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St. Peter Canisius

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St. Peter Canisius

PATRON OF Catholic press, Germany

December 21 Saint of the Day

December 21 Saint of the Day

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An important Catholic reformer in Germany, Saint Peter Canisius earned a master’s degree at age 19, and then joined the Jesuits. He was a great writer and patron of the sick and imprisoned. Peter Canisius was an active member of the Council of Trent, and implemented its decisions. He also taught at the university level and helped found many colleges and seminaries.

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LITURGY OF THE HOURS - 2ND READING

A spiritual experience

From the writings of Saint Peter Canisius
Before he set out for Germany—he is rightly called the second apostle of that country—Saint Peter Canisius received the apostolic blessing, and underwent a profound spiritual experience. He describes it in these words.
“Eternal High Priest, you allowed me in your boundless goodness to commend the fruit and confirmation of that blessing to your apostles, to whom men go on pilgrimage to the Vatican and who there work wonders under your guidance. It was there that I experienced great consolation and the presence of your grace, offered to me through these great intercessors. They too gave their blessings, and confirmed the mission to Germany; they seemed to promise their good will to me as an apostle of that country. You know, Lord, how strongly and how often you committed Germany to my care on that very day: I was to continue to be solicitous for it thereafter, I was to desire to live and die for it.
“At length, it was as if you opened to me the heart in your most sacred body: I seemed to see it directly before my eyes. You told me to drink from this fountain, inviting me, that is, to draw the waters of my salvation from your wellsprings, my Savior. I was most eager that streams of faith, hope and love should flow into me from that source. I was thirsting for poverty, chastity, obedience. I asked to be made wholly clean by you, to be clothed by you, to be made resplendent by you.
“So, after daring to approach your most loving heart and to plunge my thirst in it, I received a promise from you of a garment made of three parts: these were to cover my soul in its nakedness, and to belong especially to my religious profession. They were peace, love and perseverance. Protected by this garment of salvation, I was confident that I would lack nothing but all would succeed and give you glory.”
 

St. Peter Canisius

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St. Peter Canisius

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A secret agent!

The year was 1564 and an important mission had to be accomplished. But who could do it? “We need a secret agent!” declared the church leaders. But who was brave enough to attempt it? The mission already had failed once before. What was the mission? To bring documents from the Council of Trent (an important meeting that the church leaders had in Italy) to the bishops scattered throughout Europe. This was a dangerous mission because whoever they chose must travel through hostile Protestant territory. It had been tried before and all the documents disappeared! STOLEN!

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Activity: Let’s Play DETECTIVE!
SOURCE: OSV Kids!

Saint Stories for all Ages

Peter Canisius revitalized Catholic Life

If you have too much to do, with God’s help you will find time to do it all. —Peter Canisius
For a half-century Jesuit Father Peter Canisius led the Catholic Reformation in Austria, Bavaria, and Bohemia. For that reason he is reckoned an apostle to Germany, second only to St. Boniface. With stupendous energy he preached and taught in parishes, reformed and founded universities, wrote many books including popular catechisms, restored lapsed Catholics, converted Protestants, preached retreats, and found time to care for the sick. In his last 30 years traveling more than 20,000 miles on foot or horseback, St. Peter Canisius spearheaded the renewal of the Catholic faith in southern Germany.
Peter Canisius revitalized Catholic life and teaching at universities in Ingolstadt and Augsburg. He founded new ones at Prague and Fribourg. In all four cities his preaching and catechizing won the hearts of Catholics and attracted nominal Protestants to the church. In Vienna his personal care for plague victims made him a most popular figure.Thus, when appointed diocesan administrator, he was in a position to revive the city’s long decadent Catholic community.
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From Voices of the Saints, by Bert Ghezzi
SOURCE: LoyolaPress.com

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