Stanislaus Kostka


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Peter Canisius (1521—1597)

Francis Borgia (1510—1572)


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Jesuit novice. Born at the castle of Rostkovo (Poland) of a noble and wealthy family, he was educated first by a private tutor and then, with his older brother Paul, at the Jesuit college in Vienna. He suffered bullying from his brother, misunderstanding from the family tutor who accompanied them, and unsatisfactory lodgings in a Lutheran household: Stanislaus consequently fell ill. On his recovery he decided to become a Jesuit, but the Austrian Provincial did not dare to receive him, so Stanislaus set out on a 350-mile walk to Rome to put his case before the General. On his way he saw Peter Canisius who encouraged him, but also tested him by assigning him menial tasks. When he reached Rome, Francis Borgia admitted him to the Society of Jesus at the age of seventeen. During the remainder of his life he showed himself a model religious in all respects, experienced both ecstasy and visions, but died after only nine months. His brother Paul became a Jesuit also but not until the age of sixty. Stanislaus was canonized in 1726. Feast: 13 November.

AA.SS. Aug. III (1737), 146, 200; U. Ubaldini (ed. Arndt), ‘Vita S. Stanislai Kostkae’, in Anal. Boll., ix (1890), 360–78, xi (1892), 416–67, xiii (1894), 122–56, xiv (1895), 295–318, xv (1896), 285–315, xvi (1897), 253–96; C. C. Martindale, Christ's Cadets (1913); J. Broderick, St Peter Canisius (1935), pp. 674–6.

Subjects: Christianity.

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