It was on October 31, 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The resulting uproar can be felt to this day. From what we know, Luther never intended to formally sever his ties with the Catholic Church. In fact, he denounced the peasant revolt that his writings sparked and sided with the nobles. He simply felt compelled to speak out against the corruption and heretical practices of his day. Little did he know that armies would march against each other in his name. Little did he know that, because of his gesture, kings would extricate themselves from the Roman Catholic church and forever change the course of their nations' history. Little did he know that the Wittenberg door would come to symbolize one of the greatest schisms in history.
Luther was no saint. He is believed to have held strong anti-Semitic beliefs. But his passion to see man in direct communication and relationship with God led him to translate the Scriptures into the language of the people, defying the exclusivity of Latin as the language of the Church.
And you thought October 31 was just Halloween.