Did Martin Luther believe in the Immaculate Conception of Mary?
Here’s a recent tidbit from Taylor Marshall’s blog that will likely raise a few eyebrows, pique a few sensitivities, and elicit a few comments around Christian blogdom, from both sides of the Tiber.
It seems that Martin Luther, that once Augustinian priest turned Revolutionary, upheld belief in the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (even before it was declared a dogmatic doctrine in 1854 by Pope Pius IX). The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception holds that Mary was preserved from original sin at her conception and from all sin during her life — that she was conceived, lived, and died without any taint of sin.
The eminent Lutheran scholar Arthur Carl Piepkorn (1907-73) has also confirmed that Luther believed in the Immaculate Conception even as a Protestant. Here is Martin Luther in his own words:
“It is a sweet and pious belief that the infusion of Mary’s soul was effected without original sin; so that in the very infusion of her soul she was also purified from original sin and adorned with God’s gifts, receiving a pure soul infused by God; thus from the first moment she began to live she was free from all sin”
– Martin Luther’s Sermon “On the Day of the Conception of the Mother of God,” 1527.
“She is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin—something exceedingly great. For God’s grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil.
– Martin Luther’s Little Prayer Book, 1522.
Both quotations derive from Luther’s writings after his break from Rome.
Far be it from me to approve of Luther. I only list these quotes to show how far Protestantism has come from it’s quasi-Catholic origin. If only Lutherans would return to this single doctrine of their founder; how quickly our Lady would turn them into true Catholics! (continue reading . . .)