Paulus Speratus


Born: De­cem­ber 13, 1484, Swa­bia, Ger­ma­ny (pos­si­bly at the cas­tle of Röth­len, near Ell­wan­gen).

Died: Au­gust 12, 1551, Ma­rien­wie­der, Pom­er­a­nia (now Kwid­zyn, Po­land).




Speratus’ orig­in­al fa­mi­ly name seems to have been Of­fer or Hof­fer. He prob­ab­ly en­rolled at the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Frei­burg in 1503, and is al­so said to have stu­died in Pa­ris and at some Ital­i­an un­i­ver­si­ties.

Speratus had a tur­bu­lent ca­reer, ow­ing to his Re­for­ma­tion­ist views. By 1518, he was a preach­er in Din­kels­bühl, Ba­var­ia.

At the end of that year, he was in­vit­ed to be­come a preach­er at the ca­thed­ral in Würz­burg. He went to Würz­burg in 1519, but his preach­ing was too ev­an­gel­i­cal for the bi­shop, and he had to leave, ap­par­ent­ly at the start of 1520.

Moving to Salz­burg, Aus­tria, he preached for some time in the ca­thed­ral, un­til dis­a­gree­ments with the arch­bi­shop forced him out.

He moved to Vi­en­na in au­tumn 1520, where he seems to have earned a Doc­tor of Di­vi­ni­ty de­gree at the un­i­ver­si­ty. He mar­ried, prob­ab­ly as ear­ly as 1519, one of the first priests who dared to take this step.

In 1523 he went to Wit­ten­berg and helped Mar­tin Lu­ther as­sem­ble the first Lu­ther­an hym­nal, the Acht­lieder­buch.

In 1524, the Mar­grave Al­brecht ap­point­ed Sper­a­tus court preach­er at Kö­nigs­berg (now Kal­in­in­grad, Rus­sia). There he al­so had charge of the Alt­stadt church un­til 1525.

In 1526, Spe­ra­tus was chos­en as cler­ic­al com­mis­sion­er to vi­sit par­ish­es in Prus­sia, and in 1529, he be­came Lu­ther­an bi­shop of Pom­er­a­nia, with re­si­dence at Ma­rien­wie­der.



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