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Katherina von Bora

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FC: The Life of Katherina Von Bora

2: Katherina Von Bora was the wife of the great Martin Luther. She was born on January 29,1499 in Lippendorf, Germany.

3: She had lived in a convent since she was three; her father had taken her there after her mother's death.

4: When Katherina and the several other nuns heard of Martin Luther's biblical teachings,they wanted to leave the cloisters. When Luther heard of this, he encouraged a merchant friend to help them escape.

6: One evening in 1523, the merchant bundled twelve nuns into his wagon in the empty fish barrels

7: Several of the nuns that escaped with Katherina went back home to live with their families. Katherina didn't really want this for her life, she wanted to move on and find a husband.

8: Luther helped find homes, husbands, or positions for the rest. Within two years after their escape, all the nuns had been provided for except one--Katherina.

10: Gradually, through the persuasion of friends and his father, Luther proposed to marry Katie himself. Luther had been given the building of the Augustinian monastery at Wittenberg by the Elector, and into the monastery Katie moved after her marriage in 1525.

12: She cleaned up the monastery and brought some order to Luther's daily life.

13: After a year of marriage Luther wrote another friend, "My Katie is in all things so obliging and pleasing to me that I would not exchange my poverty for the riches of Croesus." Luther, the former celibate monk, now exalted marriage, exclaiming, "There is no bond on earth so sweet, nor any separation so bitter, as that which occurs in a good marriage."

14: Katie managed the finances of the family and helped free Luther's mind for his work of writing, teaching, and ministering. Luther called her the "morning star of Wittenberg" since she rose at 4 a.m. to care for her many responsibilities. She took care of the vegetable garden, orchard, fishpond, and barnyard animals, even to the butchering of them herself.

17: In time the Luthers had six children and also raised four orphan children; the family became a model for German families for several centuries. Luther viewed marriage as a school for character. Family life helped train Christians in the virtues of fortitude, patience, charity, and humility.

18: When Martin Luther died in 1546, Katharina was left in difficult financial straits without Luther's salary as professor and pastor. She was asked to move out of the old abbey and into much more modest quarters with the children who remained at home, but she initially refused. Almost immediately thereafter, Katharina had to leave the Black Cloister on her own at the outbreak of the Schmalkaldic War, from which she fled to Magdeburg

20: In July of that year, at the close of the war, she was at last able to return to Wittenberg. The buildings and lands of the monastery had been torn apart and laid waste. Economically, they could not remain there. Katharina was able to support herself thanks to the generosity of John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony and the princes of Anhalt. She remained in Wittenberg in poverty until 1552, when an outbreak of the Black Plague and a harvest failure forced her to leave the city once again. She fled to Torgau where her cart was involved in a bad accident near the city gates, seriously injuring Katharina.

21: She died in Torgau about three months later on December 20, 1552 at the age of fifty-three and was buried at Torgau's Saint Mary's Church, far from her husband's grave in Wittenberg

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