• GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
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  • W
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  • T
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  • A
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  • GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • Canisius, Peter

    lang=EN-US style='font-size:10.5pt;font-family:"Meridien-Medium","serif"; color:black'>(15211597)

    Jesuit educator

    Peter Canisius was the first German member of

    the Society of Jesus, the JESUITS. Besides being

    an influential preacher he played an important

    role in the COUNTER-REFORMATION in Germany,

    where he won over Catholic princes. He also

    made important contributions to raising the

    educational standards of Catholic youth. He was

    so popular and influential that Germans called

    him a Second Apostle of Germany.

    Peter de Hondt, later known as Peter Canisius,

    was born in Nymwegen, Holland, in 1521. In his

    education he was influenced by a study of the

    devotio moderna as cultivated by the Brethern of

    the Common Life and by reading about the mystical

    contemplatives of the later Middle Ages. He

    was accepted by the Jesuits in Cologne in 1543.

    After a long period of education in Cologne he

    was ordained a priest in 1546, and in 1548 he

    received a doctorate at the age of 27. He attended

    sessions at the Council of Trent as the procurator

    of Cardinal Otto Truchsess von Waldburg.

    Soon afterward he was called to Rome by

    Ignatius Loyola himself.

    His missionary activities in Germany began in

    BAVARIA, AUSTRIA and Bohemia, where Catholicism

    was still strong. Through these activities he

    saw that what was required was a well-trained

    and devout priesthood. He devoted himself, therefore,

    to founding Jesuit colleges at Ingolstadt,

    Prague, MUNICH and Innsbruck, and Fribourg

    (Switzerland) and encouraged those already in

    existence in Cologne, AUGSBURG and Würzburg.

    Another major task of Canisius was to raise educational

    standards among Catholic youth so as to

    match the excellence of Protestant schools, which

    had improved under the influence of Philip

    MELANCHTHON. Canisius engaged in educational

    reforms in Vienna, Ingolstadt, and Fribourg.

    Canisius also served as an adviser to numerous

    princes and bishops, urging them to take a determined

    stand against Protestants in imperial diets

    and church councils. At the request of the

    emperor Ferdinand, Canisius composed a catechism

    that became the standard book of religious

    instruction for youth. All these activities extended

    over half a century.

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