Saint Peter Canisius, also known as Peter Kanis or Peter Canisius, was a Dutch Jesuit priest, theologian and writer, born May 8, 1521 in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and died December 21, 1597 in Fribourg-en -Brisgau, Germany. He is famous for his defense of the Catholic faith and for his work to reform the Catholic Church in the 16th century.
Youth and training
Pierre Canisius was born into a family of wealthy and cultured traders. He was educated at the Latin school in Nijmegen, where he learned Latin, Greek and Hebrew. He then went to study theology in Cologne and Louvain, where he was influenced by the teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Augustine.
Conversion and entry into the Society of Jesus
In 1543, Pierre Canisius attended a series of sermons given by the famous Jesuit preacher, Pierre Favre. These preachings had a great impact on him and led to his conversion to Catholicism. In 1544 he entered the Society of Jesus, a Catholic religious society founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
Missionary work and reform of the Catholic Church
Pierre Canisius worked as a missionary in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, where he worked for the reform of the Catholic Church. He was also involved in the establishment of numerous Jesuit colleges and worked in the training of young priests.
In 1549 he was appointed Jesuit provincial for Germany, a position he held for nine years. During this period, he worked on the creation of new schools and the education of children and adults.
Pierre Canisius is also known for his written works, which include catechisms, sermons and theological treatises. His catechism, published in 1555, was widely used in the teaching of the Catholic religion in the 16th century. He also wrote a commentary on the New Testament in Latin, which is still used by students of theology today.
Canonization and legacy
Pierre Canisius was beatified in 1864 by Pope Pius IX and canonized in 1925 by Pope Pius XI. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church and his feast day is celebrated on December 21.
His legacy includes his work for the reform of the Catholic Church in the 16th century, as well as his commitment to the education and training of young people. He also contributed to Catholic literature with his theological writings and catechisms.