Ecclesiologist and leading churchman during the Counter Reformation; b. Cracow, Poland, May 5, 1504;d. Rome, Aug. 5, 1579. He studied humanities at the Universities of Cracow and Padua and pursued law in Bologna. Paul III nominated him bishop of Culm in 1549; in 1551 he was transferred to the see of Ermland in East Prussia. He was the spirit behind the Catholic movement to stem the tide of Protestantism not only in his native land but throughout Europe. He combatted heresy; rallied wavering bishops, clergy, and princes to the cause of Catholicism; convoked synods; and opened schools and colleges for training future priests. His Confessio Catholicae Fidei Christiana —32 editions appeared during his lifetime—numerous polemical writings, and a constant flow of correspondence with leading personalities of the day gained him universal esteem and prestige. He came to be called the "second Augustine" and "hammer of heretics." Paul IV called him to work in Rome; Pius IV sent him on diplomatic missions to Vienna with a view toward reopening the Council of Trent. He was created cardinal on Feb. 26, 1561, and appointed papal legate to preside at the Council. He is buried in Rome in the Church of S. Maria in Trastevere.
Bibliography: Complete bibliog. to 1937, j. smoczynski, Bibliographia Hosiana (Pelplin 1937). a. humbert, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables Générales 1951–) 7.1: 178–190. g. m. grabka, Cardinalis Hosii doctrina de corpore christi mystico (Washington 1945); "Cardinal Hosius and the Council of Trent," Theological Studies 7 (1946) 558–576. f. j. zdrodowski, The Concept of Heresy According to Cardinal Hosius (Washington 1947).
[g. m. grabka]