Saint Peter Canisius

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When I first looked at the list of saints that could be chosen for season 3, I chose the one I knew the least about. That’s just the way the Holy Spirit works. He usually prompts me to make impulsive decisions that change my life for the better. The only thing I knew about St. Peter Canisius is that his feast was on my birthday. So, I thought that was fitting. As I read his biography, I saw so many connections between myself and this saint that lived hundreds of years ago. 

St. Peter Canisius was an energetic saint, and seems to be contrary to the saints that are often stereotyped as dull or routine saints. He used his talents—and you’ll see what they are in just a moment—namely for the Church. There was something that struck a chord with me. St. Peter was a go-getter. Ha, that sounds like me! He received his masters at just age 19. I saw this funny quote about St. Peter: “He once accused himself of idleness in his youth.” You know how the saying goes: “Idle hands are a devil’s plaything.” Great minds think alike! His drive and scriptural background helped him become an influential and key figure in the Church. 

As Peter saw university students being swayed by the Protestant ideologies, he wished for a book that wrote exactly what the Catholic Church believed in. So, Peter was commissioned by King Ferdinand, the Holy Roman Emperor, to write a Catechism. The first edition appeared in 1555. It focused on the virtues of faith, hope, and charity, and avoiding evil and doing good. Peter was sound in his faith and wanted others to feel the same way.

One thing I found the most interesting about St. Peter was his profound friendship with Jesus. Shortly after he became a priest, he had a vision of the Lord handing him a garment of three pieces, called peace, love, and perseverance. It was with this spiritual garment that St. Peter carried out his work for the church. 

And, speaking of peace, we are counting down the days until we can sing “Glory to God” because a Savior, the Prince of Peace, has been born. Advent may feel overshadowed by the busyness of the Christmas season as we attend all the parties, celebrate with friends, and love our family. It feels overwhelming to take the time to silence and prepare our hearts for Christ, yet at the same time to also be joyful and merry to all those we embrace. 

Let us take an example from St Peter today. Let’s put on our garments of peace, love, and perseverance. Let’s become go-getters for the Church, and channel our love towards a friendship with Jesus. 

Sophia Lebano is a senior business management major at Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is the co-host at Hear and Now Podcast and the founder of Sophia Lebano Creative, LLC. Her company, Sophia Lebano Creative, is a website design and online business management company for Catholic and Christian entrepreneurs. 

She has lived with hearing loss since the age of 8, and received bilateral cochlear implants in 2016 & 2018. Since then, she’s started advocating for hearing loss awareness, as it’s a passion of hers to fight for what matters. Her faith has been super important to her, especially living with a diagnosis like hearing loss. After being raised as a cradle Catholic, she fell deeply in love with the faith in high school, and rediscovered that fire again in college. 

In her spare time, you can find her working on her business, studying the latest social media trends, dancing, or organizing her outfits for the week. Come connect with her on Instagram @sophialebano.

About Author

Caitlyn Pszonka serves as our Editor. She is first and foremost a beloved daughter of God and uses her gifts as a co-creator for love of Him and His Body, the Church. With degrees in Creative Writing and Theology, she loves to get at deeper truths through telling stories in various forms, including novels, poems, plays, and songs. Caitlyn shares her visual art, in addition to reflections on diving ever deeper in love with God, at Heart to Sacred Heart.

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