Saturday 23rd June 2018

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Peter Canisius

December 10, 2013 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

When the Pope recognized the challenges of the Church, he called a council. After the council, the Pope called a Jesuit to write a catechism to clearly state the teachings of the Church. Such was the case for Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, in the last half of the 20th century when Pope Paul VI called for a definitive catechism. His book, The Catholic Catechism, has sold well over a million copies. Similarly, King Ferdinand of Austria ordered St. Peter Canisius to write a catechism after the Council of Trent, in the 16th century.
St. Peter Canisius, the second apostle to Germany — St. Boniface being the first — was born in 1521. From birth he resided in Nijmegen, which was part of the Archdiocese of Cologne. Peter was the eldest son of Jacob Kanis, who was tutor to the Duke of Lorraine’s family. Although Peter lost his mother at a young age, his father remarried to a good woman who saw to his education and formation. At an early age, Peter entered the University of Cologne and received his master’s in arts when only 19 years of age. He then went to Louvain to study canon law.
He realized, however, that this was not the path for him. His father had arranged a marriage for him, but he refused, having taken a vow of celibacy. He returned to Cologne to study theology and met Fr. Peter Faber, the first Jesuit disciple of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Peter made a 30-day retreat with Fr. Faber during which he elected to join the Jesuit order. He lived in the community as a novice in Cologne. He kept busy mainly with prayer, study, ministering to the poor, and writing. His first publication came when he released the complete works of St. Cyril of Alexandria and St. Leo the Great.
He also taught at the university in Cologne, debated, and preached. In 1546 he entered the priesthood. His reputation for wisdom and knowledge of the faith spread far and wide. St. Ignatius then called him to Rome where Peter closely assisted him for five months. On September 7, 1549, he took his solemn vows as a Jesuit, promising St. Ignatius that he would go anywhere and do anything he was told.
Peter was thus sent to Ingolstadt. His more important mission was to disseminate the decrees of the Council of Trent throughout Germany, which was no easy task, the previous messenger having been killed by the Protestants. On his way to Bavaria, he received a doctorate of theology in Bologna. In 1550 he was elected rector of the college in Ingolstadt, and then vice chancellor. While there, he converted many by catechizing and helping the poor. He enkindled the fire of faith in tepid Catholics and also brought many Protestants into the Church.
By 1552, Ignatius transferred Peter to Vienna at the request of King Ferdinand. Again he met with great success in establishing a college even though there were few Catholics left. Despite his harsh German accent, his eloquent words and attention to the marginalized won more hearts for Christ. He refilled the churches furthering the Catholic Reformation.
St. Peter was so popular that many called for him to become bishop of Vienna, which he adamantly refused. Not the people, not the king, not even the Pope could persuade him to accept the post — though he finally agreed to act as administrator of the diocese for one year.
Peter had other work upon which he was focusing — the work for which he would eventually be declared a doctor of the Church. Following the Council of Trent, a compendium of Catholic teaching was desperately needed. Peter Canisius, now known more for his series of catechisms than for any other work, began to produce them. The chaos following the council demanded them. So did many other people.
King Ferdinand asked him to begin work on a catechism that would be based on the findings of the Council of Trent. St. Peter also wrote a Summary of Christian Doctrine, which became immensely popular, as well as catechisms for both the youth and adults.
These catechisms were also part of the main foundation upon which the Catholic Reformation was built. They were so popular that they were translated into 15 languages in his time, including Japanese and Hindustani — no doubt as a result of the efforts of his fellow Jesuit, St. Francis Xavier.
St. Ignatius, fully aware of the gift of St. Peter Canisius, called him to Prague. Peter thought he was being called to found another college but Ignatius had other ideas. Much to the dismay of St. Peter, St. Ignatius appointed him to be the provincial of the Jesuit province covering Austria, south Germany, and Bohemia.
All of St. Peter’s self-deprecating reasons for refusing the assignment fell on deaf ears. St. Ignatius held firm to his decision, which proved effective by the results. In two years, St. Peter’s endeavors of winning converts and of establishing the college were so successful that even the Protestants jockeyed to have their sons win places in it.
Canisius was also a brilliant apologist and evangelist. He participated in the debate at Worms in 1557, decimating the arguments of the Protestants, but with great gentleness and charity. He traveled nearly 20,000 miles in his 30 years of giving missions and retreats. Most of these were covered by foot or horseback.
From 1559-1565 he resided in Augsburg at the request of King Ferdinand. Once again he founded a college and reignited the hearts of the people. He even had the schools that were destroyed by the Protestants restored to the Church.
St. Peter continued to work on printing books, foreseeing the impact of the printing press. His book General Prayer was used in Germany for centuries. When he retired as provincial, he settled in Dillingen in Bavaria, where he taught, heard Confessions, and continued to prepare books for publication in obedience to his Jesuit superiors.
Even when serving at court in Innsbruck until 1577, he continued this work. Although his health was beginning to fail, he went to Fribourg, Switzerland, where, against incredible odds, he founded yet another Catholic college, which still exists. Again he converted and inspired many despite the attacks of the Protestants.
In 1591, he recovered briefly from a paralyzing stroke. With the aid of a secretary, he continued to write. He finally succumbed to his illness on December 21, 1591.
Dear St. Peter, you loved your enemies. You approached the Protestants of your day with charity and acceptance and thus converted many of them at a most difficult time in the history of our Church. Help us to develop these same qualities as we face the enemies of the Church today and thereby win more souls for the Kingdom of God. Amen.

+    +    +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. Mrs. Breslin’s articles have appeared in Homiletic & Pastoral Review and in the Marian Catechist Newsletter. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vikings host ‘LGBTQ summit’ to promote ‘inclusion’ in sports

EAGAN, Minnesota, June 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Minnesota Vikings are hosting a conference and fundraiser today for “LGBTQ inclusion in sports,” the first of its kind in the National Football League (NFL). The event will include speeches, interviews, and…Continue Reading

Catholic bishops are quick to attack Trump but slow to advise their voters

(RNS) — President Trump had no sooner returned home from his historic photo op with Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore when he faced condemnation from a host of religious leaders, from Southern Baptists to African Methodists to Catholics,…Continue Reading

Bishop: Deny Communion to Border Agents. It’s a ‘Life Issue.’

Is enforcing U.S. immigration law a moral evil that demands excommunication? Or would a new proposal politicize the Eucharist, strengthen organized crime, and hurt even more migrant children? Roman Catholics must face these questions after Bishop Edward Weisburger of Tucson suggested “canonical…Continue Reading

Argentina steps closer to legalising abortion

Catholic Argentina’s lower house has backed a bill legalising abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. After a divisive debate lasting more than 22 hours, 129 members of the Chamber of Deputies voted in favour and 125 against while…Continue Reading

Pope Francis rejects German proposal for inter-communion

Vatican City, Jun 4, 2018 / 06:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).- One month after Vatican and German delegates met in Rome to discuss a proposal put forward by German bishops to allow Protestant spouses in inter-denominational marriages to receive the Eucharist…Continue Reading

St. Paul archdiocese settlement is largest-ever in Catholic bankruptcy case

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has agreed to a $210 million settlement with 450 victims of clergy sexual abuse as part of its plan for bankruptcy reorganization, making it the second-largest U.S. payout…Continue Reading

Church’s teaching on male-only priesthood is ‘infallible’: Vatican doctrine chief

ROME, May 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The head of the Vatican office overseeing Church doctrine has insisted that the Church’s teaching on the male-only priesthood is “infallible,” and has offered a veiled rebuke of a prominent Cardinal who recently claimed the…Continue Reading

The revolt against Humanae Vitae continues to haunt us today

ROME, May 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — As in 2017, 2018 is also a year that is rich with important and significant anniversaries which we need to remember, because the roots of the present are found in the past. The best known…Continue Reading

Cardinal: Communion cannot be shared with non-Catholics like beer or cake

BUCKFASTLEIGH, England, May 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Protestants who want to receive Holy Communion should become Catholics, Cardinal Francis Arinze said this week, and added that “it is rather serious” to presume marriage can be dissolved for the purpose of…Continue Reading

Speaker Ryan Proposes a Return to Catholic Social Doctrine at Prayer Breakfast

Washington, D.C. – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Thursday about how he believed the answer to many of the political problems society faces today, including “moral relativism” and “tribalism,” can be found in Catholic…Continue Reading

Judge rules ‘transgender’ high-schooler should have been allowed opposite-sex bathroom

NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia, May 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A judge has ruled that a Virginia high school should have allowed a gender-confused former student to use the restrooms designated for the opposite sex. Gavin Grimm is a female Gloucester High School…Continue Reading

One of the most ‘liberal abortion regimes’ if vote passes

Ireland will have one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe if Friday’s referendum is passed, the No campaign warned during its final press conference on Wednesday. With the broadcasting ban set to come into force on the eve of the…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Cardinal Burke responds to Francis: We hand-delivered dubia letter to Pope’s residence

ROME, June 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Speaking with Reuters in an interview which appeared yesterday, Pope Francis criticized Cardinal Raymond Burke and three other cardinals who joined him in begging the Pope for clarification on key issues of faith. The cardinals used the long-standing ecclesial practice of issuing dubia, or questions to the Pope. There were five such questions altogether. But, according to Reuters the Pope said that “he had heard about the cardinals’ letter criticizing him…Continue Reading

GOOD NEWS . . .Fr. Phillips Exonerated

We have confirmation that after several weeks the Congregation of the Resurrection has indeed concluded its hearings and investigation of the accusations directed against Father Phillips. An independent Review Board of three public-spirited leaders from the Chicago area, who are not members of St. John Cantius Church, was constituted. Thereafter, the Review Board interviewed the detractors and several witnesses, persons who personally know the accusers, and other individuals who

Cardinal Brandmüller Questions Francis’ Claim Not to Have Received the Dubia Before Publication

Today, on 20 June, Reuters published a new interview with Pope Francis. Although the interview is making headlines because of the Pope’s criticism of President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, it also contains another controversial assertion: the pope surprisingly now claims that he only heard about the Dubia (concerning his document Amoris Laetitia) “from the newspapers” — a claim that Dubia cardinal Walter Brandmüller has now questioned in comments to OnePeterFive. From the text of the interview: The pope also commented on internal criticism of his…Continue Reading

US Cardinal removed after ‘credible’ allegation he abused a minor

NEW YORK, June 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A high-profile liberal U.S. cardinal has been removed from public ministry for credible and substantiated allegations of abuse of a minor. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a former priest of the Archdiocese of New York and cardinal emeritus of Washington D.C., “is no longer to exercise publicly his priestly ministry,” says a news release from New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan. “The review board found the allegations credible and substantiated,” Dolan’s statement said. “The Vatican…Continue Reading

Trump Admin Withdraws U.S. From UN Human Rights Council That Pushed Global Right to Abortion

The Trump Administration announced today that the United States is withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council. That’s good news for pro-life advocates as the so-called human rights organization pushed for a global right to kill unborn children in abortions. According to news reports: The Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from the United Nations Human Rights Council, with U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley calling the 47-member council “a protector of human rights abusers, an

Advertisement(2)

But What Happened To The News Coverage? . . . Pope Says Homosexual Couples Are Not A Family

By BILL DONOHUE (Editor’s Note: Catholic League President Bill Donohue on June 18 commented on remarks by Pope Francis that have been censored by the media.) + + + Pope Francis says gay couples cannot be considered a family. The media know he said this but, with few exceptions, they refused to run this story.…Continue Reading

Holy Bashfulness Vs. Shame By ALICE von HILDEBRAND

My dear young friend, Years ago, Cardinal O’Boyle was discussing some sexual matters with a group of men; all of a sudden the cardinal noticed that a young girl had joined the group, and interrupting his talk, he said to her: “Please excuse me.” But he was immediately rudely rebuked by one of the men…Continue Reading

On The Role Of Beauty In The Spiritual Life

By JAMES MONTI In recent years, thanks largely to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the role of beauty in the sacred liturgy — and the appalling chasm created by its absence — has been a topic of frequent discussion among those concerned with a restoration of the sacred in divine worship — the beauty of the…Continue Reading

Civil Court… Rules Fulton Sheen’s Remains Can Go To Peoria

NEW YORK (CNA/EWTN News) — The Superior Court of New York ruled June 8 in favor of Joan Sheen Cunningham, who had petitioned to move the body of her uncle, Venerable Fulton Sheen, to the Cathedral of St. Mary in Peoria. The body of the late archbishop is currently in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New…Continue Reading

Lindsey Graham’s Unjustifiable Call for War

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributed this column.) + + + Question: Has North Korea reinvaded South Korea since it signed an armistice 65 years ago suspending the Korean War? Answer: No. Question: Why? Answer: It has been deterred. Question: Would it…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. Following up on a recent question about a divorced and remarried non-Catholic adult who converts to the Catholic Church, you said that the conversion would not change the status of the person, that he would still be married to his previous spouse and could not marry again without a decree of nullity or the death of the first spouse.…Continue Reading

None Dare Call It Treason

By DEACON JAMES TONER (Editor’s Note: Deacon James H. Toner, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Air War College, and author of Morals Under the Gun and other books. He has also taught at Notre Dame, Norwich, Auburn, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Holy Apostles College & Seminary. He serves in the Diocese of…Continue Reading

The Glorious St. John The Baptist

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of The Nativity Of St. John The Baptist (YR B) Readings Isaiah 49:1-6 Acts 13:22-26 Luke 1:57-66, 80 Today we celebrate the birth of a man who is important to us in a variety of ways. St. John the Baptist is, according to our Lord’s own words, the greatest man born of woman. For this…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Will Marriages Outside A Church Keep Couples In The Church?

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The Church makes exceptions to its own rules; this is well known. There are God’s rules, such as the Commandments, exceptions to which cannot be granted by man. And then there are the regulations promulgated by the Church, using the authority given her by the Lord, in order to better facilitate the pastoral work of…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ . . . Understanding Confession More Deeply

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 33 When Jesus gave the apostles the power to bind and unbind things here on Earth (Matt. 18:18), He gave them authority over His flock. Hence, from the very first century, Popes and bishops passed laws to be observed by the people. Consequently, considering the seriousness of sin, and the risk many take for…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Cafasso

By CAROLE BRESLIN Truman Capote wrote: “Love is a chain of love as nature is a chain of life.” More important, grace is a chain of grace with one grace leading to another. And holiness a chain of holiness as God pours His love through one person to another, as the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mediatrix of all graces, pours…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph The Hymnographer

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the late sixth and early seventh century, the glories of Gregorian chant began to develop in Rome. Then, in the thirteenth century, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote beautiful hymns to celebrate Corpus Christi and to honor the Real Presence. In the Eastern Church, around Constantinople, they also sang hymns, but it was not until the late ninth…Continue Reading