A catalyst for religious reform, Martin Luther (1483-1546) was born on this day in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, the son of a copper miner. His criticism of the Catholic Church led to the Protestant Reformation.
"If you want to change the world, pick up your pen," he eloquently said and became a university teacher and monk.
In 1517, Luther wrote Ninety-five Theses, or arguments, to protest the Church's practice of selling indulgences, which guaranteed God's forgiveness of sins for the dead. Legends said he nailed his list of grievances on the door of the Wittenberg's All Saints' Church.
"Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light," Luther said and believed that priests had no special power. He urged followers to reject what he called "the corrupt" Church and return to the teachings of the Bible.
Excommunicated in 1521, Luther said, "I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen."
To help ordinary people better understand the Bible, Luther translated the scriptures from Greek to German. His reforms spread across Europe, especially Britain, Germany, and Scandinavia.
An instrument for change, he once said, "The human heart is like a ship on a stormy sea driven about by winds blowing from all four corners of heaven."
More Martin LUTHER Quotations
What you love is holy.