beggarsReformation had played a big role in the stigmatization of the poor. People during the Medieval time period looked down upon the poor. A good representation of this St. Francis of Assisi. He came from a rich family but then gives it all up. His family did not like this idea. Although the poor were stigmatized, they were stigmatized in a good way. The Church had seen them as work of charity. By giving money to the poor, people had done one of the deeds God wanted them too. Eventually this lead to the start of beggars. Beggars were to wear social badges so people would know they were beggars. It was not easy to beg though, they had to had a permit for begging. This was not good for society though because it had led to a decrease in employment.

(RNS3-FEB15) Martin Luther, founder of Germany’s Protestant (Lutheran) Church, nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg. Today, the church he founded is facing an uncertain future and dismal demographic trends that could eventually mean less state funding for church operations. For use with RNS-LUTHER-CHURCH, transmitted Feb. 15, 2007. Religion News Service file photo.

During the time period, Protestantism began to emerge from a man named Martin Luther. Martin Luther believed that salvation happened by grace alone. He said people were born so tainted and ruined by original sin that there is nothing to do about it. Meanwhile Catholics believed that, you had to perform good works, participate in sacraments,  giving alms, and etc to contribute to their salvation. Within the same time period, a man named John Calvin had developed on Luther’s idea. Calvin called it predestination. He said that God had already chose whether people were going to heaven or hell. It would not make a change.


In today’s society, the poor is looked down upon. People look at the poor as a charity case. They are stigmatized by society because they did not accomplish their life in a certain way. “Norm”of being successful.