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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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119 thoughts on “Pope Francis to make Martin Luther a Saint on October 31”

    1. Kevin Mortenson

      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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. “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.”

            It literally says A P R I L F O O L along the side of the article.

          2. Hello and thanks to “Hello, Thanks”. You are, of course, correct. Just a reminder that we use ordinary names here – not pseudonyms. Blessings.

          3. “APRILFOL,” You are correct, but whether to take it, as an “April fools joke,” that’s left to be determined.

        2. Robert Waggoner

          To make Martin Luther a Saint in the Roman Catholic Church is like the United States Of America giving King George III the PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM and including him on Mt. Rushmore.

          He was a Priest that did not keep his oath of non-marriage and was Excommunicated for marrying a nun, and other reasons. He removed the book of James from the Bible and others as well.

          He’ll always be a Ex-Communicated Defrocked Priest to me. And the exact opposite of a Saint.

          Shameful – forgiveness is one thing SAINTHOOD is another.

          I am a Pentecostal Christian and feel that Martin Luther was a hack.

      2. Joseph Decarlo

        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.

      3. Roman empire cant be whore. The whore will be blasphemious, this antichrist will make himself as if God? Ask the pope if he is God on earth, he will say yes, ask the priest if God subscribe to his judment, he will say yes. The seat of the pope is that mn of perdition, the antichrist receiving his power from the dragon, that old serpent called satan. Will catholic church persecute reform??

      4. Can somebody tell me where we are headed to not forgetting these very words of Martin Luther!!!

        “Since your most serene majesty and the princes require a simple, clear, and direct answer, I will give one, and it is this: I CANNOT SUBMIT MY FAITH EITHER TO THE POPE or to the councils, because it is as clear as noonday that they have often fallen into error, and even into glaring inconsistency with themselves. If, then, I am not convinced by proof from Holy Scripture, or by cogent reasons; if I am not satisfied by the very texts that I have cited, and if my judgment is not in this way brought into subjection to God’s Word, I neither can nor will retract anything; for it cannot be right for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I take my stand; I cannot do otherwise. God be my help! Amen.”

      5. It would be the ultimate insult that Catholics pray to Saint Luther! It would also totally confused the Catholic faithful who have always been taught that Luther was an awful heretic!

      6. MR JOHN MCKAY

        …and Catholics murdered William Tyndale, the genius linguist who translated the Bible into English so the average man could understand with erroneous control from Rome. Catholics burned reprints of Tyndale’s Bible, but now rely on his translation – as Jesus called the priests “blind guides, vipers & hypocrites””

    2. So which Pope do we believe, Pope Leo X who condemned Martin Luther in 1521 or Pope Francis, who now honors him? they can’t both be right…maybe neither are correct.
      The blessed Friar from Wittenberg is quietly sleeping silently through all this till the resurrection.

      1. I doubt you’ll accept this but (sigh) we know that Padre Pio was a holy spiritual warrior for Christ Jesus, who’s prayers cured many, who bore the Sacred Stigmata at Christ’s command for 50 years to suffer humiliation, scandals being raised around him, a soul who levitated, was granted the ability to be in two places at a time…..the list is endless of the graces this humble Priest/Monk received -* he was truly blessed by God.

        Read what HE (A Saint) revealed about Martin Luther.


        Now it is confirmed by Blessed Serafina a beatified Mystic of the Roman Catholic Church.


        If in doubt who to believe – stick with the righteous Mystics who agreed with ALL the former Popes before this anomalistic pseudo “Pope” began to blaspheme Christ, His Church and the Saints.

        Be warned all of this IS foretold to take place in the end times in the Book of the Apocalypse.

        Also St Justin Martyr (who knew St John the Beloved Apostle) stated
        “No heretic, schismatic or apostate can enter Heaven”
        That is Church Dogma, and Luther was all three!

        1. Only because this comment is nearly as good as the original Stultus Aprilis post for readers who actually take a moment to really look at it, Agnus (I’m assuming that is your real name – pseudonyms are not allowed on this site), do I allow it through moderation. A comment critical of the Pope which argues this by saying we should always support the Pope is a worthy continuation of Stultus Aprilis. Blessings.

  1. Stephen Close

    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. Linda Mcgrath

    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.

    1. Fr. Steven Scarcia

      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.

    2. 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. Mark Aitchison

    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.

    1. I totally concur. There is also another big front runner, Dumitru Duduman. Both totally inspirational and worthy to be considered for canonization

  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.

    1. 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. Joseph Decarlo

    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. Harry F Seltzer

    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. Lotta Elfving

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

  10. Marianne Spinnett

    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?

      1. 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?

          1. 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. Julianne Shockley

    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. Scott VanBaaren

    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. Clark Magerkurth

    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. John Broadbent

    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.

  25. What is the meaning of the RC Church designating somebody a “saint”? Paul writes to the Corinthians: “To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throught Achaia” (2 Cor. 1:1).

    Hopefully we will not be encouraged to pray to Luther after he becomes a saint. That would really make him angry.

  26. Very clever and well written. I got a hearty laugh when I clicked on the link to see the Google translation. Thanks for the smile!!!

  27. Peter was no pope and resisted confessions by anyone and was not positioned to forgive sin. The Pharisees, as wrong as they were, knew only God can forgive sin through one single priest, Jesus Christ. Peter makes it clear, the Church is the “priesthood” and have direct access to God. Peter would “turn over in his grave” if someone addressed him as pope. If they bowed to him he would “die”.

    1. St Robert Bellarmine, Jr., III

      Peter was the 1st Pope.

      And John 20:20-22 – Jesus breathed on them and they received the Holy Spirit and said Whoever sins you forgive are forgiven those you retain shall be retained. Not more clearer words to me that Jesus gave Priests (Apostles) the power to forgive sin.

  28. Daniel Burton

    It would not be in commemoration of 500 years after
    Luther’s birth, for he was born on 10 November 1483. October 31st, 1517 is the date that Martin Luther had the custodian (janitor) nail his “95 Theses” to the door. The recognized date of the Protestant Reformation. It was due to this that the Catholic Church began to seek it’s own Reformation.

  29. I’m Lutheran Zion, baptized in the Presbyterian church, was in the Medodist church at an early age. I had a Jewish step-dad…who was a Pharisee in disguise….he ended up bankrupt in death. Martin Luther is NOT a friend of the Father (for NO earth man is to be called FATHER except Christ Jesus’ Father). The Pope is NO better than my step dad was at Playing God. Luther was an anti-Semitic bafoon whose words in writing were beloved by Hitler in ww2 and those blessed words sent 5.6 to 5.8 million Jewish men, women, and children to their deaths. Hailed as a saint in my God’s eyes?!!!….I hardly think so…I hope he (luther) likes his hotdogs burnt in the Gehemna of fire. READ “of the Jews and their lies” by Martin Luther….then tell me he is a saint….o the precepts of man…what man proposes…God disposes. Why do we let satan rule this world and the hearts of men?

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