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Martin Luther: A Timeline

posted Sep 29, 2017, 3:58 PM by Russell D. Hampton
Martin Luther
November 10, 1483: Martin Luther is born to Hans and Margarethe Luther in Eisleben, Germany
November 11, 1483: Martin Luther is baptized on St. Martin’s Day
1484: The Luther family moves to Mansfeld where later Martin is sent to the Latin schools
1497: Martin is sent to school in Magdesburg and in 1498 to school in Eisenach – Luther compared his education at this point to “purgatory and hell”
1501: at age 19, Luther attends the University at Erfurt
1505: Luther attains a Master’s degree; enters law school but drops out the same year
July 2, 1505: Luther is caught in a terrifying thunderstorm and prays “Help St. Anna, I will become a monk.”
July 17, 1505: Luther joins the St. Augustinian Monastery, the “Black Cloister” in Erfurt
April 3, 1507: Luther is ordained a priest
1508: Luther is sent to University of Wittenburg to teach theology
March 9, 1508: Luther attains a Bachelor’s degree in Bible studies and in 1509 a degree in “Sentences”
1510: Luther walks 800 miles from Erfurt to Rome; he is shocked by what he sees in Rome
October 19, 1512: Luther attains a PhD in Theology; October 21 becomes faculty chair of Theology at Wittenburg
1515: Luther becomes the Vicar of Saxony and Thuringia
1516: Johann Tetzel, Commissioner of Indulgences is sent to Germany
October 31, 1517: The “95 Theses” or “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power of the Efficacy of Indulgences” is posted, and sent to Pope Leo X in December
January 1518: Friends of Luther translate the 95 theses from Latin to German, and thanks to the invention of the printing press, within 2 months it is spread throughout Europe
October 1518: Augsburg Imperial Diet: Luther is questioned by Cardinal Cajetan and spends 3 days defending himself
June-July 1519: Johann Eck debates Luther and is devoted to Luther’s defeat
June 15, 1520: Luther receives a Papal Bull (edict) that, unless he recants, he risks excommunication
December 10, 1520: Luther sets fire to the Papal Bull at Wittenburg
January 3, 1521: Pope Leo X excommunicates Luther
April 18, 1521: Diet of Worms, general assembly of estates of the Holy Roman Empire, Luther again is asked to recant all his writings which he cannot do
May 25, 1521: Emporer Charles V declares Luther an outlaw; Luther is “kidnapped” and taken to Wartburg Castle. Under
the protection of Frederick the Wise of Saxony, he is known as “Knight George”
March 1522: Luther secretly returns to Wittenburg and preaches the “Invocavit Sermons” on the Christian virtues of love, patience, charity, and freedom, and not violence for change
April 1523: Luther helps 12 nuns escape a convent in Nimbschen, smuggling them out in herring barrels. One of the nuns was Katharina von Bora
June 13, 1525: Luther marries Katie (age 26), Luther (age 41) and moves into former “Black Cloister” monastery; has 6 children from 1526-1534
1525-1529: Luther organizes a new church, publishes a German Liturgy and Mass; establishes a supervisory church body; does not want the church to be called Lutheran
1531-46: Luther’s health deteriorates and preaches his last sermon on February 15, 1546
February 18, 1546: Luther dies in Eisleban, the city of his birth; buried in the Castle Church of Wittenburg beneath the pulpit. The Pope declares that Luther’s remains not be disturbed
Throughout his life, Luther was a prolific writer, the most popular and most printed of his day, making him the source of “social media” of the day. His love of music also gave us many hymns still used today.