Luther influenced the way we celebrate Christmas today.
Five centuries ago, children received gifts on December 6th for St. Nicholas Day, a tradition that still continues in many European countries today. Luther wanted to emphasize the importance of Christ’s birth on December 25th, so he started a family celebration now known as Christmas.
As a gift for his son, he wrote the Christmas carol Von Himmel hoch, or From Heaven above to earth I come…
To find out more about Luther's life, please click here.
The more you read and learn about Martin Luther (or Luder, as he was called when he was born), the more impressive he becomes.
He was ferociously
intellectual and yet he enjoyed his beer and food.
He was as stubborn as a mule and yet great company, leaving thousands of witty, memorable quotes.
He trained as a monk and yet went on to marry a former nun and become a family man.
He suffered from painful illnesses, such as kidney stones, and yet he continued to write and preach hundreds of sermons until just before his death.
He also wrote music, including hymns that still bring joy today. Who has not sung or heard A Mighty Fortress Is Our God? Luther’s words have been translated into dozens of languages and the melody is still as stirring as it was over 480 years ago.
It was in 1508 that the 24-year-old German monk moved from Erfurt to Wittenberg, graduating from student to professor and serving as a priest. On October 31, 1517, a simple act changed history: the nailing of Luther’s 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church.
In 2017, LutherCountry and Protestant communities around the world will celebrate Luther’s famous act of defiance. These 95 Theses encouraged many to question the teachings and dogma of the Roman Catholic Church; Martin Luther’s thinking led to the movement now known as the Protestant Reformation.
Portrait of Martin Luther by Cranach
Luther Statue in Wittenberg
Luther Memorial in Wittenberg