Augsburg Cathedral

Above is from the Cathedral in Augsburg. One can see from the images above the obsession with death that was present during the Middle Ages.

The Black Plague

The Black Plague or Black Death was one of the most frightening aspects of life from the medieval period to well into the Reformation period. It began in 1347 and lasted until the sixteenth century in some places. Persons who contracted the disease, whose origin and transmission was unknown at the time, often died within a few hours after the symptoms began.

The effects of the disease were devastating. Some estimate that as much as a third of the population in certain areas died from the Black Death. This contributed to a sense of fear, anxiety, and judgment.

Kimberly Waters from my theology of the reformations class wrote this poem to illustrate the impact of the plague and famine.

Why Must We Suffer?

Tell me, Oh tell me why you allow us to suffer?
Is it because we disobeyed you,
for we do not know.

It's because of you our crops do not grow.
You brought upon us the floods, bitter winters,
and even severe droughts.
What were you thinking?
It's not even enough food to go around.

People are weak and malnourished and
some have already died.
What did we do to deserve this
because we all have tried.

Tell me, Oh tell me why you allow us to suffer?
Is it because we disobeyed you,
for we do not know.

For the plague has come and
people have lost their minds.
Parents leaving children
and children leaving parents.

The sick is abandoned
The healthy is gone
The priest is scared and
the nuns, who knows where they've gone.

So why do you allow us to suffer?
For the priests and nuns don't even know.
Did we disobey and make you mad?

We're sorry for everything,
we even confessed our sins.
We just want our life back,
the life we once had.

So why do we suffer?
I think I have the answer,
some of us must be sinners and
a better place we will not go

No longer will I ask you why do we suffer
because now I already know