- Project Runeberg -  Olavus Petri : the church reformer of Sweden /
14

(1918) [MARC] Author: Nils Forsander
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from there to Wittenberg, where a new university had
been founded in the year 1502. We perceive in this the
guidance of God, as we see the directing power of
divine Providence in the invention of the art of
printing, the revival of learning and the liberal arts, and the
founding of a number of universities in the decades just
prior to the Reformation of the Church through Luther.

Dressed in the cloak of an Augustinian friar, Luther
in the spring of 1511 was on his way to Rome. At first
sight of the city made sacred by the memory of martyrs,
saints, and popes, he threw himself prostrate, then
raised his hands with the words, “I greet thee, Holy
Rome.” While in the city, he eagerly sought out and
visited all the places held sacred in the legends, and
attended masses without number for the repose of souls.
He is also said to have begun to climb on his knees up
the twenty-eight steps of the Scala Sancta of the Sancta
Sanctorum chapel, that traditional staircase of the court
of Pontius Pilate by which Jesus is said to have been
brought in for trial. Plenary indulgence was granted
by the pope to all who performed that humble act of
repentance. Halfway up the sacred staircase, Luther
is said to have turned and descended, his conscience
troubling him with doubts of the truth of the legends,
and his mind revolting at the licentiousness of the
priesthood and the monastic orders of Rome. While
journeying back from the sacred city, Luther, by the grace

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