Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Vitus Miletus

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 10
Vitus Miletus

by Friedrich Lauchert


(Originally MÐLLER)

A Catholic theologian, born at Gm¸nd, Swabia, 1549; died at Mainz, 11 Sept., 1615. He studied at the German College, Rome, from 1567 to 1575; on 28 Oct., 1573, as dean of the students he gave a short address before Pope Gregory XIII, when he visited the newly organized academy. He was ordained in St. John Lateran on Easter Saturday, 1575, and returned to Germany in the summer of that year; on his way home he was made doctor of theology at Bologna (11 June 1575). He was summoned to Mains by the Elector Daniel Brendel von Homburg, where he was active in the reform of the clergy. From there he was sent by the elector to Erfurt, to assist the suffragan bishop Nicolaus Elgard in his efforts for the restoration of Catholicism. His sermons on the doctrine of the Eucharist, preached at Erfurt in Lent, 1579, involved him in sharp controversy with the Protestant preachers. He was sent to Rome in 1582 to bring the pallium for the new archbishop, Wolfgang von Dalberg. The latter brought him back again to Mains, and employed him on important affairs, notably on the visitation of monasteries. Also in 1601 and 1604 he brought from Rome the confirmation and the pallium for the succeeding archbishops, Adam von Bicken, and Schweikart von Cronenberg. Under all these archbishops, the last of whom appointed him his spiritual counsellor, he was tirelessly engaged in defending the Catholic Faith, both by preaching and writing, until his death. He was provost of St. Moritz, dean of the Liebfrauenstift, canon of St. Victor's and St. Peter's, all in Mainz; and canon of St. Severus' at Erfurt. After 1575 he also had a canonry in the cathedral chapter at Breslau. He did not visit Breslau until 1599, and then only for a short time, while taking part in the election of a bishop; he then went to Rome to bring the confirmation of the elected bishop. His polemical and apologetic writings are: - "De festo Corporis Christi in honorem Jesu Christi" (Mains, 1580); "Augenschein des Jesuiter Spiegels, so neuwlich zu Erffurdt in truck aussgangen" (Cologne, 1582); "De sacramentis, mille sexcenti errores, vaniloquia et cavillationes eorum, qui hoc tempore ab Ecclesia secesserunt catholica, cum brevi eorum refutatione; plerique collecti ex Kemnitio" (Mains, 1593); "Brevis discussio et refutatio sexcentorum errorum, quos duo PrÊdicantes Saxonici Tilemannus Heshusius et Joannes Olearius Pontificiis hoc est Christianis Catholicis vanissime hactenus attribuerunt" (Mainz, 1604).

ROTH in W¸rttembergische Vierteljahrshefte f¸r Landesgeschichte, new series, ninth year (1900), S. 304-306; STEINHUBER, Geschichte des Collegium Germanicum Hungaricum in Rom., I (Freiburg im Br., 1895), 75, 95 sq., 195, 197, 201-3, 303; JUNGNITZ, Die Breslauer Germaniker (Breslau, 1906), S. 24-27; FUNK in Kirchenlex., 2, Aufl., VIII, 1515 f.

FRIEDRICH LAUCHERT.