Stanislaus Hosius

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His Eminence

Stanislaus Hosius

Prince-Bishop of the Bishopric of Warmia
Stanisław Hozjusz 1.PNG
Portrait of Cardinal Hosius by Marcello Bacciarelli
ArchdioceseBishopric of Warmia
Appointed2 March 1551
Installed11 May 1551
Term ended5 August 1579
PredecessorTiedemann Giese
SuccessorMarcin Kromer
Other posts
Consecration23 March 1550
Created cardinal26 February 1561
by Pope Pius IV
Personal details
Birth nameStanisław Hozjusz
Born5 May 1504
Kraków, Kingdom of Poland
Died5 August 1579(1579-08-05) (aged 75)
Capranica Prenestina, Italy
DenominationRoman Catholic
ParentsUlrich Hosse of Pforzheim
Previous post
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Title as SaintServant of God
Ordination history of
Stanislaus Hosius
Date26 February 1561

Stanislaus Hosius (Polish: Stanisław Hozjusz; 5 May 1504 – 5 August 1579) was a Polish Roman Catholic cardinal. From 1551 he was the Prince-Bishop of the Bishopric of Warmia in Royal Prussia and from 1558 he served as the papal legate to the Holy Roman Emperor's Imperial Court in Vienna, Austria. From 1566 he was also the papal legate to Poland.

He is designated a Servant of God.

Early life[edit]

Hosius was born in Kraków, the son of Ulrich Hosse of Pforzheim. He spent his early youth at Kraków and Wilno, and at the age of fifteen, already well versed in German, Polish and Latin, he entered the University of Kraków from which he graduated as Bachelor of Arts in 1520. Piotr Tomicki, Bishop of Kraków and Vice-Chancellor of Poland, employed him as private secretary and entrusted to him the education of his nephews. Tomicki became his patron and underwrote his studies at the University of Padua and the University of Bologna, Italy. At Padua, Reginald Pole was one of his fellow students. At Bologna, he pursued jurisprudence under Hugo Buoncompagni, the future Gregory XIII.[1]


After graduating as doctor of canon and civil law at the University of Bologna on 8 June 1534, he returned to Cracow and became secretary in the royal chancery. On the death of Bishop Tomicki (1535), he continued as secretary under the new vice-chancellor, Bishop Jan Chojeński of Płock. After the death of Bishop Choinski in 1538, Hosius was appointed royal secretary. In that position, he had the entire confidence of King Sigismund, who bestowed various ecclesiastical benefices upon him as reward for his faithful services. In 1543, Hosius was ordained priest. King Sigismund died in 1548, but before his death, he had instructed his son and successor, Sigismund II, to nominate Hosius for the next vacant episcopal see.[1]

Hosius was nominated for the See of Chełmno in 1549. He had not sought thatbdignity and accepted it only with reluctance. Hosius was then sent by Sigismund on a diplomatic important mission to the courts of King Ferdinand I at Prague and Emperor Charles V at Brussels and Ghent. The mission resulted in an alliance between Poland and the other monarchies. Upon his return to Poland, he received episcopal consecration at Kraków on 23 March 1550, and he immediately took possession of his see.[1] Hosius had Jesuit sympathies and actively opposed the Protestant Reformation.

Two years later, he became Prince-Bishop of Warmia in Royal Prussia, Poland. Hosius drew up the Confessio fidei christiana catholica, adopted by the Synod of Piotrków in 1557. He was a supremely-skillful diplomat and administrator. Hosius and Marcin Kromer were the two bishops most instrumental in keeping the Warmia region Caholic, and neighbouring Ducal Prussia became Protestant. In 1558 Pope Paul IV summoned him to Rome, and soon Hosius became an influential member of the Roman Curia.[2]

The following year, Pope Pius IV appointed Hosius as his personal nuncio to Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, at the court in Vienna, where he was to work on the reopening of the Council of Trent. He was further charged with gaining the support of the emperor's son, Maximilian, who appeared to have Protestant sympathies. For his successful work Hosius was promoted to cardinal in 1561. Pope Pius IV named him Legate-Theologian for the third session of the Council of Trent; the other two legates were Cardinals Puteo and Gonzaga.[2]

Despite health issues he mediated between the various factions at the Council and addressed issue particular to Poland-Lithuania, such as the status of the Teutonic Knights and the marriage of Stansilaus Orzechowski. When the Council ended, he returned home, despite requests to travel to Rome for the papal conclave that was to be held after the death of the ailing Pius IV. Cardinal Truchess even suggested thag Hosius was a candidate for the papacy.[3] Instead of going to Rome, he returned to his diocese, leaving Trent on December 1563 to implement the decrees and canons of the Council of Trent. In 1566, Pope Pius V consecrated him as Papal Legate to Poland.

Death and legacy[edit]

Besides carrying through many difficult negotiations, he founded the lyceum of Braniewo (Braunsberg) to counter the rapidly spreading Protestants. It became the centre of the Roman Catholic mission among Protestants. In 1572, Pope Gregory XIII declared Hosius a member of the Congregatio Germania. He died at Capranica Prenestina, near Rome, on 5 August 1579.

A special friend to Hosius was Saint Peter Canisius. Both Kromer and Hosius left many records of their German speeches and sermons in their years of duty in the Bishopric of Warmia. They were later translated to Czech, English, and French.

A collected edition of his works was published at Cologne, Germany in 1584 ( Life by A Eichhorn (Mainz, Germany, 1854), 2 vols).

Cause of beatification[edit]

The cause of sainthood commenced but paused for a while until it resumed as of 5 August 2006. He is now known as a Servant of God.


  • Theodor Hirsch (1881), "Hosius, Stanislaus", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 13, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 180–184
  • Hubert Jedin (1972), "Hosius, Stanislaus", Neue Deutsche Biographie (in German), 9, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 650–651
  • Theologische Realenzyklopädie (TRE), Bd. 15, S. 598-600
  • Benrath: Realenzyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche (RE) 3. Auflage Bd. 8 S. 382-392
  • Heinz Scheible: Melanchthons Briefwechsel Personen 12 Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, Germany, 2005 ISBN 3-7728-2258-4
  • Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche (LThK) 3. Auflage Bd. 5 S. 284
  • Arno Sames: Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (RGG) 4 Auflage, Bd. 3, S. 1912
  • Stanislao Rescio (Reszka), "D. Stanislai Hosii Vita," Acta Historica Res Gestas Poloniae illustrantia Tomus IV (ed. F. Hipler and V. Zakrzewski) (Cracow 1879), I-CXXIV.


  1. ^ a b c Ott, Michael. "Stanislaus Hosius." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 29 June 2019 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ a b Grabka OFM Conv., Gregory. "Cardinal Hosius and the Council of Trent", St. Hyacinth Seminary
  3. ^ Wojtyska, Cardinal Hosius Legate to the Council of Trent, 262-3.

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


Catholic Church titles
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Tiedemann Giese
Prince-Bishop of Warmia (Ermland)
Succeeded by
Marcin Kromer
Preceded by
Scipione Rebiba
Oldest living Member of the Sacred College
23 July 1577 - 5 August 1579
Succeeded by
René de Birague