of the most significant women in Church history. She became Martin Luther's
wife after escaping from a convent with 11 other nuns. She was a devoted
wife to Luther, who referred to her as "my lord Katie" and together
they had 6 children, 4 of whom lived to be adults.
She was a wonderful manager of the household, despite limited funds and
a large number of guests. She grew vegetables, bought a farm to raise
cattle and chickens and brewed beer.
read her time-line.
following articles are reproduced with kind permission from Dr Ken Curtis
from the Christian History Institute. We highly recommend all churches
to subscribe to the Glimpses Bulletin inserts. Order Glimpses.
Katie Luther: Establishing a Pattern for the Christian Family.
VON BORA was only eighteen at the time Martin Luther issued his now
famous 95 theses from Wittenberg. She had lived in a convent since she
was three; her father had taken her there after her mother's death.
Catherine and several
of the other nuns at the cloister heard of Luther's Biblical teaching.
Once they believed the principles Luther taught, they wanted to leave
the cloisters. When Luther heard of this, he encouraged a merchant friend
to help them escape. Merchant Kopp often delivered herring to the convent,
and one evening in 1523, he bundled twelve nuns into his wagon in the
empty fish barrels! Several of the nuns returned to their families;
Luther helped find homes, husbands, or positions for the rest.
Within two years
after their escape, all the nuns had been provided for except one--Catherine.
the persuasion of friends and his father, Luther proposed to marry Katie
himself. Luther had been given the building of the Augustinian monastery
at Wittenberg by the Elector, and into the monastery Katie moved after
her marriage in 1525. She cleaned up the monastery and brought some
order to Luther's daily life. Luther wrote a friend, "There is
a lot to get used to in the first year of marriage. One wakes up in
the morning and finds a pair of pigtails on the pillow which were not
After a year of
marriage Luther wrote another friend, "My Katie is in all things
so obliging and pleasing to me that I would not exchange my poverty
for the riches of Croesus." Luther, the former celibate monk, now
exalted marriage, exclaiming, "There is no bond on earth so sweet,
nor any separation so bitter, as that which occurs in a good marriage."
Katie managed the
finances of the family and helped free Luther's mind for his work of
writing, teaching, and ministering. Luther called her the "morning
star of Wittenberg" since she rose at 4 a.m. to care for her many
responsibilities. She took care of the vegetable garden, orchard, fishpond,
and barnyard animals, even to the butchering of them herself. Often
there were as many as 30 students, guests, or boarders staying in the
monastery, all of whom came under Katie's care. Luther was often ill,
and Katie was able to minister to him in his illnesses because of her
great medical skill.
Katie's life was
not just concerned with the physical, however. Martin encouraged his
Katie in her Bible study and suggested particular passages for her to
time the Luthers had six children and also raised four orphan children;
the family became a model for German families for several centuries. Luther
viewed marriage as a school for character. Family life helped train Christians
in the virtues of fortitude, patience, charity, and humility.
Martin's death in 1546, Katie lived six years. She lived to see her children,
except Magdalena who had died young, achieve positions of influence.
of Katie Von Bora:
in Lippendorf, Germany to Hans von Bora and Katharina Haubitz.
her mother's death, she entered the convent school in Brehna.
her vows to become a nun, entering the Nimbschen Cloister, where her
aunt Magdalena von Bora also lived.
from the Nimbschen Cloister with 11 other nuns in fish barrels. Aided
by Leonard Köppe, a merchant from Torgau. Lived in artist Lucas
by Hicronymus Baumgaertner, a student at Wittenberg University but
his parents opposed the match.
by Pastor Glatz, but she refused him.
engaged to Martin Luther.
Martin Luther in the Black Cloister in Wittenberg.
son born, Johannes (Hans) named after Grandfather. He studied law
and became a court advisor.
the cloister closed, the Luther's were given the house.
daughter born, Elisabeth. (She died at 8 months on May 4, 1528).
Magdalena born (She died at 13 years in 1542).
Martin born. He studied theology.
Paul born. He became a well known physician.
Margarethe born. She married into a wealthy Prussian family.
Fabian moved in with the family, following Katharina's brother's death.
to Dessau due to the Smalkaldian war.
to Torgau to escape the Plague in Wittenberg.
von Bora died and was buried in Torgau on December 20th.
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