Peter Canisius

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St Peter Canisius, S.J.
Saint Petrus Canisius.jpg
Priest, Religious and Doctor of the Church
Born8 May 1521
Nijmegen, Duchy of Guelders, Habsburg Netherlands
Died21 December 1597(1597-12-21) (aged 76)
Fribourg, Switzerland
Venerated in Catholic Church
Beatified 1864, Rome by Pope Pius IX
Canonized 21 May 1925, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Major shrine College of St. Michael
Fribourg, Switzerland
Feast 21 December; 27 April (General Roman Calendar, 1926–1969)
Patronage Catholic press, Germany

Peter Canisius, S.J. (Dutch : Pieter Kanis, 8 May 1521 – 21 December 1597) was a renowned Dutch Jesuit Catholic priest. He became known for his strong support for the Catholic faith during the Protestant Reformation in Germany, Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The restoration of the Catholic Church in Germany after the Protestant Reformation is largely attributed to the work there of the Society of Jesus, which he led. He is venerated in the Catholic Church as a saint and as a Doctor of the Church.

Society of Jesus male religious congregation of the Catholic Church

The Society of Jesus is a religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded by Ignatius of Loyola with the approval of Pope Paul III in 1540. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.

Dutch language A West Germanic language

Dutch(Nederlands ) is a West Germanic language spoken by around 24 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting the majority of people in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is the third-most-widely spoken Germanic language, after its close relatives English and German.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance, and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands to the west.

Contents

Life

He was born in 1521 in Nijmegen in the Duchy of Guelders, which, until 1549, was part of the Habsburg Netherlands within the Holy Roman Empire and is now the Netherlands. His father was a wealthy burgermeister, Jacob Kanis. His mother, Ægidia van Houweningen, died shortly after Peter's birth. He was sent to study at the University of Cologne, where he earned a Master's degree in 1540, at the age of 19. [1]

Nijmegen City and municipality in Gelderland, Netherlands

Nijmegen, historically anglicized as Nimeguen, is a city in the Dutch province of Gelderland, on the Waal river close to the German border.

Guelders Historical county in the Low Countries

Guelders or Gueldres is a historical county, later duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the Low Countries.

Habsburg Netherlands Historical region in the Low Countries, 1482–1581

Habsburg Netherlands, also referred to as Belgica or Flanders, is the collective name of Holy Roman Empire fiefs in the Low Countries held by the House of Habsburg. The rule began in 1482, when after the death of the Valois-Burgundy duke Charles the Bold the Burgundian Netherlands fell to the Habsburg dynasty by the marriage of Charles's daughter Mary of Burgundy to Archduke Maximilian I of Austria. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was born in the Habsburg Netherlands and made Brussels his imperial capital.

While there, he met Peter Faber, one of the founders of the Society of Jesus. Through him, Canisius became the first Dutchman to join the newly founded Society of Jesus in 1543. Through his preaching and writings, Peter Canisius became one of the most influential Catholics of his time. He supervised the founding and maintenance of the first German-speaking Jesuit colleges, often with little resources at hand. At the same time he preached in the city and vicinity, and debated and taught in the university. [1] Due to his frequent travels between the colleges, a tedious and dangerous occupation at the time, he became known as the Second Apostle of Germany.[ citation needed ]

Peter Faber Jesuit priest and evangelist

Saint Peter Faber was the first Jesuit priest and theologian, who was also a co-founder of the Society of Jesus. Pope Francis announced his canonization on 17 December 2013.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium and Liechtenstein. It is one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages that are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Canisius also exerted a strong influence on the Emperor Ferdinand I. The king's eldest son (later Maximilian II) appointed Phauser, a married priest, to the office of court preacher. Canisius warned Ferdinand I, verbally and in writing, and opposed Phauser in public disputations. Maximilian was obliged to dismiss Phauser and, on this account, the rest of his life he harboured a grudge against Canisius. [1]

Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor Major monarch of the Habsburg Monarchy, younger brother of Charles V

Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1556, king of Bohemia and Royal Hungary from 1526, and king of Croatia from 1527 until his death in 1564. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Also, he often served as Charles' representative in Germany and developed encouraging relationships with German princes.

Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor Holy Roman Emperor

Maximilian II, a member of the Austrian House of Habsburg, was Holy Roman Emperor from 1564 until his death. He was crowned King of Bohemia in Prague on 14 May 1562 and elected King of Germany on 24 November 1562. On 8 September 1563 he was crowned King of Hungary and Croatia in the Hungarian capital Pressburg. On 25 July 1564 he succeeded his father Ferdinand I as ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.

In 1547 he attended several sessions of the Council of Trent. [2] Canisius was an influential teacher and preacher, especially through his "German Catechism", a book which defined the basic principles of Catholicism in the German language and made them more accessible to readers in German-speaking countries. He was offered the post of Bishop of Vienna in 1554, but declined in order to continue his traveling and teachings. He did, however, serve as administrator of the Diocese of Vienna for one year, until a new bishop was appointed for it.[ citation needed ]

Council of Trent 19th Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church

The Council of Trent, held between 1545 and 1563 in Trent, was the 19th ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. Prompted by the Protestant Reformation, it has been described as the embodiment of the Counter-Reformation.

Catechism A summary or exposition of doctrine

A catechism is a summary or exposition of doctrine and serves as a learning introduction to the Sacraments traditionally used in catechesis, or Christian religious teaching of children and adult converts. Catechisms are doctrinal manuals – often in the form of questions followed by answers to be memorised – a format that has been used in non-religious or secular contexts as well. According to Norman DeWitt, the early Christians appropriated this practice from the Epicureans, a school whose founder Epicurus had instructed to keep summaries of the teachings for easy learning. The term catechumen refers to the designated recipient of the catechetical work or instruction. In the Catholic Church, catechumens are those who are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. Traditionally, they would be placed separately during Holy Mass from those who had been baptized, and would be dismissed from the liturgical assembly before the Profession of Faith (Creed) and General Intercessions.

He moved to Germany, where he was one of the main Catholic theologians at the Colloquy of Worms in 1557, and later served as the main preacher in the Cathedral of Augsburg from 1559 to 1568, where he strongly witnessed to his faith on three or four occasions each week. Canisius was renowned as a popular preacher. [2] In 1562 he founded what was to become the University of Innsbruck. [3]

The Colloquy of Worms was the last colloquy in the 16th century on an imperial level, held in Worms from September 11 to October 8, 1557. At the Diet of Augsburg in 1555 it had been agreed that the dialog on controversial religious issues should be continued. A resolution was passed at Regensburg in 1556, and the next colloquy took place in Worms in 1557. The Catholics Michael Helding, John Gropper, and Peter Canisius met with the Protestants Philip Melanchthon, Johannes Brenz and Erhard Schnepf. They first discussed the relation between the Bible and tradition. When Canisius alluded to differences among the Protestants themselves in their doctrine of original sin and justification, which they could not overcome, the meeting was dissolved.

Preacher person who delivers sermons or gives homilies

A preacher is a person who delivers sermons or homilies on religious topics to an assembly of people. Less common are preachers who preach on the street, or those whose message is not necessarily religious, but who preach components such as a moral or social worldview or philosophy.

University of Innsbruck public university in Innsbruck, Austria

The University of Innsbruck is a public university in Innsbruck, the capital of the Austrian federal state of Tyrol, founded in 1669.

In "Christ The King- Lord of History" by Anne W. Carroll, it states,

" Protestantism had made much headway in Germany because many intellectuals had adopted it, making Catholicism appear to be the religion of the ignorant. By his debates, his writing and his teachings, Peter showed that Catholicism was thoroughly rational, that the Protestant arguments were not convincing."

" By his efforts, Peter won Bavaria (southern Germany) and the Rhineland (central Germany) back to the Catholic Church. He also won converts in Austria, Hungary, Bohemia and Poland. Poland had become largely Protestant, but thanks to the efforts of Peter and other Jesuits, it returned to the Church and is still Catholic today despite Communist persecution."

By the time he left Germany, the Society of Jesus in Germany had evolved from a small band of priests into a powerful tool of the Counter-Reformation. Canisius spent the last twenty years of his life in Fribourg, where he founded the Jesuit Collège Saint-Michel, which trained generations of young men for careers and future university studies. [4]

In 1591, at the age of 70, Canisius suffered a stroke which left him partially paralyzed, but he continued to preach and write with the aid of a secretary until his death in Fribourg. [5]

He was initially buried at the Church of St Nicholas. His remains were later transferred to the church of the Jesuit College, which he had founded and where he had spent the last year of his life, and interred in front of the main altar of the church; the room he occupied during those last months is now a chapel open for the veneration of the faithful. [6]

Pastoral strategy

Canisius lived during the height of the Protestant Reformation and dedicated much of his work to the clarification of the Catholic faith in light of the emergence of the new Protestant doctrines. His lasting contribution is his three catechisms, which he published in Latin and German, which became widespread and popular in Catholic regions. [2] In his fight with German Protestantism, he requested much more flexibility from Rome, arguing:

If you treat them right, the Germans will give you everything. Many err in matters of faith, but without arrogance. They err the German way, mostly honest, a bit simple-minded, but very open for everything Lutheran. An honest explanation of the faith would be much more effective than a polemical attack against reformers. [7]

He rejected attacks against John Calvin and Melanchthon: With words like these, we don’t cure patients, we make them incurable. [8]

Mariology of Canisius

Canisius taught that, while there are many roads leading to Jesus Christ, for him the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the best. [9] His sermons and letters document a clear preoccupation with Marian veneration. [9] Under the heading "prayer" he explains the Ave Maria (Hail Mary) as the basis for Catholic Marian piety. [10] Less known are his Marian books, in which he published prayers and contemplative texts. He is credited[ citation needed ] with adding to the Hail Mary the sentence: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners. [11] Eleven years later it was included in the Catechism of the Council of Trent of 1566.[ citation needed ]

Canisius published an applied Mariology for preachers, in which Mary is described in tender and warm words. [12] He actively promoted the sodalities of our Lady and the rosary associations.

Theologically, Canisius defended Catholic Mariology in his 1577 book, De Maria Virgine Incomparabili et Dei Genitrice Sacrosancta Libri Quinque.[ citation needed ] The book was ordered by Pope Pius V to present a factual presentation of the Catholic Marian teachings in the Bible, the early Christians, the Church Fathers and contemporary theology. Canisius explains and documents Church teachings through the ages regarding the person and character of Mary, her virtues and youth. [13] He traces historical documents about the perpetual virginity of Mary, and her freedom from sin. [14] He explains the dogma of "Mother of God" with numerous quotations from the fathers after the Council of Ephesus. He shows that Church teaching has not changed. [15] He answers the sola scriptura arguments of Protestants by analyzing the biblical basis for mariology. [16] Book five explains the Catholic view of the assumption as living faith for centuries, supported by most prominent Church writers. In addition he justifies the cult of Mary within the Catholic Church.[ citation needed ]

From today's perspective, Canisius clearly erred in some of his sources, but, because of his factual analysis of original sources, it is considered as representing one of the best theological achievements in the 16th century. [17]

Veneration

Canisius was beatified by Pope Pius IX in the year 1864, and later canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church on 21 May 1925 by Pope Pius XI. [18] His feast day was included in the General Roman Calendar in 1926, for celebration on 27 April. In the liturgical reform of 1969, it was moved to 21 December, the anniversary of his death, the normal day for celebrating a saint's entry into heaven (although it is still kept by the Society of Jesus on 27 April).

Legacy

Relics associated with St Peter Canisius Relieken canisius.jpg
Relics associated with St Peter Canisius

In recognition of Canisius' early work in the establishment of Jesuit education, there are multiple educational institutions named for him. Among them is the Canisius College for seminarians in Vienna, Austria, the first institution named for him, as well as Canisius College, a Jesuit secondary school in his hometown of Nijmegen and the alma mater of Peter Hans Kolvenbach, a recent Superior General of the Society of Jesus. Another Canisius College, a university, and Canisius High School, a secondary school, are located in Buffalo, New York. Furthermore, a Jesuit-run Canisius Kolleg can be found in Berlin, Germany. There are also two secondary schools named after Canisius, Kolese Kanisius (Collegium Canisianum or Canisius College), in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Canisianum Roman Catholic HS in the Omusati Region of Namibia, Africa. [19]

In addition, there is a primary school: Basisschool Petrus Canisius in Puth in Limburg, Netherlands. In 1850 the Canisius Hospital was established on the corner of the Houtmarkt and the Pauwelstraat in Nijmegen. In 1974 it merged with Wilhelmina Hospital located at the Weg door Jonkerbos in Nijmegen, to become Canisius-Wilhemina Hospital.[ citation needed ]

The Apologetische Vereniging St. Petrus Canisius (St. Peter Canisius Association for Apologetics) was founded in the Netherlands in 1904 to defend the Roman Catholic Church against socialism and liberalism.[ citation needed ]

From the middle of the nineteenth century on German churchmen, including Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber (1869–1952), considered Canisius as a new "Apostle of Germany", a successor of Saint Boniface, for his importance for German Christianity. [20]

Works

The longer version (with quotes from authority):

Vol. 1: Faith, Hope, Charity, the Precepts of the Church
Vol. 2: The Sacraments
Vol. 3: Christian Justification, good works, Cardinal Virtues, Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Ghost, Eight Beatitudes, Evangelical Counsels, etc.

See also

Related Research Articles

Hail Mary Traditional Catholic prayer

The Hail Mary is a traditional Catholic prayer asking for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. In Roman Catholicism, the prayer forms the basis of the Rosary and the Angelus prayers. In the Oriental Orthodox Churches, Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, a similar prayer is used in formal liturgies, both in Greek and in translations. It is also used by many other groups within the Catholic tradition of Christianity including Anglicans, Independent Catholics, and Old Catholics.

Roman Catechism catechism

The Roman Catechism was commissioned during the Catholic Counter-Reformation by the Council of Trent, to expound doctrine and to improve the theological understanding of the clergy. It differs from other summaries of Christian doctrine for the instruction of the people in two points: it is primarily intended for priests having care of souls, and it enjoyed an authority within the Catholic Church equalled by no other catechism until the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992). The need of a popular authoritative manual arose from a lack of systematic knowledge among pre-Reformation clergy and the concomitant neglect of religious instruction among the faithful.

Catholic Mariology study of Mary as the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven, and the Mother of the Church in Roman Catholoic theology

Catholic Mariology refers to Mariology—the systematic study of the person of Mary, mother of Jesus, and of her place in the Economy of Salvation—within Catholic theology. Mary is seen as having a singular dignity above the saints. The Catholic Church teaches that she was conceived without original sin, therefore receiving a higher level of veneration than all other saints. Catholic Mariology thus studies not only her life but also the veneration of her in daily life, prayer, hymns, art, music, and architecture in modern and ancient Christianity throughout the ages.

Peter Hans Kolvenbach Superior General of the Society of Jesus

Peter Hans Kolvenbach, was the twenty-ninth Superior General of the Society of Jesus, the largest male Catholic religious order.

Baptism of desire is a teaching of the Anglican Communion, Lutheran Church and Roman Catholic Church explaining that those who desire baptism, but are not baptized with water through the Christian Sacrament because of death, nevertheless receive the fruits of Baptism at the moment of death if their grace of conversion included "divine and catholic faith", an internal act of perfect charity, and perfect contrition by which their soul was cleansed of all sin. Hence, the Catechism of the Catholic Church observes, "For catechumens [those instructed in the Catholic faith who are preparing to be baptized into the Catholic Church] who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament".

Anglican Marian theology

Anglican Marian theology is the summation of the doctrines and beliefs of Anglicanism concerning Mary, mother of Jesus. As Anglicans believe that Jesus was both human and God the Son, the second Person of the Trinity, within the Anglican Communion and Continuing Anglican movement, Mary is accorded honour as the theotokos, a Koiné Greek term that means "God-bearer" or "one who gives birth to God".

Pierre Busée was a Dutch Jesuit theologian. He assisted in producing the Jesuit Ratio Studiorum and the catechism of Peter Canisius.

Catholic theology is the understanding of Catholic doctrine or teachings, and results from the studies of theologians. It is based on canonical scripture, and sacred tradition, as interpreted authoritatively by the magisterium of the Catholic Church. This article serves as an introduction to various topics in Catholic theology, with links to where fuller coverage is found.

Mariology branch of theology about Mary the mother of Jesus

Mariology is the theological study of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mariology methodically relates teachings about her to other parts of the faith, such as teachings about Jesus, redemption and grace. Christian Mariology aims to connect scripture, tradition and the teachings of the Catholic Church on Mary. In the context of social history, Mariology may be broadly defined as the study of devotion to and thinking about Mary throughout the history of Christianity.

Protestant views on Mary

Protestant views on Mary include the theological positions of major Protestant representatives such as Martin Luther and John Calvin as well as some modern representatives. While it is difficult to generalize about the place of Mary, mother of Jesus in Protestantism given the great diversity of Protestant beliefs, some summary statements are attempted.

Karl Barth's views on Mary agreed with much Roman Catholic dogma but disagreed with the Catholic veneration of Mary. Barth, a leading 20th-century theologian, was a Reformed Protestant. Aware of the common dogmatic tradition of the early Church, Barth fully accepted the dogma of Mary as the Mother of God. Through Mary, Jesus belongs to the human race. Through Jesus, Mary is Mother of God.

History of Catholic Mariology

The history of Catholic Mariology traces theological developments and views regarding Mary from the early Church to the 21st century. Mariology is a mainly Catholic ecclesiological study within theology, which centers on the relation of Mary and the Church. Catholic Mariology is the encyclopedic area of theology concerned with Mary, the Mother of God. Theologically, it not only deals with her life, but her veneration in daily life, prayer, art, music, architecture, in modern and ancient Christianity throughout the ages.

Mariology of the saints

Throughout history Roman Catholic Mariology has been influenced by a number of saints who have attested to the central role of Mary in God's plan of salvation. The analysis of Early Church Fathers continues to be reflected in modern encyclicals. Irenaeus vigorously defended the title of "Theotokos" or Mother of God. The views of Anthony of Padua, Robert Bellarmine and others supported the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, which was declared a dogma in 1850.

Luthers Marian theology

Luther's Marian theology is derived from his views of Mary, the mother of Jesus. It was developed out of the deep Christian Marian devotion on which he was reared, and it was subsequently clarified as part of his mature Christocentric theology and piety. Lutherans hold Mary in high esteem. Martin Luther dogmatically asserted what he considered firmly established biblical doctrines like the divine motherhood of Mary while adhering to pious opinions of the Immaculate Conception and the perpetual virginity of Mary along with the caveat that all doctrine and piety should exalt and not diminish the person and work of Jesus Christ. By the end of Luther's theological development, his emphasis was always placed on Mary as merely a receiver of God's love and favor. His opposition to regarding Mary as a mediatrix of intercession or redemption was part of his greater and more extensive opposition to the belief that the merits of the saints could be added to those of Jesus Christ to save humanity.

Ecumenical meetings and documents on Mary

Ecumenical meetings and documents on Mary is a review of the status of Mariology in the Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, and Roman Catholic Churches, as a result of ecumenical commissions and working groups.

Dogma in the Catholic Church definitive articles of faith (de fide) according to the Roman Catholic Church

A dogma of the Catholic Church is defined as "a truth revealed by God, which the magisterium of the Church declared as binding." The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

The Church's Magisterium asserts that it exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging Catholics to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these.

Christianity in the 16th century Christianity-related events during the 16th century

In 16th-century Christianity, Protestantism came to the forefront and marked a significant change in the Christian world.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Catholic Church:

St Peter Canisius Church, Nijmegen

St Peter Canisius Church is a Roman Catholic Parish church in Nijmegen, Gelderland, Netherlands. It is situated on Molenstraat in the centre of the city. It is run by the Society of Jesus and is in the Diocese of 's-Hertogenbosch. It is built on the site of a 14th-century monastery, which was passed into the hands of the Jesuits in 1818. It was rebuilt in 1896 and again in 1960 after being bombed in the Second World War.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Braunsberger, Otto. "Blessed Peter Canisius", The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911.
  2. 1 2 3 Media, Franciscan (21 December 2015). "Saint Peter Canisius". Franciscan Media. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  3. "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: University of Innsbruck". www.newadvent.org. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  4. The college was lost by the Jesuits at the time of their Suppression in 1773. First under the administration of the local diocese and then of the canton, the college, now known as St. Michael College, continues to exist as a coeducational preparatory institution.
  5. Ghezzi, Bert. "St. Peter Canisius, SJ (1521-1597)", ignatianspirituality.com' accessed 27 June 2017.
  6. "Archived copy" (in French). Archived from the original on 9 September 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  7. Burg, Kontroverslexikon, Essen, 1903, pg. 224
  8. Burg 225
  9. 1 2 Stegmüller, 1052)
  10. Streicher, 95,245,267
  11. This sentence appeared for the first time in his Catechism of 1555 (Streicher Catechismi, I, 12).
  12. Meditaciones, 1591-1593
  13. in Book One
  14. in Book Two
  15. Book Three
  16. Book Four
  17. Otto Stegmüller 1063
    • "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year" edited by Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O.Cist., Ph.D., New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1955, p. 164
  18. "Quality of education slides" . Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  19. Heid, Stefan. "Der vereinnahmte Bonifatius: vom apostolischen Völkermissionar zum "Apostel der Deutschen"". Trierer Theologische Zeitschrift (in German). 116: 238–72.

Sources

In addition to the listed institutions worldwide, there is Peter Canisius College in Sydney, Australia (suburb of Pymble at 102 Mona Vale Road).