Berthold's German devotional Hourly Thoughts on the Life and Suffering of Christ was a fourteenth century bestseller in the Holy Roman Empire. It was so successful that Berthold translated it into Latin so that it could be copied and read by educated readers all across Europe. With the invention of the printing press, this devotional classic naturally became a favorite among printers who then augmented the text with woodcuts.
Mary, the Mother of our Lord, Berthold, and the owners of this extraordinary book were people of faith and prayer. The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, the steward of this rare treasure, is a living witness to that faith in the twenty-first century and prepares people of prayer and faith for ministries around the world. This Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord, we rejoice and give thanks for your commitment to our ministry and hope that the good news of God's everlasting love through Christ may be a blessing to you in this season of unparalleled joy.
Text: The Rev. Dr. Karl Krueger, Director of the Krauth Memorial Library and Professor of the History of Christianity, LTSP
Illustration: "The Annunciation" in the Horologium devotionis circa vitam Christi [Cologne: Ulrich Zell, 1488], from the Krauth Memorial Library at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia