Sunday, 3 June 2012

Katherina Von Bora

I was just listening to a Mark Driscoll sermon which referenced Katherina Von Bora, the wife of Martin Luther aka the main man of the Protestant Reformation.

I didn't even realise he was married, let alone that it was such a brilliant story so I thought I'd share..

Its 1523 and Luther has released a pamphlet entitled 'On Monastic Vows' which shares his views on the vows of celibacy that nuns and monks make. He was radically separating from the Catholic church and part of this was promoting the idea of marriage as a Godly, worthy option rather than simply as the preserve of the weak willed. 

Now, this pamphlet found its way into the nunnery where Katherina had lived since she was a little girl. her and 11 other nuns read it and thought that they would quite like to give the marriage thing a go. So they sent ML a letter which I imagine ran along the lines of 

'Dude, bust us out of this joint'.

So Luther sent in some barrels of herrings and the Nuns duly escaped. Somewhat miraculously given what I can only assume would be their strong fishy body odor, Luther proceeded to help find all of the nuns either good husbands or respectable occupation, 

all except one.

Our heroine Katherina has a bit of a reputation for not being the most compliant of women (I like her already). She does have some suitors but it doesn't work out. 

Justifiably annoyed at her somewhat precarious situation (and I can't confirm sources for this but I really hope this is how it went down!) she stomps up to Luther and basically says 'Your stupid pamphlet got me into this situation and you can flipping well get me out of it. I'll marry either you or that Nikolaus von Amsdorf character.' 

Luther is surprised, though he now fully supports marriage it seems he hadn't considered it for himself. After thinking about it all for a while he comes up with this gem:

“my marriage would please my father, rile the pope, cause the angels to laugh and the devils to weep.” source

How could such a romantic beginning fail? In no time at all the two were inseparable best friends and to all intents and purposes shared a wonderful marriage.

he said in 11 August 1526: "My Katie is in all things so obliging and pleasing to me that I would not exchange my poverty for the riches of Croesus'  source 

I really love the pragmatism of the whole thing, perhaps a new way to approach finding a husband? Single ladies take note!