Study. Frederick III, the Wise Mentor of Martin Luther. By Fabian Massa.

Translated from Spanish to English with Google Translate.


Frederick III, the Wise was born on January 17, 1463 in Torgau, a German city on the Elbe in northwestern Saxony (State located in the center-east of present-day Germany). He was Elector of Saxony (Is it meant was a member of the electoral college that had the function of electing the Emperors of Germany) from 1486-1525.

The Prince made the city a representative Witternberg capital build his Church Palace and the University (1502) where Martin Luther studied theology from 1508 were received in 1509 for his doctorate in 1512.
Luther exercised a professorship in theology at the university, like Philip Melanchthon, who later partnered with Luther in the Reformation. Frederick III had a large collection of relics were kept in the Church of the Palace where in turn he bore the masses.

When Luther nailed the 95 Theses famous Witternberg on October 31, 1517 at the door of the Castle Church, Frederick III, forbade the sale of indulgences in his territory. Luther quickly became an enemy of Rome, but Federico gave coverage and protection.


In 1519 Frederick was a candidate for election as Emperor of Germany, but declined the position and voted in favor of Charles of Habsburg would finally elected emperor by the name of Charles V.

The new Emperor of Germany was a devout Catholic and quickly began a campaign against Luther and his followers. Federico requires that Luther is not banned or detained without being heard before.

The 1520, Pope Leo X had issued the Bull Exsurge Domine, demanding that Luther retract 41 of the 95 theses criticizing the practices and customs of the Catholic Church. Luther was summoned by the Emperor to appear before the Imperial Diet. Frederick III, obtained a concession by which Luther was given a pass to go and return to the meeting place. Such a guarantee was essential, but not sure much: In 1415 Jan Hus, who was tried and executed though it had a similar pass.


In 1521 he was invited Luther to the Diet of Worms and is assured a pass again. Once I heard and out of Worms, Charles V outlawed by the Edict of Worms. Luther's life after the Edict was not worth much, Federico simulates a kidnapping on May 4, and make it disappear. Luther is taken to Wartburg Castle near Eisenach, although even he knew where he was, about a year and stayed there. At that time Luther worked steadily in translating the New Testament into German, which was printed in September 1522.

Federico acted from the background, but with him, Luther and reform benefited from a loyal protector, although Federico remained faithful to Catholic doctrine and formed his own opinion after you analyze the facts and wise counselors recognized such as Erasmus of Rotterdam. It was an indirect actor, but in turn essential Reformation.

Only in his last days he admitted Luther's theses, which he never knew. Frederick died in 1525 in his hunting castle Lochau.


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