Martin Becanus

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Martinus Becanus (6 January 1563 – 24 January 1624) was a Dutch-born Jesuit priest, known as a theologian and controversialist.


He was born Maarten Schellekens in Hilvarenbeek in North Brabant; Schellekens is a patronymic and he adopted a Latinized form of the surname Van (Hilvaren)Beek. He entered the Society of Jesus on 22 March 1583, and taught Theology for twenty-two years at Würzburg, Mainz, and Vienna.[1]

He died in Vienna, where he was the confessor to the Emperor Ferdinand II.


A first class controversialist and prolific writer Becanus is the author of some 37 books, most of them works of polemics.

Among numerous other works was his Summa Theologiae Scholasticae.


  • (in French) Scholasticon page
  • (in german) Werner Raupp: Art. Becanus (Bécan, Verbee[c]k, Van der Bee[c]k; Schellekens, Scell-), Martinus (Martin). In: Frühe Neuzeit in Deutschland 1620–1720. Literaturwissenschaftliches Verfasserlexikon (VL 17), Vol. 1, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter 2019, Cols. 481–502 (with detailed Bibliography).


  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Martin Becan" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. ^ W. B. Patterson, King James VI and I and the Reunion of Christendom (1997), note 139 p. 101.
  3. ^ Peter Godman, The Saint as Censor: Robert Bellarmine between inquisition and index (2000), p. 203.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Martin Becan" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.