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Pope Francis to make Martin Luther a Saint on October 31

Pope Francis Martin Luther
Pope Francis with St Martin Luther statue in the Vatican

An embittered Vatican insider (many of them saw this day coming) has leaked the document that Pope Francis has been working on together with Lutheran leaders: Stultus Aprilis.

Pope Francis, always surprising people during the four years so far of his pontificate, is preparing to announce that Martin Luther is certainly in heaven. This is called equipollent canonization – where, by virtue of his position as the Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis can bypass the ordinary judicial process of canonization.

Reformation experts think that the most likely date of the proclamation of Stultus Aprilis is on October 31. This year, that date marks exactly 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the church door of Wittenberg.

It is clear that, at least for Roman Catholics, Martin Luther will be able to be referred to as “Saint Martin Luther”. This builds on the work of Pope Saint John Paul II who, in the year celebrating 500 years since Martin Luther’s birth, titled Martin Luther “Doctor”. Plans are also underway to commemorate Martin Luther on a Vatican stamp. “Usually if individuals are commemorated on stamps they are saints.

Last minute details are still being finalised. In particular, previous agreements, (between Roman Catholics and Lutherans) around the nature of justification and salvation, are being drawn on to clarify how the intercession of Saint Martin Luther will be called upon to, for example, aid the suffering souls in Purgatory.

Feast Day details have not been part of the leak. Will October 31 be the focus for the universal veneration of Saint Martin Luther (no other major saint is celebrated on that date)? Or will the day of his death (18 February ) be his saint’s day ?

Other issues are also, obviously, being dealt with behind the scenes – not least the Protestant tendencies to split. Some Lutheran bodies may split into two – those accepting that their founder is now a Roman Catholic saint, and those objecting to this honouring.

Observers from other denominations are now looking forward to the canonisation of other significant Reformation leaders: Thomas Cranmer, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin are three that spring to mind.

Liturgists are working around the clock to finalise the propers in Latin so that they can be translated into the vernacular for local use for the cultus of St Martin Luther. Drafts for these have also been leaked, and, for those interested, a translation of Stultus Aprilis is available here.

I hope, if you appreciated this post today, that you share it (facebook and so on). And do remember to like the liturgy facebook page, use the RSS feed, and sign up for a not-very-often email, …

This site has been in the forefront of keeping people informed of these breakthrough developments. See also here, here, here, and here.

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95 Responses to Pope Francis to make Martin Luther a Saint on October 31

    • Sorry, but Luther and the other protestant reformers were for good reason bitter enemies of the papacy. The pope does not celebrate this. This is just a smoke screen to try to make the papacy other than what it is, the anti-Christ system and the whore of
      Revelation 17. The papacy tried to kill Luther and they burned Jerome and Huss at the stake.

      • And, they have already confessed many of those wrongs. As for your opinion re the Roman Catholic Church, it’s yours and you have a right to it, but I heartily disagree and I’m not Roman Catholic.

        • I tell you this now. If this is an April fools joke it’s going to be hard for me to believe anything the site puts up ever again. Ever.

      • The whore of Rev. was the Roman Empire. There was no Vatican at the time that St. John, an Apostle wrote it. Would John call the pope, St. Peter, a whore? I don’t think so.

  1. My own candidate for Pope Francis to consider is John Wycliffe. His faith was completely orthodox, his Christian life exemplary; the only unsaintlike actions he did was criticising the practices and corruption of the church of his day.
    I was struck by this by being at the monastery at Kopua on December 31 one year and seeing no celebration of his life in the evangelizo.org email I receive daily.
    Not long afterwards the Roman Catholic church recognized the need for a translation of holy scripture into the vernacular, thus recognizing the justness of Wycliffe’s assertions.

  2. How about Leo the X, Albert of Mainz and Johann Tetzel? Seriously though we should pray for their souls just in case they are in purgatory. We need all the help we can get to achieve unity.

  3. Martin Luther will not need to aid suffering souls in Purgatory because there is no such thing as Purgatory.

    • I would review both the Apostles and Nicene Creeds as well as 1st Peter 3:19, before you dismiss Purgitory out of hand. And yes, I’m an Episcipal priest…almost 50 years.

    • I agree Sue Ann, Martin Luther did teach about Puragatory. Neither to my knowledge did he believe we should pray to any one other than God .

  4. Interesting thoughts provoked by this suggestion (perhaps it isn’t as foolish as this April posting might at First seem).
    But I would have thought Eric Liddell would have been the front-runner in any list of sainthood candidates.

  5. As I told my staunchly Catholic friend of the non-Roman persuasion, Chris, who sent me this link …. “I knew this man had the potential to bring all churches and traditions to their senses and together in Christian fellowship. And what better day to do it … when other people are invoking the break-up of the EU, the UK and the US. Bravo Francisco!

    As with all other great world leaders, it has already been established that Luther Martin, whose name was wrongly notated on entry to the US at Ellis Island all those years ago, is a close relative of one of our current Irish political leaders, Michael Martin.

    • This article is an April Fools joke.

      The name of the supposed leaked document is ‘Stultus Aprilis’ which means April Fools in Latin.

  6. The popes are full of mischief enough without you adding to it Bosco: eg. women aren’t equal and should not be priests.

    Enough nonsense!

  7. Martin Luther trashed the papacy, the Blessed Mother, and the teachings of the Catholic Church, and this heretical pope is going to make him a saint? This has to be an April Fools’ Joke

  8. Nice sentiment, and His Holiness Francis has been full of lovely surprises, but this could be more believe-able on any date other than today.

  9. Is this an April joke? Not that I mind. I’m pretty sure he is as worthy as most of the declared ones.

  10. This is certainly an odd step .By the way I thought the previous Pope dispensed with purgatory?
    There is much to be admired in pope Francis,however instead of making saints,I wish
    he would devote himself more vigorously to rooting out the sexual deviants in his church,as well as punishing those who shielded them.Sending them off to devote themselves to a life of prayer or in some instances giving cushy jobs in the Vatican
    hardly seems sufficient

  11. So if this was posted on April 1 in NZ while it was still March 31 in Rome, does this still qualify as an April posting?

      • Oh this one keeps me laughing! I missed the early hint (Stultis) as I have not studied Latin and felt thoroughly and appropriately “taken” when I figured it out.

        Then I was chuckling too much over the “not least the Protestant tendencies to split.”

        Thanks so much! I must now check every link to see what other “Easter Eggs” you’ve hidden. That’s part of your diabolical teaching plan, isn’t it?

          • Sorry, that was meant to be “Brilliant!” As in, loved it! Tone didn’t carry across without the !. Eye exam today, shouldn’t be typing with pupils so big. :o) Your writing & presentation really can boost my day. Thx!

  12. Right, seems like an April Fools to me. I’d sooner believe a full communion relationship than a sainthood for Martin Luther.

  13. Martin Luther a saint !!! Read what he wrote about the Jews. In the long history of Christian anti-Judaism, he provides the most horrific example, his words sowing evil seeds that bore their worst fruit in the actions of the Nazis – who happily quoted them. This year’s commemoration should recall this and other dreadful effects of the Reformation as well as its blessings, with some attempt at reconciliation not only among Christians but also between Christians and Jews. A good start would be the Lutheran Churches changing their name (e.g. to Evangelical – as is the case in some places).

  14. I think the “clue” to the veracity of this news item is found in the name of the leaked document: Stultus Aprilis

  15. Did one bother to notice that the Latin title of the popes supposed promulgation Stultus Aprilia translates to April Fool

  16. Stultus Aprilus is, of course, April Fools day. As St. ANDY TAYLOR of Mayberry might say, “suuprise! Suuprise! Suuprise!

  17. He doesn’t have any authority to make Luther a saint! This has been done for Luther and all of us by Jesus suffering and dying on the cross and overcoming death as payment for all of our sins. Luther wasn’t fooled by papal manipulation! Won’t fly now either!

  18. People seem to see what they want to see. As Daan said, “I like the acrostichon.” And I also agree with Mark Aitchison that one day can make a huge difference. So, let’s see what tomorrow, the day after April 1, brings.

  19. April Fool’s

    But you could have made this actually funny. Kinda disappointed by the lack of funny, honestly.

  20. Those present candidates for sainthood who were formerly burned at the stake will be consecrated on “ash wednesday.”

  21. “Pope Francis, always surprising people during the four years so far of his pontificate, is preparing to announce that Martin Luther is certainly in heaven.”

    That’s astonishing.

    Where is the proof that Heaven actually exists, anyway? How did the Pope (or anyone for that matter) conclude it exists?

    And, how did he determine ML is there? Did they do some sort of sacred Skype, or did the Pope get a postcard with a heavenly postmark on it, perhaps with a selfie?

  22. What a pity Latin isn’t studied any more. Then you would all understand what “Stultus Aprilis” means and blood vessels would not be in danger of bursting.

  23. We are saints the moment our eyes are opened to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not when some sinner in Rome says we are.

  24. There is a mistake in the article that says the people on stamps are saint–in the past few years, Charlie Chaplin, composers Verdi, poets, Shakespeare have been on stamps.

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