Tuesday, December 21, 1999
Tuesday December 21:
Tuesday in Late Advent and the optional
Feast of Saint Peter Canisius, Priest, Religious and Doctor of the Church
First Reading: Songs 2: 8-14 or Zepheniah 3: 14-18
Psalms: Psalm 33: 2-3, 11-12, 20-21
Gospel Reading: Luke 1: 39-45
O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to
give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be)
Optional Feast of Saint Peter Canisius, Priest, Religious and Doctor of the Church
This Dutch-born Jesuit priest played a key role in the landmark Council of Trent and played a vital role in debating the Protestant heresies throughout Europe, especially in his native Netherlands and Germany, Austria, Bohemia and Poland. He was a great eloquent preacher sought by prince and pauper alike. He served as mediator between Holy Roman Emperors and Popes. He also founded the University of Fribourg in 1580. One of his most famous works was "Manuel of Catholics" and is referred to as the "Second Apostle of Germany," giving way to the great Saint Boniface as the "First Apostle of Germany." Because of Peter's efforts, the counter-reformation was a resounding success in Bavaria. In 1591 he suffered a stroke which hindered his speaking engagements, but he continued his writings with the help of a scribe as he dictated to him. Six years later, at the age of 76 this noble man died at Fribourg. Pope Pius XI canonized him in 1925, at the same time declaring him a distinguished Doctor of the Church.