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Martin Luther

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Book Report #1

Martin Luther The Great Reformer

By: J. A. Morrison

Revised & Edited by: Michael J. McHugh

On November 10, 1483, Martin Luther was born. His parents were Hans and Margaret Luther. Martin came from a poor family. The Luther's were Germans. They lived in the Thuringian Mountains near Eisleben. Martin Luther was still a small baby when his parents moved from Eisleben to Mansfeld, where his father found work in the mines. Martin, his brother, and his three sisters didn't have the easiest childhood to grow up with. Their parents taught them religion. Luther's parents were devout Catholics and their strenuous and even unmerciful discipline of their children, they believed, was the very best for the children's welfare. So when Martin or his siblings did anything wrong, they were beat as a punishment.

Hans Luther wanted to give his children better education than he has himself growing up. They started to teach Martin as soon as they could. Even if he was at home he was always learning. But in school because the schoolteachers were ignorant, he received fifteen whippings one morning at school. Martin referred the name of "school" to "hell and purgatory". When the schoolmasters at Mansfeld were through pounding Latin into Luther with a stick, he was getting ready to go to Magdeburg for school. Because Luther was so poor to have money for his own expenses, Luther had to sing in the streets. It was common for Luther to see other students as poor as him standing in front of wealthy citizen houses. Sometimes they were invited to come in for some food. He stayed in Magdeburg for about one year before moving to Eisenach and going to a school known as The School Of St. George. Ursula Cotta heard Luther singing in the street for money. So she and her Husband, Conrad, invited Luther to come into their beautiful home and share its comforts with them. Then in about May of 1501, Luther enrolled as a student at Erfurt. Then in 1502, he took the degree of Bachelor of Arts and three years later that of Master of Arts.

Luther had been hunted by fears that God's wrath was being stored up against him. Luther didn't look to the Bible for an answer to his burning question. He has been taught to look to the Roman Catholic Church for the answer. It advised him to become a monk if he would be perfect and have a great reward in heaven. Luther struggled to figure out what to do with his life. He wanted to be perfect in heaven but he didn't really want to be a monk. Certain happenings in Erfurt seemed to warn him that the end was near for him. So he left the university and went home. On July 2, when he was returning to the university, he was overtaken by a severe thunderstorm. Luther actually thought the devil was after him. Luther made a vow that he would become a monk and the battle was over. When he told his friends they tried to talk him out of it but Luther made up his mind and was sticking with it. Luther soon found out that not all monks were good people. Luther's father was furious when he found out that Martin had become a monk. In February 1507, Martin was ordained a Priest. Than in May, when Martin celebrated his first mass. His father came with some friends and gave his son a present from him. When Martin tried to explain why he choice this life. All his father could say was "Have you not heard that a man should honor his parents?" In Wittenberg they were building a new University and invited Martin to become a lecturer on moral philosophy.

While Martin was lecturing at Wittenberg University was one of the happiest time in his life. Then a dispute started so Luther was chosen to go to Rome to talk to the Pope about this problem. Luther and John Von Mecheln of Nuremberg set off to Rome with each other. Their walk there was hard. Several times they thought that they would never make it to the great city. Luther spent four weeks in Rome. When he heard stories of the very corrupt life of Alexander VI, who had been Pope until about seven years before Luther's visit. And when he heard people who make fun of those who were trying to live holy lives. He was mad and upset. He said, "If there is a hell, Rome is built over it." When in Rome, Luther



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