Martin Luther, the hero of the Reformation, was born in the village of Eisleben on November 10, 1483. In 1505 he entered an Augustinian monastery at Erfurt, was consecrated to the priesthood in 1507, and was very faithful to all the regulations of the order. He afterwards said: "If ever a monk got to heaven by monkery, I was determined to get there." He was a diligent scholar, and in 1508 was called to the chair of Philosophy in the University of Wittenberg. In the meantime he made a pilgrimage to Rome, where he saw much corruption among the clergy; but still his faith was strong in the Roman Church. It was the shameless sale of indulgences by Tetzel, authorized by Leo X., that first opened his eyes and determined him to make public opposition. On October 31, 1517, at midday, Luther posted his ninety-five Theses against the Merits of Indulgences on the church door at Wittenberg. That day was the birthday of the Reformation.
Biography adapted from Hymns and Hymn Writers of the Church by Charles S. Nutter.