Guide The German Reformation

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Public transport schedules vary depending on where one lives or wants to travel. This event is not a public holiday in the rest of Germany. Martin Luther was a monk, theologian and religious reformer.

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He was particularly concerned about the sale of indulgences. Indulgences are documents issued by the Catholic Church to grant full or partial pardon of sins.


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They are usually issued after prayer and good works. However, indulgences were also sold to finance projects sponsored by the Catholic Church around the s. In doing this, he started the Reformation. It was a time of large religious and social changes. We diligently research and continuously update our holiday dates and information. If you find a mistake, please let us know. The Sun shines directly on the Equator on the September equinox and the length of day and night is nearly equal. German Unity Day celebrates Germany's unification in It is on October 3 each year.

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  • Halloween is a festive occasion that is celebrated in many countries on October 31 each year. The Holy Roman Emperor was appointed by the heads of its main states, influential rulers known as electors. At the time that Luther wrote his theses, the elector of Saxony was Frederick the Wise. A humanist and a scholar, Frederick had founded the new university at Wittenberg that Luther attended. He never stopped being a Catholic, but he decided from the outset to protect the rebel friar both from the fury of the church and the Holy Roman Emperor.

    When in Luther was summoned to Rome, Frederick intervened on his behalf, ensuring that he would be questioned in Germany, a much safer place for him than Rome. Safe under the wing of Frederick, Luther began to engage in regular public debate on religious reforms.

    He broadened his arguments, declaring that any church council or even a single believer had the right to challenge the pope, so long as they based their arguments on the Bible. He even dared to argue that the church did not rest on papal foundations but rather on faith in Christ. Luther must have realized early on that his reform movement had a political dimension.

    This declaration was revolutionary for the ecclesiastic hierarchy of the time. In January a papal decree was published under which Luther was declared a heretic and excommunicated. Under normal circumstances, this sentence would have meant a trial and, most likely, execution. But these were no ordinary times. Both Frederick and widespread German public opinion demanded that Luther be given a proper hearing.

    Reformation - Wikipedia

    The newly elected Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, finally acquiesced and called Luther to come before the Imperial Diet assembly to be held that spring in the ancient Rhineland city of Worms. On his journey to Worms Luther was acclaimed almost as a messiah by the citizens of the towns he passed through. On his arrival in Worms in April , crowds gathered to see the man who embodied the struggle against the seemingly all-powerful Catholic Church. Once inside the episcopal palace, Luther was met by young Charles V, princes, imperial electors, and other dignitaries.

    When charged, Luther said that he stood by every one of his published claims. The Archbishop of Trier urged him to retract his theses, and Luther asked for time for consideration. After a night of reflection, he remained steadfast. Luther left Worms unbowed, but his life was in peril. Charles V signed an edict naming him and his followers political outlaws and demanded their writings be burned.


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    Seized by his protector, Frederick, Luther was granted sanctuary in the castle of Wartburg until the situation evolved and the danger passed. Outlawed for having defended his ideas at the Diet of Worms in , Luther took refuge here in Wartburg Castle, under the protection of Frederick the Wise of Saxony.

    In this medieval fortress, Luther made his translation of the New Testament into German. Supported by their rulers, also eyeing the opportunity of greater freedom from Rome, a host of reformers came forward in support of Lutheran principles. Just after Christmas, in , the so-called Zwickau prophets foretold the imminent return of Christ.

    Who Was Martin Luther?

    They wanted to tear down and destroy all religious images, statues, and altarpieces. They even proposed radical changes to the sacraments, the most dramatic of which was their rejection of the rite of baptism for children and a demand that adults be rebaptized. Despite savage repression, Anabaptism periodically flared up during the following years.

    Another serious threat to the established order was the struggle unleashed by the peasants in and A revolt erupted across huge swaths of Germany. Luther may have been a theological radical, but he was not a social reformer. On hearing news of these movements, he voiced his opposition.

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    Having left Wartburg Castle in , he upbraided all Christians who were taking part in insurrections against authority. In May the peasants were defeated in Frankenhausen, and their leader was executed. Rebuilt in the early s on the site of an earlier church, All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany, is where Martin Luther was laid to rest in France straddled the fault line, and for much of the later 16th century was engulfed by religious conflict. Years of Catholic-Protestant tensions in England prompted the Pilgrims to embark for the New World in the Mayflower, and laid the foundations for the English Civil War—events that stemmed from the actions of an obscure monk, on an October day exactly five hundred years ago.

    How Martin Luther Started a Religious Revolution Five hundred years ago, a humble German friar challenged the Catholic church, sparked the Reformation, and plunged Europe into centuries of religious strife. History The Protestant Reformation. By Josep Palau Orta. Historian and author Josep Palau Orta is a specialist in religion in 16th-century Europe.