Margaretha Sattler


Taken from

Michael and Margaretha Sattler, from the movie, "The Radicals"
Michael and Margaretha Sattler from the movie, “The Radicals

“Margaretha Sattler belonged to a lay order of nuns called the Beguines. Sometime around 1523, she left the order to marry Michael Sattler, an ex-Benedictine prior. Together, they joined the early Anabaptist movement of which the Mennonites and Amish are modern day descendants, and quickly emerged as leaders.

On February 24, 1527, she and her husband Michael brought a group of Anabaptists together in the small German town of Schleitheim, to form the first “Confession” or “Articles of Faith” of the Anabaptist movement. It become known as the Schleitheim Confession.

Soon after the meeting, Margaretha and Michael were captured by the Catholics, and put on trial in Rottenburg for heresy with Count von Zollern presiding over his trial. Michael was burned at the stake on May 17, 1527, and, according to Martyrs Mirror: “His wife, also, after being subjected to many entreaties, admonitions and threats, under which she remained steadfast, was drowned a few days afterwards.” 1

The countess of Hechingen tried to persuade Sattler’s wife to desist from her faith and stay at her court. But Margaretha declared that she would be true to her Lord and to her Christian husband, and was drowned in the Neckar after her husband’s death. It is said that she would have preferred to die in the fire with him. According to some reports she was drowned on Wednesday, 22 May. As depicted in the film, Margaretha resolutely declined all offers of mercy in return for her recantation. She tells the Countess von Zollern as she declines her offer of freedom if she will recant, “I do not follow my beliefs because of my husband, I follow my husband because of my beliefs”



  1. Martyr’s Mirror, 1660
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