“This young man was Martin Luther” by Roland Bainton

“On a sultry day in July of the year 1505 a lonely traveler was trudging over an arched road on the outskirts of the Saxon village of Stotternheim. He was a young man, short but sturdy, and wore the dress of a university student. As he approached the village, the sky became overcast. Suddenly there was a shower, then a crashing storm. A bolt of lightning rived the gloom and knocked the man to the ground. Struggling to rise, he cried in terror, ‘St. Anne help me! I will become a monk.’

The man who thus called upon a saint was later to repudiate the cult of the saints. He who vowed to become a monk was later to renounce monasticism. A loyal son of the Catholic Church, he was later to shatter the structure of medieval Catholicism. A devoted servant of the pope, he was later to identify the popes with Antichrist. For this young man was Martin Luther.”

–Roland H. Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (New York: Penguin, 1995), p. 15.

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