Saturday, January 11, 2014

Katharina von Bora- Hero of Faith

 About five years ago I read the book
  The Top 100 Women of the Christian Faith by Jewell Johnson.
 The stories of wonderful faith-filled women of all denominations
 and thoughout hundreds years of history. 
Katharina von Bora was among the women included in the stories. 
One Lutheran woman. 
I began to think about the names of other Lutheran women
that I could name in our heritage of faith.
Almost 500 years of history.
I know a lot of women of faith that are contemporaries of mine.
But, what about the faith stories of other Lutheran women ?
50 years ago?
100 years ago?
300 years ago?
It made me think.

This summer at the LCMS Synodical convention in St. Louis,
 I found a series of books called Hero of Faith.
The Hero of Faith biography series for young readers
 features the stories of 4 men and 4 women.

One of the books is Katharina von Bora
by Jane L. Fryar and illustrated by Deborah White.
Written in 2011, and published by Concordia Publishing House.

Katharina was born on January 29, 1499 in Germany near Hirschfeld,
and grew up in a Benedictine convent in Brehna.
Later, her father paid a fee to have her
transferred to a Cistercian cloister in Nimbschen.
It was rough and strict in this "silent" cloister.
After her postulate, (a trial period) her took her vows at age 16.

Even in this secluded life,
 news of the outside seeped in
 and they began to hear of the writings of a man named Martin Luther.

They read the smuggled in writings about a God of grace and freedom.
A group of 12 nuns came up with a bold plan
and wrote to Martin Luther for help in escaping the convent-
a serious act punishable by death.
Martin prayed about this situation and finally on Easter Sunday-1523, and
 with the help of his friend Leonhard Koppe, they escaped into the new world.
  Some of the nuns returned to family and some married friends of Martin Luther.
Only Katharina remained in Wittenberg.
Luther proposed and they were married in 1525 and moved into the Black Cloister.
Katie- as Luther called her, worked hard to cook, clean and manage Lutherhaus.
Katie ran everything as Martin focused on his work- teaching and writing.
The Luthers had six children of their own and raised 4 orphaned children.
Martin and Katie had the sad loss of two of their children-
Elizabeth at 8 months and Magdalene at age 13.

Katie was a capable and creative wife, mother and caregiver.
She was welcomed at the Table Talk conversations
 in her home and her opinion was valued and appreciated by Martin and others.

Martin died in 1546, and she was left with no income or provision.
 Wars swept the country,
 some friends helped out,
 and then they fled because of the Black Plague.
In a cart accident, Katie was hurt and became worse in the months to follow.
Katie died on Dec 20, 1552, at the age of 53.
Her legacy?
Katie allowed the Holy Spirit to shape her life to serve Him.
Her life and marriage became the model
 for many people seeking to live faith-filled lives of service.

Katharina's life was an example of loving Jesus
 and serving Him.
A story that inspires us yet today- 500 years later.

This easy to read story is great for your family faith library.

The next Lutheran woman - Hero of Faith: Dorothea Benthien Craemer

The book referred to at the beginning of this post.

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