Educated in CologneGermanystudying artcivil law and theology. Taught at the University of Cologne, and helped found the first Jesuit house in the city. He travelled and worked with Saint Ignatius of Loyola who was his spiritual director in RomeItaly. Taught rhetoric in MessinaSicily inpreaching in Italian and Latin.
He was born on 8 May in Wijmegen, Holland. His father was Burgomaster of the town. While he was a student at the University of Cologne he A biography of st peter canisius visited the Carthusian monks of St Barbara, a driving force of Catholic life, and other devout men who cultivated the spirituality of the so-called devotio moderna [modern devotion].
He entered the Society of Jesus on 8 May in Mainz Rhineland — Palatinateafter taking a course of spiritual exercises under the guidance of Bl. He was ordained a priest in Cologne.
InSt Ignatius had him complete his spiritual formation in Rome and then sent him to the College of Messina to carry out humble domestic duties.
He earned a doctorate in theology at Bologna on 4 October and St Ignatius assigned him to carry out the apostolate in Germany. Here he implored the great Holy Apostles Peter and Paul for help to make the Apostolic Blessing permanently effective for the future of his important new mission.
He noted several words of this prayer in his spiritual journal. They confirmed my mission in Germany and seemed to transmit to me, as an apostle of Germany, the support of their benevolence. We must bear in mind that we are dealing with the time of the Lutheran Reformation, at the moment when the Catholic faith in the German-speaking countries seemed to be dying out in the face of the fascination of the Reformation.
The task of Canisius — charged with revitalizing or renewing the Catholic faith in the Germanic countries — was almost impossible. It was possible only by virtue of prayer. It was possible only from the centre, namely, a profound personal friendship with Jesus Christ, a friendship with Christ in his Body, the Church, which must be nourished by the Eucharist, his Real Presence.
He went first to the Duchy of Bavaria, which for several years was the place where he exercised his ministry. As dean, rector and vice chancellor of the University of Ingolstadt, he supervised the academic life of the Institute and the religious and moral reform of the people.
In Vienna, where for a brief time he was diocesan administrator, he carried out his pastoral ministry in hospitals and prisons, both in the city and in the countryside, and prepared the publication of his Catechism. In he founded the College of Prague and, untilwas the first superior of the Jesuit Province of Upper Germany.
In this office he established a dense network of communities of his Order in the Germanic countries, especially colleges, that were starting points for the Catholic Reformation, for the renewal of the Catholic faith. In he withdrew to Fribourg, Switzerland, where he devoted himself entirely to preaching and writing.
He died there on 21 December St Peter Canisius spent a large part of his life in touch with the most important people of his time and exercised a special influence with his writings.
He published devotional books in various languages, biographies of several Swiss Saints and numerous homiletic texts. However, his most widely disseminated writings were the three Catechisms he compiled between and The first Catechism was addressed to students who could grasp the elementary notions of theology; the second, to young people of the populace for an initial religious instruction; the third, to youth with a scholastic formation of middle and high school levels.
He explained Catholic doctrine with questions and answers, concisely, in biblical terms, with great clarity and with no polemical overtones.
There were at least editions of this Catechism in his lifetime alone! And hundreds of editions succeeded one another until the 20th century. This was a characteristic of St Peter Canisius: St Canisius distinguished between a conscious, blameworthy apostosy from faith and a blameless loss of faith through circumstances.
Moreover, he declared to Rome that the majority of Germans who switched to Protestantism were blameless. In a historical period of strong confessional differences, Canisius avoided — and this is something quite extraordinary — the harshness and rhetoric of anger — something rare, as I said, in the discussions between Christians in those times — and aimed only at presenting the spiritual roots and at reviving the faith in the Church.
His vast and penetrating knowledge of Sacred Scripture and of the Fathers of the Church served this cause: For example, on 4 September he wrote in his journal, speaking with the Lord: Then he saw that the Saviour was giving him a garment with three pieces that were called peace, love and perseverance.
And with this garment, made up of peace, love and perseverance, Canisius carried out his work of renewing Catholicism. And this reminds us that every genuine evangelizer is always an instrument united with Jesus and with his Church and is fruitful for this very reason.
Friendship with Jesus had been inculcated in St Peter Canisius in the spiritual environment of the Charterhouse of Cologne, in which he had been in close contact with two Carthusian mystics: This is the foundation of his intense devotion to the Heart of the Lord, which culminated in his consecration to the apostolic ministry in the Vatican Basilica.he sent his famous followers Peter Canisius and Francis Xavier.
He also dispatched missionaries to the Congo region and to Ethiopia. In Loyola secretly received into the society Francis Borgia, duke of Gandía and viceroy of Catalonia. $ Kindle.
A Champion of the Church: The Life of St. Peter Canisius By William Reany, D.D. pages “For three centuries, Canisius was regarded as the master of the Catholics of Germany and in the vernacular ‘knowing Canisius’ and ‘keeping the Christian truth’ were synonymous propositions.”.
St. Peter Canisius is rightly considered the second apostle of Germany after St. Boniface. Peter Kanis – his name was later Latinized to “Canisius” – was born in Nijmegen, Holland, then a German province of the archdiocese of Cologne. Why did the Vatican choose Peter Canisius for this delicate task?
Born in Holland in , Peter had edited and written several volumes on Church history and theology, been a delegate to the Council of Trent, and reformed the German universities from heresy. St.
Peter Canisius is rightly considered the second apostle of Germany after St. Boniface. Peter Kanis – his name was later Latinized to “Canisius” – was born in Nijmegen, Holland, then a German province of the archdiocese of Cologne.
The energetic life of Peter Canisius should demolish any stereotypes we may have of the life of a saint as dull or routine. Peter lived his 76 years at a pace which must be considered heroic, even in our time of rapid change. A man blessed with many talents, Peter is an excellent example of the scriptural man who develops his talents for the .