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St. Peter Canisius, called “The Second Apostle of Germany,” as St. Boniface was the first, was the first German Jesuit. He was born at Nymwegen, May 8, 1521., and was received into the Society of Jesus by Blessed Peter Faber, at Mayence, May 8, 1543. After an extraordinarily apostolic life as teacher, orator, writer, adviser, he died a holy death on December 21, 1597, at Freiburg, Switzerland. He was beatified November 20, 1868, and canonized May 21, 1925. He had a great love for children; to him we owe the first catechism of Christian Doctrine; he is often pictured as surrounded by a group of devout children, teaching them the catechism. The greatest stress he placed upon the education of priest. “To train good priests,” he said, “ is the simplest way towards the sanctification of an entire people.’’
In the midst of the church the Lord opened his mouth: and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory. (P.T. Alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 91, 2. It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy name, O Most High. Glory be …
O God, Who for the defense of the Catholic Faith didst strengthen blessed Peter, Thy confessor, with virtue and learning: vouchsafe in Thy loving kindness, that by his example of precepts the erring may be restored to salvation, and the faithful may persevere in the confession of the truth. Through our Lord.
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to Timothy.
[His charge to Timothy. He tells him of his approaching death and desires him to come to him.]
Dearly beloved, I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober. For I am even now ready to be sacrificed: and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming.
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment. The law of his God is in his heart: and his steps shall not be supplanted.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ecclus. 45, 9. The Lord loved him, and adorned him: He clothed him with a robe of glory. Alleluia. Osee 14, 6. The just shall spring as the lily; ad shall flourish forever before the Lord. Alleluia.
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ's sermon upon the mount. The eight beatitudes.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.
So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
The just shall flourish like the palm-tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus. (P.T. alleluia.)
May the loving prayers of Peter Canisius, Thy bishop, not be wanting to us, O Lord, to commend our gifts and ever to obtain pardon for us. Through our Lord.
A faithful and wise steward, whom the Lord set over His family; to give them their measure of wheat in due season. (P.T. Alleluia.)
That Thy sacrifices may give us health, O Lord, may blessed Peter Canisius, Thy bishop and illustrious doctor, we beseech Thee, act as our intercessor. Through our Lord.