Palladius, Petrus

Palladius, Petrus a Danish prelate of note, was the first bishop of Zealand, in Denmark, after the Lutheran Reformation, and distinguished as one of the most learned theologians and most eminent Reformers of his time. The Roman Index names him in the first class of heretic authors. His original name was Peder Plade, but this was, according to the fashion of those days, Latinized into Petrus Palladius. He was born at Ribe in 1504, and was for a short time schoolmaster in Odense; but when twenty-seven years old he repaired to Wittenberg in search of the truth, under the guidance of Luther and Melancthon. He remained there six years, and won the respect and confidence of his teachers to such an extent that his. king, Christian III, at their request, appointed him bishop of Zealand and professor of theology in the University of Copenhagen in 1537, notwithstanding his youth. He was ordained by Bugenhagen; and after the departure of the latter from Denmark, Palladius was the most influential man in Denmark, and his voice had the greatest weight in deciding all Church questions and in the general arrangement of Church affairs, not only in his own diocese, but also in other parts of the Danish realm of that time. especially in Norway and Iceland; and he is also entitled to great credit for the part he took in the reorganization. of the Copenhagen University. He was a very active man. He made frequent visits to every Church in his large diocese; and when his health broke down and did not permit him to travel, he spent his time in writing a series of books, partly learned and partly popular, by which he aimed to strengthen the foothold of the Reformation in Denmark, to advance the cause of piety, and to combat immorality and drunkenness. He was one of the leading disputants against the Catholic canons of Copenhagen, Lund, and Roskilde (1543-1544). He preached zealously against the worship of saints, pilgrimages, and all other foolish reminiscences of Romanism that still lingered in various parts of the country. Yet was he very clement in his dealings with his opponents; and it is believed that he did not give his consent to the ill treatment of the reformed fugitives who came to Denmark, headed by John a Lasco. Palladius assisted in the translation of the so called Christian III's Bible, translated Luther's Catechism and Enchiridion, and in 1556 published the first Danish ritual. On account of his many other duties he resigned his theological professorship in 1545, but was prevailed on to resume it again in 1550, the university not being able to get on without him. He resigned again in 1558, and died in 1560. See Helvig, Den danske Kirkes Historie after Reformationen, 2d ed.; Nordisk Conversations lexicon, s.v. Palladius; Barfod, Fortrellinger, p. 434. (R. B. A.).

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