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Katharina Von Bora
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Religious Figure
    (January 29, 1499-December 20, 1552)
    Born in Pegau, Germany
    Former Catholic nun
    Married Reformation leader Martin Luther (June 13, 1525)
    A paternal aunt was a nun at the cloister she joined and a maternal aunt was the mother superior.
    She and 10 other nuns escaped the convent by being smuggled out by a merchant, hidden among barrels of herring (or in some version of the tale, in the emptied barrels).
    She and Luther were married less than two weeks after being engaged.
    She and Luther lived in a former monastery given to them as a wedding present by the Elector of Saxony.
    She was sent to a cloister at age five after her mother died and her father remarried.
    After a year of marriage, Luther wrote, 'My Katie is in all things so obliging and pleasing to me that I would not exchange my poverty for the riches of Croesus.'
    In addition to their own children, she and Luther raised four orphans.
    Her duties in managing the estate included running a brewery.
    When Luther suggested, 'The time will come when a man will take more than one wife,' she replied, 'Before I put up with this, I'd rather go back to the convent.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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