Nicolaus Copernicus: Knowledge of Creation as Worship to God

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copernicus 01.jpgOn 24 May 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) passed away in Frombork, Poland. He was a Polish mathematician and physicist.

A quote attributed to Copernicus (in multiple sources):

“To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power, to appreciate in degree the wonderful working of His laws, surely all of this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more grateful than knowledge.”

In 1533, Copernicus’ heliocentric system was explained to Pope Clement VII (1478–1534) and two cardinals by Johann Widmanstetter (1506–1557). According to historians, the Pope was so pleased with the work that he gave Widmanstetter a valuable gift as a sign of his gratitude.

Near his death, he turned his work On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres in for publication, in which he maintained the simplicity and mathematical coherence of the heliocentric system. The introduction to his work, written after his death by Osiander, emphasized (probably against Copernicus’ wishes) that the work was merely a mathematical exercise on the part of the author.

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