Ursula of Munsterberg (1491-1534), was the grand-daughter of King Georg Prodiebrad of Bohemia. Like most other nuns of the time in Germany, she was placed into a monastery as a child. She hated the rigors of the monastic lifestyle–the night vigils and fasting–and longed to escape. She spearheaded a project to smuggle some of Luther’s books into the convent, and she, along with most of the other nuns in the convent, were affected by this Reformation “heresy.” Ursula decided to escape.
On October 6th, 1528, she and two other nuns fled by night, and never returned. She stayed for a while with the Luther family.
Ursula’s escape became a matter of political controversy. The powers that be feared her example would lead other nuns to “embrace a godless life.” Ursula defended her actions in a bold tract that clearly showed her full understanding of the difference between her old beliefs and her new understanding of Reformed beliefs.
“The only hope lies in faith. By baptism we have been received into the Kingdom of Christ.To say that the monastic vow is a second baptism and washes away sins, as we have heard from the pulpit, is blasphemy against God, as if the blood of Christ were not enough to wash away all sins. We are married to Christ, and to seek to be saved through another is adultery. The three monastic vows are the work of men’s hands.”