Sunday, June 21, 2009

The life of Martin Luther

October 31 is Halloween, but some people instead recognize it as Reformation Day in celebration of Martin Luther. For several years in a row, Johannes Koehler has produced a LEGO scene illustrating events from Luther's life on this date.

In 1505 Luther was caught in a tremendous thunderstorm while traveling in the countryside. He prayed to Saint Anne for protection, and promised to become a monk if he survived the storm.

As a monk, Luther became disillusioned by certain practices of the Roman Catholic Church, particularly the selling of indulgences. On October 31, 1517 he nailed 95 theses to the door of the Wittenburg church, calling for a debate on these issues.

In April of 1521, he was called before the Diet of Worms, over which Emperor Charles V presided. Luther refused to recant his views and was labeled a heretic.

As he returned from Worms, Luther was seized by the forces of Prince Frederick III of Saxony and hidden in Wartburg castle. Frederick was a patron of Luther and wanted to protect him from others who would likely execute him.

While in Wartburg, Luther started his translation of the Bible. There is a legend that one night in his study, Luther was accosted by the Devil himself. Luther threw an inkwell at him and Satan ran away.

BTW, these are Jojo's offerings from 2006, 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2003, respectively. If he produces another illustration this year for Reformation Day, I'll be sure to post it here.

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