The Immaculate Virgin

Luther, Martin (1483-1546)

Ayn Sermon am tag unser Frawen Liechtme├č gethon zuo Witemberg durch Doctor Marthin Luther. Im Jar MDXXIII.

Augsburg: Melchior Ramminger, 1523


Quarto: 20 x 15 cm. [8] pp. Collation A4

One of five editions all printed in 1523.

Modern boards. A fine copy with a beautiful four-part title page border, the lower register of which shows a stag hunt. There is also a small woodcut of the Virgin, balancing on the crescent moon, and holding the infant Christ.

A sermon for Lichtmeß (Candlemas), the feast of the presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple and the purification of Mary (February 2). Jesus takes as his text Luke 2:22-39.

For the complexities of Luther’s evolving Mariology, see Thomas O'Meara, Mary in Protestant and Catholic Theology (1966). “Luther's attitude toward the theology of Mary and toward the devotion which a Christian should have to the Mother of God is a small-scale representation of his entire religious accomplishment. During any discussion of Luther and the Blessed Virgin we must keep uppermost in our minds that there was a development in his ideas, a change more or less drastic in each aspect of Marian theology. This development has its beginning in Catholicism; it passes through contradictions, struggles, and uncertainties, and terminates in a new Marian viewpoint, one which Luther decided was Christocentric, biblical, unexaggerated, and edifying.”(p. 123)

Benzing 1746; VD16 L-6084