450 years ago, in the early hours of February 18, the charismatic reformer and fearless combatant who had changed the face of Europe and of Christianity died in his home town of Eisleben while on a peace mission. The feuding Counts of Mansfeldt had asked him to mediate. Accompanied by his three sons, Luther, old at 62 and ailing, made the trip in mid-winter against the advice of friends and family. His body was returned to Wittenberg and buried there on February 22. It is impossible to overestimate his impact. The common priesthood of man, "everybody his own priest", this truly revolutionary notion at the core of his teaching, was immediately recognized for its (unintended) political, democratic implications. To him, all the faithful were one community, there was no room for separate casts. His zeal as a preacher of the "true faith", and his denunciation of those who would not accept it, earned him the reputation of intolerance, even anti-Semitism. The latter would surprise him, for he considered himself a prophet, though anointed against his will, like those of the Old Testament who also admonished, cajoled and condemned the "wayward children of Israel"'