Martin Luther was a Roman Catholic theologian and Augustinian Friar who began the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. The publication of his 95 theses on October 31st 1517 called into question some of practices then in vogue in the Catholic Church. The Theses and other writings gained numerous followers who split from the Catholic Church.
Martin Luther was born in Eisleben in present day Germany in November 1483. Having joined the Augustinian Order he was ordained a priest in 1507. He began teaching at the University of Wittenberg and was made a Doctor of Theology in 1512. He visited Rome in 1510 where some of the corrupt practices he witnessed there, led him to publish his Theses.
He was excommunicated by Pope Leo X in 1521 and declared a heretic and outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. His writings however became popular across northern and eastern Europe. Luther made the bible accessible to the laity by translating it into the German language. He made strong written attacks on people of the Jewish faith saying their homes should be destroyed and their liberty curtailed. Luther married a former nun with whom he had six children. He died on February 18th 1546 at the age of 62.
Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic priest who began the Protestant Reformation in 16th-century Europe, was born in the year 1483 On This Day.