Twenty horses and their riders, some of them knights rode into the courtyard of the Black Cloister at Erfurt, Germany. At their head is Hans Luther who has come to celebrate his sons ordination. He is still not a happy man because he has never felt that his son should become a monk, let alone a Priest. He wanted him to be a lawyer so that he could care for his parents in their old age. So angry at Martin Luther’s entrance into the monastery, he has not spoken to his son for years. The death of two other sons from the plaque and a rumor that Martin himself had died had tempered the old mans anger some, but he was still frustrated and his dinner time conversation with his boy proves that he had thought much about the circumstances.
There is some confusion about dates. Most believe that Luther was ordained as a priest on this day, April 3, 1507 and that he celebrated his first Mass one month later. There is confusion as to when the banquet supper conversation took place that made such an impression on the young Priest, but the fact that the discussion took place is without doubt.
With a gift of 20 gold pieces given to the cloister Hans Luther entered a banquet area to celebrate this important event in his sons life. Martin, thinking that his Father had reconciled with him would later say that It was “with a sad, reluctant will,” that his father finally consented to his permanent connection with a religious order. As author Barnas Sears has written in his book “The Life of Luther”, Hans was grudging of his approval. ” Well, be it so,” was his language, ” God grant that it may turn out for good.” When they were all seated at table, at the time of the ordination, Luther, trusting to the favorable impressions produced by the occasion, and to the influence of the company around him, ventured to touch upon the delicate subject with his father, in the following language : ” Dear father, what was the reason of thy objecting to my desire to become a monk? Why wast thou then so displeased ; and perhaps not reconciled yet ? It is such a peaceful and godly life to live.” He went on to recount the alarming events which he construed as indications of the divine will, and was warmly supported”.
According to Luther his Father reminded him of the 4th commandment and as for the thunderstorm and the vow to become a monk if St. Anne would save him, Hans said, God grant that those signs may not prove to be lying wonders of Satan.” ” Never,” said Luther afterward, ” did words sink deeper into a man’s heart than did these of my father into mine.”