Martin Weyer, a student of noble birth from Pomerania, was called back home by his father. Since the father was an old man and was accustomed to papistic usages, the son asked Dr. Martin Luther how he should deal with his father in order to be able to benefit him. He inquired if during the time of his father’s illness he ought to attend papistic ceremonies and, in particular, private mass.
Dr. Martin Luther replied that he should in every way accommodate himself to his father, under no circumstances offend him, and adapt himself to his fasting, praying, invocation of the saints, and hearing of masses. At the same time, Luther said, through the Word of God the son should instruct his parent in the doctrine of justification and the words of the Creed. Above all, he should diligently impress upon him the preaching of Jesus Christ, and only after all this should he dwell on his upright life and his pure conversation. Then there will be hope for the father. If the father should not be changed by all this, the son must bear his infirmity, pray, and commend him to God. He should take care in every possible way not to offend his father by his liberty but should become the spiritual father of him who is his physical father. If for this purpose he adjusts himself to his father, he will not sin by attending mass and other profane rites.
(Luther’s Works, v. 54, No. 4568: A Student Goes Home to See His Sick Father, May 7, 1539)