Why did Martin Luther choose Halloween to launch his 95 theses?
Halloween is a Celtic holiday, so it was likely unknown in Luther's Germany. But All Saint's Day is the next day, November 1, and relics owned by the Wittenburg Cathedral were displayed on that day, among very few others in the church year. So scholars think Martin Luther posted his theses then, because he knew many people would see them. Thanks to the printing press, they went viral, beyond his wildest dreams.
In recognition of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, I recently launched Martin Luther, Machiavelli and Murder the third Real History Mystery in the Nicola Machiavelli series (which have collectively consistently rated 4 out of 5 stars after 170+ Amazon reviews). The mystery takes place in Rome, during the two months Luther spent there as a young monk, as historic fact. If you want to hear a Luther scholar talk about how these two months influenced Luther's life and works, you can use the link at the end of ths blog post. If you want to have fun hearing essentially the same thing, read my book.
As Luther was still a staunch Catholic when in Rome, the "real history" in the book is the corruption and scandal there that provided the tinder when Martin Luther lit the match, 500 years ago today. You will meet or learn about the most corrupt popes in history, and the beginnings of Luther's disillusionment with the existing Church.
You can read the first 20%, and follow a first page link to all the great Renaissance art in the book, here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074K96HRN. And of course buy it, for $2.99(ebook)/$7.99 (hard copy). Here is a plot summary:
The corruption and grandeur of Renaissance Rome during young Martin Luther's real-life visit form the backdrop to this tale of murder, war and papal politics. On arrival, Luther is nearly struck by the body of a naked, murdered cardinal thrust from a whorehouse window. Prime suspects behind this and other assassinations include "warrior" Pope Julius II and two future Medici popes, one of whom will become Luther's future nemesis, Pope Leo X. Leonardo da Vinci and the infamous Niccolò Machiavelli play roles in a deepening mystery that ranges across war-torn Italy. Forced to work with the licentious artist Raphael and Machiavelli's winsome daughter Nicola to solve the mystery, Martin Luther battles temptation and sin, while witnessing abuses key to shaping Protestant theology and his future destiny.
And here is a scholarly video that tells many of the same stories: https://www.facebook.com/Ligonier/videos/p.10156114141743115/10156114141743115/?type=2&theater