Michael and Margarita Sattler (d. 1527)

Mark Fackler

READ : Matthew 5:43-45

Love your enemies. (v. 44)

Michael Sattler, a monk, had fallen in love with a nun named Margarita. If that were not sin enough, Sattler produced a document considered radical and heretical, the “Seven Articles of the Faith.”

Michael and Margarita were convinced that the church must rediscover Jesus and his mission in the world. In 1526 they joined a small group of “radicals” meeting in Germany. The purpose was to bring focus and clarity to the growing Christian movement whose members believed that even the Reformers had not gone far enough in following Jesus. At that fateful meeting, the Seven Articles were drafted and the Anabaptist movement born.

Returning home, the Sattlers and 17 others were captured and charged with heresy. The case against them was airtight. The documents found in their possession were all the prosecutors needed.

“Michael Sattler shall be committed to the hangman,” the court’s sentence read, “who shall first cut out his tongue, then chain him to a wagon, tear his body twice with hot tongs and five times more before the gate, then burn him.” Four days after his capture, Michael was executed. Eight days later, Margarita.

Soon after, Anabaptists throughout Europe began carrying the “Brotherly Union” (the Articles) on their persons, as a witness to the love that is stronger than fear.

PRAYER

I treasure your grace, my God, more than life.