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Johann Faber

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Johann Faber of Heilbronn, controversialist and preacher; b. 1504, at Heilbronn in Wittenberg ; d. at Augsburg, 27 Feb., 1558. At the age of sixteen he entered the Dominican Order and made his ecclesiastical studies in the convent at Wimpfen. Of his earliest missionary labours little is known. In 1534 he was charged with the duty of preaching in the cathedral of Augsburg, but owing to the Lutheran heresies and the bitter attitude of the heretics towards the Church, in consequence of which the Catholic clergy were forbidden to preach, his usefulness there was of short duration. Thence he went to the University of Cologne, where he devoted himself for several years to the higher clerical studies. Here he published in 1535 and 1536 several unedited works of the English mystic, Richard Rolle. Returning to Wimpfen he engaged in the work of preaching and refuting the errors of the Reformers, which had already taken deep root among a large portion of the people. His unwearied zeal, however, in upholding the ancient Faith and the marvellous results attending it, caused his enemies to turn against him with such bitterness that he was forced to leave the city. In 1539, at the solicitation of the citizens of Colmar, he proceeded to that city, where the new doctrines had by this time gained considerable ground. On 2 Sept. of the same year he matriculated at the University of Freiburg as "Concionator Colmarensis", and it was at this time, in all probability, that he received the baccalaureate. In 1545 he was elected prior of the convent in Schlettstadt, but he had served only two years in this capacity when he was again appointed to take charge of the pulpit in the cathedral of Augsburg. Being compelled to abandon it once more in 1552, he proceeded to the University of Ingolstadt, where he received the degree of Doctor of Theology under the presidency of Peter Canisius, who succeeded him later in the pulpit of Augsburg. In the following year he returned again to Augsburg, where he died. Faber was a man of vast theological erudition. His zeal to stem the tide of heresy and the invincible courage he evinced in exposing the prevailing errors brought him into conflict with many heretical leaders. He is the author of a number of excellent works, including the following: (1) "Quod fides esse possit sine caritate, expositio pia et catholica" (Augsburg, 1548); (2) "Testimonium Scripturae et Patrum B. Petrum apostolum Romae fuisse" (Antwerp, 1553); (3) "Grundliche und christliche Anzeigungen aus der heiligen Schrift und heiligen Kirchenlehrern was die evangelische Messe sei" (Dillingen, 1558); (4) "Enchiridion Bibliorum concionatori in popularibus declamationibus utile" (Cologne, 1568); (5) "Precationes Christianae ex sacris litteris et D. Augustino singulario studio concinnatae et selectae" (Cologne, 1586).

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