Peter Canisius was born in 1521 in what is now Holland. Soon after he finished studies at the University of Cologne, Canisius met Peter Faber, a disciple of Ignatius Loyola, because of whose influence Canisius himself joined the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits.
Peter Canisius was ordained in 1546. He began writing theological works and church history, founded colleges, and was a delegate to several sessions of the Council of Trent. Canisius lived soon after the Protestant Reformation and was skilled at being true to the Catholic faith while not attacking those with different beliefs. As a Jesuit, he wanted to live with charity toward all people. He was respected by both Protestants and Catholics and gained a reputation as a reconciler.
Canisius published a Catechism that explained Catholic faith in easily understandable language; this work was translated into fifteen languages. Canisius also wrote a catechism for children and youth. He was known as an able preacher and teacher.
Peter Canisius died in 1597. He is known as the Second Apostle of Germany.
The image is a 1699 miniature portrait of Peter Canisius.