Feast Day: December 21
Born:1521 :: Died:1597
Peter Kanis was born at Niemguen in Holland. His father a Dutch man wanted him to be a lawyer. To please him, young Peter began to study law before he had finished all his other studies and received a master's degree when he was 19. But soon he realized that he would never be happy practicing law.
About that time, people all over were talking about the wonderful preaching of Blessed Peter Faber. He was one of the first members of the Jesuit order. Peter Canisius attended the retreat and knew that he, too, would be happy serving God as a Jesuit.
So he joined the order and after more years of study and prayer, he was made a priest. During his prayers he saw a vision of the Sacred Heart and from that time he offered all his work to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The great St. Ignatius of Loyola soon realized what an obedient and eager apostle St. Peter Canisius was. He sent him to Germany where Peter worked hard for forty years.
St. Peter Canisius' did many great works, prayers and sacrifices during that time. His concern was to save many cities of Germany from the false teachings of the day.
He also worked strongly to bring back to the Catholic Church those who had accepted false teachings. He traveled about twenty thousand miles in thirty years. This he did on foot or on horseback.
In spite of all this, St. Peter Canisius still found time to write many books on the Christian faith. He realized how important books are. So he started doing whatever he could to stop bad books from being sold and began to spread good books to teach the faith.
The two catechisms St. Peter Canisius wrote were liked so much that they were printed over two hundred times and were translated into fifteen languages.
When people told him that he worked too hard, St. Peter Canisius would say, "If you have too much to do, with God's help, you will find time to do it all." This wonderful saint died in 1597.
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