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Saint Peter Canisius

Patron Saint of the Catholic Press


Public Domain

Jesuit Priest and Missionary (1521-1597)

His life

+ Peter was born in Nihmegen, Holland.

+ In 1543, he joined the Society of Jesus, distinguishing himself for his learning and devotion to the spiritual life. He took for himself a special mission to re-evangelize those parts of Germany that had embraced Protestant teachings during the Reformation.

+ A preacher and teacher, he helped lead the Catholic “Counter-Reformation” with charity and zeal. He recognized that the Church herself stood in need of reform in her pastors and had to prepare new generations of lay women and men who were capable of defending their Faith.

+ Peter was a prolific writer and he is especially remembered for his catechism, which became a popular teaching resource throughout Europe with more than two hundred editions appearing before the end of the seventeenth century.

+ Saint Peter Canisius died at Fribourg, Switzerland, in 1597. He was canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1925 and is honored as the patron saint of the Catholic Press.

For prayer and reflection

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.—Magnificat Antiphon for December 21


Hear in kindness, O Lord,
the prayers of your people,
that those who rejoice
at the coming of your Only Begotten Son in our flesh
may, when at last he comes in glory,
gain the reward of eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(Collect for December 21)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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