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Martin Luther's Seal (or the Luther Rose)

Martin Luther's Seal (or the Luther Rose)

In 1520, Martin Luther was invited to create a personal symbol to summarize his faith. Here is a copy of the first known printed version of the seal. It was very common in Luther’s day for public servants, theologians, political rulers, and others of some public note, to have a personal seal.

This image is a colorized version of the original seal. The blue is a lighter shade than you usually see in most versions of Luther's Seal. Generally, in color versions, the blue is too dark. Luther’s concept was that the blue stands for a blue sky.

Here is how Luther explained his seal:

"Grace and peace from the Lord. My seal is a symbol of my theology. The first should be a black cross in a heart, which retains its natural color, so that I

myself would be reminded that faith in the Crucified saves us. ‘For one who

believes from the heart will be justified’ (Rom. 10:10). Although it is indeed a black cross, which mortifies and which should also cause pain, it leaves the heart in its natural color. It does not corrupt nature, that is, it does not kill but keeps alive. ‘The just shall live by faith’ (Rom. 1:17), but by faith in the Crucified.

Such a heart should stand in the middle of a white rose, to show that faith gives joy, comfort, and peace. In other words, it places the believer into a white,

joyous rose, for this faith does not give peace and joy like the world gives

(John 14:27). That is why the rose should be white and not red, for white is the color of the spirits and the angels. Such a rose should stand in a sky-blue field,

symbolizing that such joy in spirit and faith is a beginning of the heavenly future joy, which begins already, but is grasped in hope, not yet revealed.

Around this field is a golden ring, symbolizing that such blessedness in heaven lasts forever. Such blessedness is exquisite, beyond all joy and goods, just as gold is the most valuable, most precious and best metal. This is my summary of theology. I have wanted to show it to you in good friendship, hoping for your appreciation. May Christ, our beloved Lord, be with your spirit until the life hereafter. Amen."

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