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John Evangelist Stadler

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A Bavarian hagiographer, b. at Parkstetten, in the Diocese of Ratisbon, 24 Dec., 1804; d. at Augsburg, 30 Dec., 1868. After completing the humanities in the gymnasium of Straubing in 1821, he entered the University of Landshut, where, in addition to the philosophical and theological studies prescribed for candidates to the priesthood, he devoted much of his time to the study of oriental and modern languages. The year preceding his ordination to the priesthood he spent at the diocesan seminary of Ratisbon, where under the direction of the learned and saintly Michael Wittmann , the future auxiliary Bishop of Ratisbon, he prepared himself for the priesthood. After being ordained priest by Bishop Sailer at Ratisbon 22 June, 1827, he was occupied a few months in parochial work at the little village of Otzing in lower Bavaria, whereupon he continued his theological studies at the Georgianum in Munich in November, 1828, and obtained the doctorate in theology in 1829. In 1830 he was "co-operator" at the Hospital of the Holy Ghost at Munich, in 1831 Privatdocent for Old Testament exegesis at the University of Munich, and in 1832 he succeeded Pruggmeyr as subregens of the Georgianum. In addition he was in 1833 appointed professor-extraordinary and in 1837 professor-ordinary of exegesis at the university. In 1838 he became canon and in 1858 dean at the Cathedral of Augsburg. Stadler was well versed in all the branches of theology, but he was especially fond of linguistic studies. Besides having a perfect mastery of German, French, Italian, and English among the modern languages, he knew Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, Arabian, Persian, Sanskrit, and in his later years he studied also Spanish and Polish. He is best known as the author of "Vollständiges Heiligen-Lexikon oder Lebensgeschichten aller Heiligen, Seligen u.a. aller Orte und aller Jahrhunderte, deren Andenken in der kath. Kirche gefeiert oder sonst geehrt wird" (Augsburg, 1858-82). The work is alphabetically arranged and contains more lives than any other work of its kind. The "Acta Sanctorum" of the Bollandists, as far as they were finished, that is, to the end of October, were condensed into short sketches, but many new lives were introduced and newly discovered data were added to the lives contained in the "Acta". The work is rather popular than scientific and from a critical point of view leaves much to be desired. In the preparation of the first volume Stadler was assisted by Rev. Fr. J. Heim, while the second and the third volume contain contributions from several priests of the Diocese of Augsburg. Stadler died before the third volume was finished, leaving the writing of the last two volumes to Rev. J. R. Ginal, pastor of Zusmarshausen. Other works of Stadler are: a Hebrew-Latin lexicon (1831); "De identitate Sapientiae Veteris Testamenti et Verbi Novi Testamenti", which served as his thesis for the doctorate (1829); and "Dissertatio super Joannem VIII, 25" (Munich, 1832).

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