Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Nicolaus von Weis

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Bishop of Speyer, born at Rimlingen, Lorraine, 8 March, 796; died at Speyer, 13 December, 1869. He studied at the seminary at Mainz, when Liebermann was its regent, and was ordained 22 August, 1818. Hereupon he taught the humanities at the seminary (1818-20), was pastor at Dudenhofen (1820-22), canon at the cathedral of Speyer (1822-37), and dean of the cathedral (1837-42). During this time he displayed remarkable literary activity. In conjunction with Andreas Rass, afterwards Bishop of Strasburg, he revised, enlarged, and translated several apologetic, dogmatic, homiletic, and hagiographic works, the best known of which are an enlarged German edition of Butler's "Lives of the Saints" (24 vols., Mainz, 1821-27), translations from the French of Carron, Brillet, Picot, and others, and an extensive compilation of sermons by various authors. He founded the monthly review "Der Katholik" at Mainz, conjointly with Rass, in January 21; he was its sole editor from 1827 to 1841. It is still one of the leading German Catholic monthly periodicals. On 27 February, 1842, he was nominated as successor to Bishop Geissel of Speyer. He was preconized, 23 May, consecrated at Munich by Archbishop Gebsattel on 10 July, and solemnly enthroned in the cathedral of Speyer on 20 July. He laboured with great success for the advancement of Christian education among the faithful, promoted popular missions and pious ecclesiastical societies, introduced annual retreats for the priests of his diocese, and fostered religious orders, especially female teaching orders. His efforts to establish a theological seminary were frustrated by the Bavarian Government. During his pontificate the cathedral of Speyer was artistically frescoed by Schraudolph (1846-53), and the renovation of its western front was completed (1858).

REMLING, Nikolaus von Weis, Bischof zu Speyer im Leben und Wirken (2 vols., Speyer, 1871); Nikolaus von Weis, Bischof von Speyer in Der Katholik 50 Jahrgang, (Mainz, 1870), 48-66; Hist. politische Blatter, LXVIII (Munich, 1871), 128-47.

MICHAEL OTT