Five hundred years have passed since history was made by Martin Luther and the results of his adamant stood against the Catholic Church of his day. His “95 Theses” nailed to the church door which solidified the belief that the Bible is the authority in Christianity and salvation comes by faith and not works struck a chord throughout his time that would reverberate and impact the world from after that.
His proclamation would drive the wedge between Protestant and Catholic beliefs, forever creating the chasm of separation we know today. While some would call him a heretic, others would call him a hero. His legacy lives on through modern times.
Not only did Martin Luther’s strong stance impact Christianity as a whole, but his position also affected Denmark. Denmark had long been experiencing waves of reformation in various capacities over that time in history. In 1536, however, King Christian III’s massive protestant conformation led to the elimination of Catholic influence with Protestant leadership being placed beneath the crown by force as the Protestant church became the National Church of Denmark.
The King quite controversially set out to wipe Catholicism completely from influencing any and all state matters. Even the University of Copenhagen’s curricula was significantly altered to adhere to the new protestant standards, without a doubt influencing the education of Denmark’s future leaders.
In commemoration of the 500-year jubilee, members of the Danish Royal Family participated in events to mark the occasion. Crown Prince Frederik accompanied by Crown Princess Mary attended a special anniversary concert Tuesday evening, 31 October, along with Their Royal Highnesses Prince Joachim and Princess Marie. They were led by HM Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik at the DR Concert Hall.
In a ceremonial speech marking the anniversary at Christiansborg Castle, HM Queen Margrethe stated: “The Reformation has set a deep track. What Denmark we know today cannot be imagined without the reformation….
“The Danish mother tongue prevailed in church, community and school that emphasis was placed on education and formation that the priests could now marry and become family fathers and citizens of society like everyone else, as well as the disappearance of all intermediaries between the individual and God so that each individual was given the responsibility to know and understand the words of the scripture.
“It is my hope that Martin Luther, as controversial he may be, will still be able to engage and inspire us 500 years after the Reformator initiated the reform that became so important to many people, including here in Denmark.”