Personalities & Contemporary Witnesses
Read interesting contemporary witness reports and biographies of confidants and opponents of Luther.
Personalities & contemporary witnesses
"I was by Luther’s side during the final few weeks of his life. We were in Eisleben at the time. Martin – who was a respected arbiter – was there to settle a dispute between the Counts of Mansfeld. He had grown tired and listless and always suffering from a chill. Luther sensed that his time on Earth was nigh but he mediated the settlement talks deftly anyway. Of course he also held a sermon for the people of Eisleben at the Church of St. Andrew. As soon as these Counts finally got on with each other again, Luther said at the time, he would lie down in his coffin and give the maggots a fine doctor to consume. At about one o’clock in the morning, during the night of 18 February 1546, Luther called me to his bedside.
He was not feeling well and kept repeating the prayer ‘take my blessed soul’. A number of doctors came and rubbed potent spirits over his body in an effort to improve his circulation, but to no avail. Luther died in the early morning hours, still and patient as always. He did not fear death. The painter Lucas Furttenagel drew a sketch of his face and took his death mask. Afterward, we laid his body in repose at St. Andrew’s and sounded the church bells so that the people of Eisleben could come pay their respects and say goodbye. We sent messengers carrying news of Luther’s death to Halle, Leipzig, Torgau and Wittenberg. From Eisleben, we brought Luther’s coffin to the Church of St. Mary in Halle. We would also stop in Bitterfeld and Kemberg before eventually reaching Wittenberg. Luther was entombed in the Wittenberg Castle Church on 22 February."
Born on June 5, 1493 in Nordhausen
Died on October 9, 1555 in Eisfeld
Lutheran theologian and reformer