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§ 24. Luther Ordained to the Priesthood.

In the second year of his monastic life and when he was still in a state of perplexity, Luther was ordained to the priesthood, and on May 2, 1507, he said his first mass. This was a great event in the life of a priest. He was so overwhelmed by the solemnity of offering the tremendous sacrifice for the living and the dead that he nearly fainted at the altar.

His father had come with several friends to witness the solemnity and brought him a present of twenty guilders. He was not yet satisfied with the monastic vows. "Have you not read in Holy Writ," he said to the brethren at the entertainment given to the young priest, "that a man must honor father and mother?" And when he was reminded, that his son was called to the convent by a voice from heaven, he answered: "Would to God, it were no spirit of the devil." He was not fully reconciled to his son till after he had acquired fame and entered the married state.

Luther performed the duties of the new dignity with conscientious fidelity. He read mass every morning, and invoked during the week twenty-one particular saints whom he had chosen as his helpers, three on each day.

But he was soon to be called to a larger field of influence.

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