Catharina von Bora (1499 - 1552)

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Nicknames: "Catharina von Bora"
Birthplace: Lippendorf, Germany
Death: Died in Torgau, Germany
Managed by: Michael King
Last Updated:

About Catharina von Bora

In historischen Romanen und Erzählungen findet sich neuerdings die Darstellung, dass sie in Hirschfeld bei Nossen geboren worden sei, und dass ihre Eltern ein Hans von Bora zu Hirschfeld und eine Anna geborene von Haugwitz gewesen seien.[7] Beide sind historisch nicht nachweisbar.[8] Trotzdem wird der alte Taufstein aus der Hirschfelder Kirche, der heute im Kreuzgang des Freiberger Domes steht, mit ihr in Verbindung gebracht.[9]


Tatsächlich war Katharina wohl die Tochter des nur 1505 sicher belegten Jhan v. Bora auf Lippendorf und seiner ebenfalls nur 1505 erwähnten Ehefrau Margarete aus einer bislang unbekannten Familie (German Wikipedia)

Katharina von Bora, one of 12 nuns Martin Luther had helped escape from a convent two years earlier. Katharina was 26, Luther 41 years old. Ironically, the couple’s first home was a former monastery, a gift from John the Constant. They would have six children, four of whom lived to adulthood.

Katharina was an avid gardener, cattle breeder and competent Lady of the house and her and Martin led a happy life together. Many of Luther's circle of friends and supporters were dismayed by his marriage.

The Luther's lived in the Augustinian monastery, a bustling and happy home. They had many houseguests and boarders, including students and widows who would provide some much needed income, in addition to Luther's modest income, towards the running of the household.

Luther would sometimes jokingly refer to her as Lord Kate' because of her bossy and commandeering motherly ways, though no doubt it was necessary at times.

Luther's sisters' six children would live with them after her death. Katharina von Bora was born in 1499, the daughter of an impoverished nobleman. In 1504 she went to the convent school of the Benedict order in Brehna (near Halle) and entered the convent of Nimbschen (near Grimma; only in german) in 1508. In 1515 she took her vows and became a nun at the soonest possible date. Easter of 1523, Katherina fled with 11 other nuns from the convent in Nimbschen to Wittenberg and found shelter with the family of Lucas Cranach the Elder.

She developed feelings for Hicronymus Baumgärtner, a student at the Wittenberg University and the son of a Nuremberg patrician family. His parents sent for him, and even Luther's attempts at negotiations failed. She was then courted by pastor Glatz, a lecturer from Orlamünde but she refused him. She supposedly told Nikolaus von Amsdorf that she wanted to marry Luther, but Luther would rather marry Ave von Schönfeld, another former nun from Nimbschen. 
On June 13, 1525 Katharina got engaged and married to Luther; the wedding celebration took place on June 27, 1525. 

Philipp Melanchthon is quoted as having said: "Unexpectedly Luther married Bora, without even mentioning his plans to his friends..." in 1525.

Henceforth, Katharina Luther put the household in order, used the monestary's right to brew beer, leased land for gardening and bred cattle.

On June 7, 1526 Martin and Katharina's first son, Johannes (Hans), was born, on December 10, 1527 a daughter, Elisabeth, was born, but died after 8 months; the daughter, Magdalena, born on May 4, 1529, died at age 13. In 1531, 1533, and 1534, their sons, Martin and Paul, and daughter, Margarethe were born. All living descendants of Martin Luther come from Margarethe's line. 

Katharina fled from the Smalkaldian War in 1546 to Dessau and then to Magdeburg. She died on December 20, 1552 in Torgau where she had fled to get away from the plague in Wittenberg.

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Catharina von Bora's Timeline

1499
January 29, 1499
Lippendorf, Germany

In historischen Romanen und Erzählungen findet sich neuerdings die Darstellung, dass sie in Hirschfeld bei Nossen geboren worden sei, und dass ihre Eltern ein Hans von Bora zu Hirschfeld und eine Anna geborene von Haugwitz gewesen seien.[7] Beide sind historisch nicht nachweisbar.[8] Trotzdem wird der alte Taufstein aus der Hirschfelder Kirche, der heute im Kreuzgang des Freiberger Domes steht, mit ihr in Verbindung gebracht.[9]

Tatsächlich war Katharina wohl die Tochter des nur 1505 sicher belegten Jhan v. Bora auf Lippendorf und seiner ebenfalls nur 1505 erwähnten Ehefrau Margarete aus einer bislang unbekannten Familie
(German wikipedia)

1525
June 13, 1525
Age 26
Wittneberg, Germany
1526
June 7, 1526
Age 27
Eisleben, Germany
1527
December 12, 1527
Age 28
Eisleben, Germany
1529
May 4, 1529
Age 30
Eisleben, Germany
1531
November 9, 1531
Age 32
Eisleben, Germany
1533
January 29, 1533
Age 34
Eisleben, Germany
1534
December 17, 1534
Age 35
Wittenberg
1552
December 20, 1552
Age 53
Torgau, Germany
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