Theology of the Heart- Life of the Saints- St. Peter Canisius


Doctor of the Church


Feast: December 21


See also:

"He Formed People's Faith for Centuries"- On St. Peter Canisius

St. Peter Canisius was born on May 8, 1521 in Nigmegen, Holland. At the time of his birth, Nigmegen was considered in the ecclesiastical province of Cologne and had the rights of a German city. Due to this, Holland and Germany both claim him as their son. His father was a Catholic and burgomaster of Nigmegen.

At the age of fifteen, his father sent him to study at the University of Cologne. During his time at the Univeristy, he often visited the Carthusian monks of St. Barbara. While at the University and it was here where he met the saintly young priest, Nicolaus van Esch, who made a profound impression on him. He entered the Society of Jesus and was sent on mission to Germany, teaching in several universities there. In 1555 he published a Catechism that was a concise explanation of all the truths of the faith, very useful for the formation of the faithful, to whom he preached on his many travels through Germany, Bohemia, Switzerland and beyond. He died on December 21, 1597.

Peter Canisius was canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church on June 21, 1925. He is considered the seconed evangelizer of Germany.





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