Martin Luther’s Small Catechism in Latin
Martin Luther (1483–1546).
Parvus catechismus pro pueris in schola, nuper auctus, & imaginibus artificiose sculptis illustratus.
Frankfurt: Heirs of Christopher Egenolff, 1566.
[Bound with four additional works, including three catechisms, printed in Zurich between 1563 and 1570.] (BRB0677)
In the preface to his Small Catechism, Luther wrote of his intentions for preparing this doctrinal text in an accessible format: “The deplorable, miserable condition which I discovered lately . . . has forced and urged me to prepare this catechism, or Christian doctrine, in this small, plain, simple form. Mercy! Good God! What manifold misery I beheld! The common people, especially in the villages, have no knowledge whatever of Christian doctrine, and, alas, many pastors are altogether incapable and incompetent to teach. . . . Therefore I entreat you for God's sake, my dear sirs and brethren, who are pastors or preachers, to devote yourselves heartily to your office, to have pity on the people who are entrusted to you, and to help us inculcate the Catechism upon the people, and especially upon the young.”
This later sixteenth-century Latin edition of the Small Catechism for students includes an illustrated title page with a hand-colored woodcut of a preacher leading a class with boys and women seated at his feet and men standing and listening. This copy is bound with three additional later sixteenth-century catechisms, all published by Christoph Froschauer in Zurich: two by Leo Juda (1482–1542) printed in German (1567) and Latin (1570) and one by Heinrich Bullinger (1504–1575) printed in Latin (1563). An additional 1564 work by Bullinger is also included in this volume.