Memorial of Peter Canisius, Doctor of the Church

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Handwritten Letter

In an age of emails, texts and tweets, give thanks for the great letter writer and saint, Peter Canisius, a German priest who lived from 1521-1597. His letters, written to friends and family, church leaders and civil leaders, fill 8,000 pages. (That’s pages, not characters.)

He wrote a catechism for children. And he wrote letters.

Peter was a Jesuit, one of the early members of the order. He had a passion for teaching and founded many colleges and seminaries. But his concern was not only for the learned. He wrote catechisms for laypeople who would never have the chance to go to school. He wrote a catechism for children. And he wrote letters.

Honor St. Peter Canisuis today by sitting down, getting out a piece of paper and hand-writing a note or letter to someone. Write a letter of encouragement or thanks. Write a letter of condolence. Write a letter describing the snow falling outside your window or the movie you saw last night. It is delightful to open the mail and find, amidst the catalogues and circulars, an actual letter, stamped and hand-addressed. It may just be someone’s favorite early Christmas gift.