Day 984: Here I Stand

Tradition holds that when Martin Luther appeared before the Imperial Diet of Worms and was asked to recant his teachings, he said, “Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise.”  There is no evidence that he actually said this.  The record indicates that what he said was, “Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”  However, since the former is easier to remember and more commonly believed and since hoards of tourists were coming to Wittenberg celebrating the Reformation’s 500th anniversary, it is not surprising that socks bearing the inscription, “Here I stand,” were for sale in souvenir shops.  Laetitia also heard a rumor that condoms were for sale that bore the same inscription, but she was not able to confirm it.

Records from the Worms Diet extant
At which Luther refused to recant
Lack the words, “Here I stand”
But, now it’s his brand
Found on goods with a souvenir slant.

Day 983: Wittenberg (Cranach)

In an age when most people couldn’t read, the paintings of Lucas Cranach, the Elder, were an important way of conveying the theology of the Reformation to the public.  He lived, worked, and taught in Luther’s Wittenberg and a number of his works reside there.  In Cranach’s painting, Ten Commandments, on display in Luther’s home, commandment breakers are generally depicted in yellow and often have devilish creatures on their shoulders.

Cranach was a most clever fellow
Who liked to paint sinners in yellow
With devils nearby
To catch the viewer’s eye
And convince folks that sin wasn’t mellow.

Day 982: Wittenberg (Katharina)

Laetitia led a tour in Wittenberg, Upper Saxony, Germany.  The city is famous as the birthplace of the Reformation, 500 years ago.  They toured the Castle Church where Martin Luther posted his 95 theses and the homes of other Reformation leaders such as Philipp Melanchthon and Lucas Cranach, the Elder.  They also visited the Stadkirche (city church) where Martin and Katharina were married and the former monastery where the Luthers then resided.  By all accounts, Katharina was a very capable wife, who raised ten children (six of her own and four adopted) and, in addition to running the household, managed a farm and a brewery.

Katharina, whom Luther held dear,
Played a role in the Reformation’s sphere
That was worthy and eminent
And this lady preeminent
Also brewed immense volumes of beer.

Day 981: Kristina O’Donnelly

When Laetitia isn’t leading imaginary tours she likes to read.  Recently she ventured into the novels of Kristina O’Donnelly.  These are tales of adventure, romance, myth, and magic that transcend place and time.

Kristina O’Donnelly’s books
Can be read using Kindles and Nooks
Transcending time and place,
With fate, myth and embrace
And adventure wherever one looks.