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Luther on Medieval Piety

5 Minutes in Church History with Stephen Nichols

Ligonier Ministries

Religion & Spirituality, Christianity, History

4.81.6K Ratings

🗓️ 14 February 2024

⏱️ 5 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Many people in the medieval church believed their works could earn God's favor. Today, Stephen Nichols looks at a sermon that Martin Luther preached against this false idea, expounding the true riches of God's grace in salvation.

Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/luther-on-medieval-piety/

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Welcome back to another episode of five minutes in church history and a few short days on the 18th to be exact it will be the 478th anniversary of


Martin Luther's death he He died on February 18, 1546. Well, in honor of our good friend Martin Luther,


we'll talk about him on this week's episode.


I want to go back to one of his early sermons.


It's from 1519, and it was a sermon that he also turned into a treatise on Passion Week. Now to understand why Luther is


preaching on this it happened to coincide with Passion Week in the year 1519. But Passion Week was an essential and very central part to


medieval piety. It was very much part of that works system of earning merits to somehow gain God's favor.


And over the centuries of the medieval church, Passion Week and various practices around it, Luther was very quick to say,


extra biblical practices around it evolved in the medieval Roman Catholic Church.


Passion Week tended to focus on the torture, the physical


torture of Christ and this evolved into what were called the stations of the


Cross and so the penitent would meditate at each of these


stations of the cross to almost feel as it were the physical torture of punishment of Christ. Passion Week and


the medieval church practices also focused on the people who were part of the


Passion Week story and legends grew up around people that aren't even a


mention in the biblical narrative, the gospel narratives of the events around


Christ's cross.


One of those figures is Veronica and so-called


Saint Veronica's veil.


Veronica was believed to be was along the path, the Via della Rosa's, Christ carried his cross, and she wiped


the sweat and blood from Jesus's face, and as she did that, the image of Jesus' face then imprinted on the cloth.


And that cloth is known as St. Veronica's Vale, and it was housed in the Vatican in St. Peter's Basilica.


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