St. Peter Canisius – December 21

Saint Peter was one of the most important figures in the Catholic Reformation in Germany. At the age of 19 he received a master’s degree from the university at Cologne. At this early age Peter had already taken up a practice he continued throughout his life—a process of study, reflection, prayer and writing. In 1547 Peter attended several sessions of the Council of Trent. He taught in several universities and was instrumental in establishing many colleges and seminaries. He wrote a catechism that explained the Catholic faith in a way which common people could understand—a great need of that age. He could often be found visiting the sick or prisoners, Renowned as a popular preacher, Peter packed churches with those eager to hear his eloquent proclamation of the gospel. He had great diplomatic ability, often serving as a reconciler between disputing factions. In his letters (filling eight volumes) one finds words of wisdom and counsel to people in all walks of life. At times he wrote unprecedented letters of criticism to leaders of the Church—yet always in the context of a loving, sympathetic concern. Taken from

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