How did Martin Luther die

Luther's last days in Eisleben Pain and sweats

Martin Luther set out from Wittenberg on January 23, 1546 and traveled to Eisleben via Halle and Rissdorf. He complied with the request to arbitrate a dispute between the Counts zu Mansfeld, Gebhard and Albrecht that had been going on for years. The two didn't even speak to each other anymore. It was about the new town, the construction of which Luther had given great support with the St. Annen congregation.

Luther himself found the task onerous. As he wrote, the assignment was: "... arduous and completely alien to my inclinations and mentality and very uncomfortable for my age."

He also complained of health problems such as an oppressive heart and sweating. Already marked by illness and exhaustion, Luther said a few days before his death: "I was born and baptized here in Eisleben; as if it were God's good that I should die here too!"

In the church of St. Andrew above the market square, Luther gave four more sermons. He had to stop the last one because of a faint attack. The pulpit is still preserved today. It is one of the showpieces in the Luther exhibition "Here I stand" in the USA. It had previously been restored in Halle.

Luther's three sons were also on their deathbed

Luther died one night in the house of the Drachstedt family on the market - of a heart attack after several attacks of angina pectoris. In his last hours he was surrounded by numerous relatives, companions and friends, some of whom had rushed to Eisleben to be present at the hour of death.

This group included Luther's servant Ambrosius Rudtfeldt, Luther's student Johannes Aurifaber and Justus Jonas. Luther's three sons Johannes, Martin and Paul were also there. The pastor of St. Andrew's Church, Michael Coelius, and the two city doctors also met. Count Albrecht had also rushed up from Mansfeld. The countess rubbed Luther with aquavit to relieve the pain.

In accordance with his theological and Reformation views, Luther renounced the Catholic sacrament of death of the last unction. Instead, he prayed and said one final creed.

The next day the painter Lukas Furtnagel from Halle recorded the picture of the deceased as a drawing. He also took a wax print of the face as a death mask. The body was then transferred to Wittenberg and laid out at several stations.

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