MOUNT VERNON — They say behind every great man there is a great woman. In the case of Martin Luther, one of the most important participants in the Reformation was his wife, Katharina von Bora.

Fifteen years his junior, Katharina was sent to a nunnery at age 5 and escaped to join the reform movement 13 years later. The marriage of Katharina von Bora to Martin Luther was extremely important to the development of the Protestant Church, specifically in regard to its stance on marriage and the roles each spouse should concern themselves with.

Although several told Luther that marriage would hurt the Reformation because of potential scandal, Luther eventually came to the conclusion that “his marriage would please his father, rile the pope, cause the angels to laugh, and the devils to weep.”

In keeping with the theme of the Chautauqua Series, Elixir Presents brings the life of an historical person to life through first person living history. Although some characters may be more famous, the series’ goal is to highlight the many contributions of a wide variety of people throughout history, their lives, their struggles, their successes, their failures, showing that one characteristic of all these people is that they are just like us, the everyday man and woman and that they go through the same struggles in life and joys and sorrows as the rest of us do.

Raylene Hlavaty, a veteran of the Chautauqua stage will bring Katharina to life and share her story at The Grand Hotel, 12 Public Square, Mount Vernon, today at 7 p.m. Doors open for this donation-based program, at 6 p.m. Opening the program will be Chautauqua favorite, Tim Noble, an amazing Christian pianist/vocalist.

Coming Thursday, Dec. 7, at The Memorial Theater will be the annual Food For The Hungry Foodstock Concert, in association with the Chautauqua Series, Ariel Foundation and the Knox County Commissioners. The concert will feature a tribute to the music of The Beatles, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the release of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” For more details about both programs and other shows in the Chautauqua Series, visit, or call 740-392-6102.



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