Martin and Katherine Luther
Katharina bore Martin Luther six children: Johannes (Hans) (1526–1575), Elizabeth (1527–28) who died at eight months, Magdalena (1529–42) who died at thirteen years, Martin Jr. (1531–1565), Paul (1533–1593), and Margarete (1534–70); in addition she suffered a miscarriage in 1539. The Luthers also raised four orphan children, including Katharina's nephew, Fabian.
Throughout Luther's writings, one can obtain a sense of Katharina's wit and personality, as seen in this exchange:
Martin Luther said, "The time will come when a man will take more than one wife."
Katharina responded, "Let the devil believe that!"
Martin Luther "The reason, Katie, is that a woman can bear a child only once a year while her husband can beget many."
Katie responded, "Paul said that each man should have his own wife."
Martin Luther replied, "Yes, 'his own wife' and not 'only one wife,' for the latter isn't what Paul wrote." Her husband kidded with her for a long time and finally:
Katherine said, "Before I put up with this, I'd rather go back to the convent and leave you and all our children.
Martin Luther truly loved his "Katie!" From his writings we have been able to find some pet names he had for her.
Katherine Luther's Pet Names
- My lord Katie
- The Morning Star of Wittenberg (she arose at 4:00 AM each day to tend to her various duites)
- The Boss of Zulsdorf (the name of the farm they owned)
Katherine Luther's duties included:
- She administered and tended to the lands and grounds of the farm/monastery
- Breeding and selling cattle
- Running a brewery (she was a "Master-Brewer)
- Managed the steady stream of visitors and students who flocked to see Martin
- Ran a hospital on the grounds and served alongside the nurses when needed
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