Martin Luther, the German monk who sparked the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago this October with the publication of the Ninety-five Theses, will reportedly be honored on a postage stamp issued by the Vatican.
The Vatican often issues such memorabilia for special events in the Catholic Church, though eschewing such significant events as the 100-year anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima and the 300-year anniversary of our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil, was a bit surprising, Catholic-interest news site LifeSiteNews.com reported Tuesday.
Luther, deemed a heretic by Pope Leo X, was excommunicated by papal decree on Jan. 3, 1521, an edict that has never officially been rescinded. Earlier this month, a Vatican department issued a document referring to Luther as someone deserving recognition for being a “witness to the gospel,” Life Site News reported.
In a visit with Lutheran clergy in Sweden in October marking the forthcoming anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Pope Francis delivered kind words about Luther’s impact on the church, saying the reformer “helped give greater centrality to sacred scripture in the Church’s life,” Catholic news site CruxNow.com reported.