Stanislaus Hosius

His Eminence
Stanislaus Hosius
Servant of God
Prince-Bishop of the Bishopric of Warmia

Portrait of Cardinal Hosius by Marcello Bacciarelli
Archdiocese Bishopric of Warmia
Metropolis Warmia
Diocese Warmia
See Warmia
Appointed 2 March 1551
Installed 11 May 1551
Term ended 5 August 1579
Predecessor Tiedemann Giese
Successor Marcin Kromer
Other posts
Ordination 1543
Consecration 23 March 1550
Created Cardinal 26 February 1561
by Pope Pius IV
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth name Stanisław Hozjusz
Born (1504-05-05)5 May 1504
Kraków, Kingdom of Poland
Died 5 August 1579(1579-08-05) (aged 75)
Capranica Prenestina, Italy
Nationality Polish
Denomination Roman Catholic
Parents Ulrich Hosse of Pforzheim
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Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Title as Saint Servant of God

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 Poland 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.

His cause of canonization has commenced and after it halted, it resumed on 5 August 2006. He is now a Servant of God.


Early life

Hosius was born in Kraków, son of Ulrich Hosse of Pforzheim, and studied law at the University of Padua and the University of Bologna, Italy. He became Bishop of Chełmno in 1549 and Prince-Bishop of Warmia in 1551. Hosius had Jesuit sympathies and actively opposed the Protestant Reformation.


Hosius was not distinguished as a theologian, though he drew up the Confessio fidei christiana catholica, adopted by the Synod of Piotrków in 1557. He was, however, supreme as a diplomat and administrator. The Pope consecrated Hosius to fight the ongoing conversions to Protestantism. Hosius and Marcin Kromer were the two bishops most instrumental in keeping the Warmia region Catholic, while neighboring Ducal Prussia became Protestant in 1525.

Hosius was called to the Imperial seat at Vienna, Austria in 1558/1559, where he was to work on the reopening of the Council of Trent, Italy and on (re)gaining the imperial son Maximilian for Catholicism. 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. Despite health issues he mediated between the various factions at the Council as well as 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 that he should travel to Rome for the Papal conclave which was to be held after the death of the ailing Pius IV. Cardinal Truchess even suggested the Hosius was a candidate for the papacy.[1] 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

Besides carrying through many difficult negotiations, he founded the lyceum of Braniewo (Braunsberg) in order to counter the rapidly spreading Protestants. It became the center 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, Italy on 5 August 1579.

A special friend to Hosius was Saint Peter Canisius. Both Kromer and Hosius left many records of their German language 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

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.



  1. Wojtyska, Cardinal Hosius Legate to the Council of Trent, 262-3.

Wojtyska, Henryk Damian. Cardinal Hosius Legate to the Council of Trent Studia Ecclesiastica, 3 Historica, 4 Dissertationes, 5. Rome,: Institute of ecclesiastical studies, 1967.

Catholic Church titles
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Tiedemann Giese
Prince-Bishop of Warmia (Ermland)
Succeeded by
Marcin Kromer
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