50 gulden: this was the amount of money Martin Luther offered to his wife Katharina if she read the whole Bible. At that time, it was the price of two barrels of wine, and a pastor could make a living from it for months. Luther never had to pay, because Katharina, who was pious and well versed in the Bible, was not up for such bargains. However, there were another 50 gulden she would have liked to accept. But when Cardinal Albrecht from Mainz offered her this amount of money as an acknowledgment of her work, Luther forbid her to take it. Katharina pretended to give in, but summoned the messenger secretly back and accepted the money.
The only women present during Luther's table talks
Today, Katharina von Bora is often described as a woman who shouldered an enormous double burden as a family women and housekeeper. She, the former nun, who loved theological conversations, was the only woman present during Luther's table talks with all the students, fellow professors and religious refugees. Later, however, her contributions were removed from the minutes. In general, written references are mostly lacking, even Luther did not keep his wife's numerous letters. And the malicious pamphlets about the "runaway nun" enable to draw less than a conclusion about her real life.
She came from a poor family and was given into a Benedictine convent when she was five years old – her widowed father paid 30 groschen to secure her a place there. Aged 10, she came to the Cistercians in Nimbschen near Grimma, where she took her vows when she was 16.