Martin Luther on Farts

“But I resist the devil, and often it is with a fart that I chase him away”. This is a quote from Martin Luther in the early 16th century. Superstitions abounded during this time, including the widespread belief that the devil caused gastro-intestinal disorders. It’s a very funny quote – if you don’t think it’s funny then I would question whether you are still above ground.

I am a proud Martin Luther geek, and a friend bought me “The Wit of Martin Luther” by Eric Gritsch. It is full of the most unabashed writings of Martin Luther. He had a sharp tongue with a sharp sense of humour that might be compared to a mix between Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin.

But in all fairness, here is the complete excerpt that the quote comes from:

“I am of a different mind ten times in the course of a day. But I resist the devil, and often it is with a fart that I chase him away. When he tempts me with silly sins I say, “Devil, yesterday I broke wind too. Have you written it down on your list?” …I remind myself of the forgiveness of sin and of Christ and I remind Satan of the abomination of the pope. This abomination is so great that I am of good cheer and rejoice, and I confess that the abomination of the papacy after the time of Christ is a great consolation in me.”

– Martin Luther


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  • Or as many have suggested, he was mentally ill

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