Archive for October 31st, 2013

We are taking a step back in time to brush up on a significant event that happened hundreds of years ago on this very day. Yes, it was Halloween Day when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church. This one defiant act helped bring about the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

On this day in 1517, the priest and scholar Martin Luther approaches the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and nails a piece of paper to it containing the 95 revolutionary opinions that would begin the Protestant Reformation.

In his theses, Luther condemned the excesses and corruption of the Roman Catholic Church, especially the papal practice of asking payment—called “indulgences”—for the forgiveness of sins. At the time, a Dominican priest named Johann Tetzel, commissioned by the Archbishop of Mainz and Pope Leo X, was in the midst of a major fundraising campaign in Germany to finance the renovation of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Though Prince Frederick III the Wise had banned the sale of indulgences in Wittenberg, many church members traveled to purchase them. When they returned, they showed the pardons they had bought to Luther, claiming they no longer had to repent for their sins. Click here to learn more.

For those of you in the Colorado area, the Passages Exhibit in Colorado Springs has a handwritten letter by Martin Luther written the night before he was excommunicated by the Church. The Passages Exhibit is an unforgettable tour with hundreds of artifacts. I highly recommend it.

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