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Saint of the Day - Saint Peter Canisius

St. Peter Canisius was born on May 8, 1621 in the Netherlands. He died on December 21, 1597. He is considered to be the Second Apostle of Germany. Boniface is the original Apostle of Germany. He is a Doctor of the Church.

Image found at used as being in the public domain

He was born in Nijmegen in the Duchy of Guelders. At the time, it was part of the Habsburg Netherlands of the Holy Roman Empire. Today, it is the Netherlands. His father was a wealthy burgermeister, which is roughly the equivalent to a Chief Magistrate (a judge) or a mayor of a city. His father was named Jakob Kanis. His mother, who died when he was very young, was named Ægidia van Houweningen. She died shortly after Peter's birth. Peter was sent to the University of Cologne. He earned his Master's Degree in theology at the age of 19 in 1540.

During his time at Cologne, he had heard about a new order of priests called the Soviet of Jesus (the Jesuits). One of its founders, Saint Peter Faber, S.J., was in Mainz at the time and our Peter traveled to Mainz to meet him. Father Fber led Canisius on a 30-day retreat for young men. During the second week, he opted to join the Jesuit Order. He was accepted as a novice on birthday, May 8, 1543. He was then 22.

Peter returned to Cologne where he completed his doctoral degree in theology. He was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 1546. Even before his ordination, our Peter taught scripture and published new editions of texts of the writings of both Saint Cyril of Alexandria and Pope Saint Leo the Great (Leo I whose papacy, according to Pope Benedict XVI, was one of the most important in history).

He attended sessions of the Council of Trent in 1547. Much of the Council of Trent dealt with the Protestant Reformation. Note that the root word of Protestant is PROTEST, meaning one who is in a state of protest with Rome.

Peter created the German Catechism. This book put the basics ideals of into a written form ion the German language, This made the catechism easier to understand for many Germans as Latin was, by then, a dead language as its is today. While Peter was offered the bishopric of Vienna, hue turned it down so that he would be free to preach and travel as he saw fit, although he did serve as Administrator of the Diocese of Vienna for one year until a suitable bishop was identified and properly consecrated and placed into office.

In 1562, Peter founded a college that is now known as the University of Innsbruck. When he left Germany, the Society of Jesus was huge compared to its humble beginnings there. Peter converted most of the Rhineland (Central Germany) and Bayern (Bavaria in southern Germany) back to , hence his identification as the Second Apostle of Germany.

Peter went to Fribourg for the last 20 years of lhjis life, where he founded a Jesuit college, College Saint Michael. This college trained young men for their careers and/olr for future university studies.

When he was 70 years old, Peter suffered a debilitating stroke. However, with the aid of an assistant, he was able to write and to preach until his death in Fribourg on December 21, 1576 at the ripe old age of 76. And 76 was old for people to live to back then.

After the first of the year, we are going to start praying the 3 Hail Mary Novena. It is as perpetual novena. We will pray that Novena unless we are on a different Novena. Towards the end of May, we will start praying there Novena to Saint Boniface leading up to his feast on June 5. He will have been in Heaven 1,270 years by then. Yes, I have a strong devotion to Saint Boniface. He is my confirmation saint. If I were being confirmed today, I would be tempted to take a double name such as Boniface Therese.

Much of the information gleaned herein came from

Saint Andrew's Christmas Novena

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in a stable, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, we beseech Thee, O my God, to hear our prayers and grant our desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

(Prayer copied from EWTN)

Join me at 3:30 p.m. Eastern for the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, to leafrn about St. Lucy and to pray the St. Andrew Christmas Novena at:

If you have not watched our Christmas Special, the Case for Christmas, you can find it here:

Here is a link to my interview with Lisa Marie Nicole from Sunday, December 10, 2023. I lovingly refer to Lisa as the Catholic version of Stryper:

If you want to listen top some great interviews, John Benko and I interviewed the original modern-day Catholic Defender, Steve Ray,, and we interviewed acclaimed Catholic musical artist Donna Cori Gibson at

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