and publishing of the 95 Theses on indulgences, and he indeed spearheaded many changes, particularly in his debates and disputations, which put the issues of justification and the abuses of the papacy to the forefront of people’s minds. He wrote the catechisms to …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, Reformation 500, Saints of the Reformation

[September 8, 2016 | One Comment | ]

by Mathew Block
Born January 17, 1463, Frederick III would reign as Elector of Saxony from 1486 until his death on May 5, 1525. His importance to the Reformation is so instrumental that it can scarcely have taken place without him—and yet the motivations behind his actions are not always immediately clear.
Frederick the Wise, as he is often called, grew up a friend of Johann von Staupitz, who would later become an important Augustinian theologian. When he founded the University of Wittenberg in 1502, Frederick would invite Staupitz to become professor …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, Saints of the Reformation

[June 23, 2016 | No Comment | ]

by Leah Block
It was early October, the year of our Lord 1528. The evening was fine, but the light breeze carried with it a hint of the frost to come. The rising quarter moon cast a silver sheen over the stone walls of the old convent. In the distance, an owl hooted. Nothing stirred within the convent walls, save perhaps the quietly whispered prayers of someone observing a lonely midnight vigil.
Three women let themselves quietly out of a side door. Their long heavy cloaks and hoods disguised them, but as …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, Saints of the Reformation

[May 12, 2016 | 2 Comments | ]

by Mathew Block
On July 1, 1523, two Augustinian monks were burned at the stake in Brussels. Their crime? They were Lutheran.
A year earlier, in 1522, Johann Esch and Heinrich Voes and the other monks at the Monastery in Antwerp had declared their adherence to the teachings of Martin Luther and the other Evangelical reformers: that the Scriptures were authoritative even over church tradition, and that bishops—including the pope—were themselves subject to the authority of Scripture. They further held that bishops should exercise spiritual authority—to preach the Word of God—rather than …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, Saints of the Reformation, Table Talk

[March 9, 2016 | No Comment | ]

by Richard Beinert
Tucked away in the pages of Reformation history lies the figure of Johann von Staupitz. He served as Martin Luther’s superior within the Augustinian Order and importantly also as his father confessor during the first decade of the 1500s. Even though he remains a shadowy figure on the outskirts of Luther’s life, it is hard to imagine the Reformation without him. It is for this reason that he is commemorated within our saints-calendar on November 8 every year.
Born sometime between 1460 and 1469 in Motterwitz, Staupitz grew up …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, Saints of the Reformation