The first of “50 People Every Christian Should Know”, Warren Wiersbe publishes a short biographical sketch of Katherine von Bora. I did not recognize the name immediately, but within moments I recalled the beloved wife of that courageous reformer, Martin Luther. I enjoyed the short essay on Katherine more than I first expected. I expect that there is more to the great reformer in Katherine than is commonly known.
In this biography, Wiersbe addressed Luther’s love for Katherine as an adoring kind of love. If you’ve ever read a biography on Martin Luther you would recall that he was likely a difficult man to get along with. Making the relationship with Katherine endearing.
Because Luther refused to receive money from books, Katherine accepted that she would likely live in some level of poverty. When they met, Luther was already in trouble with the Roman Catholic Church for his teaching and publications that called the pope into question and the churches methodology as in conflict with Scripture.
Katherine was a manager of Luther’s affairs with care and dignity. She was a productive gardener. She managed a successful farmers market of sorts that helped her barter for other needs the family needed.
Katherine not only took care of their children, but also extended family’s children and others in the community. Luther regularly had other ministers living in their home as well.
The Table Talk of Martin Luther, is still among the most successful publications of Luther over the years. It is largely a collection of conversations between Martin and Katherine around the table at meal time. I have just started reading it.
It must have been a complicated thing to be married to such a man as Martin Luther. Wiersbee, shared some insightful conversations between them.
Luther about Katherine: “Have I not at home a fair wife, or shall I say boss?”
His nickname for Katherine was, “Kitty, my rib.”
They regularly bantered about the timing of meals and the food getting cold. Katherine would say; “Doctor, why don’t you stop talking and eat?” He would often reply, “I wish women would repeat the Lord’s Prayer before opening their mouths.” All sources lead one to believe that Martin Luther adored his “Kitty, my rib.” All sources lead one to believe that Kitty loved Martin.
I’m glad to know more of Katherine von Bora. She’s an example of a godly woman. You should get to know about her too.