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St. Peter Canisius 

Confessor, Doctor of the Church

Feast Day - April 27

Peter Canisius was born at Nijmegen in Holland. After joining the Society of Jesus, he immediately began a career as envoy, preacher and writer in defense of the Catholic Faith against the intrigues of innovators. His one idea was to promote the greater glory of God, and it would be impossible to relate how many labors and hardships he went through for more than forty years. He took part more than once in the Council of Trent, traveled on successful missions through many parts of Germany, instructed all classes of society with sound teaching, both public and private, and defended many cities and provinces against the contagion of heresy or brought back to the Catholic Faith those tainted by heresy.

He was made head of the province of Germany by St. Ignatius, and built houses and colleges in many places. Against the “Centuriators” of Magdeburg, he wrote two famous volumes, and brought out a summary of Christian doctrine highly approved both by the judgment of theologians and by its long continued use among the people, and many other works in the mother-tongue. From all this, he earned the title of hammer of heretics and second apostle of Germany. Finally, at Fribourg in Switzerland, at the age of seventy-seven, he rested in the Lord on December 21, 1597. Pius XI added him to the list of the Saints and at the same time proclaimed him a Doctor of the universal Church.


Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. II: Passion Sunday to August (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1755-1756.

Related Link:

Epistle and Gospel for April 27