Martin Luther: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Martin Luther.

  • Martin Luther was a 16th century German professor of religion, and a Catholic priest. He is best known for beginning the Protestant Reformation in Europe.
  • He was born in 1483 in Eisleben in the Holy Roman Empire, which today is Germany. He studied Latin, grammar and logic and described these years as like being in Hell.

  • Luther decided to become a monk, joining a friary in Germany in 1505. He made this decision as his life was spared when he was riding a horse during a violent thunderstorm.

Martin Luther

  • Martin Luther began to reject the principles of the established Roman Catholic Church. In 1517, he nailed a paper containing 95 statements to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany.
  • Helped by the newly invented printing press, copies of these statements spread all over Germany. Today, the statements can be seen engraved in a bronze door which replaced the original wooden one.
  • The Pope objected to this and insisted that Luther leave the Church. Luther decided to organize a new Church, the Lutheran Church, despite becoming a wanted man.
  • Martin Luther came up with a new form of worship, wrote a German mass and translated the Bible into German. He also wrote many hymns – often based on events in his own life.
  • In 1524, the peasants revolted, thinking Luther with his radical ideas, was on their side. The peasants demanded more freedom from landowners and over 100,000 of them were killed.
  • In 1525, he married a former nun whom he had smuggled out of a convent in an empty fish barrel. Luther’s marriage made it more acceptable for religious people to get married and have children.
  • Martin Luther died in 1546 and was buried in Castle Church in Wittenberg. He had several ailments including kidney stones, arthritis, vertigo and a cataract in one of his eyes.
  • Martin Luther King, the American pastor and one of the leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement, was named after Martin Luther.