Athanasius Kircher


Does anyone know of the holiness, orthodoxy, etc. of Athanasius Kircher, S.J. (1601-1680)?

Was he a loyal and faithful son of the Church or rebellious? Was his theology orthodox or questionable? Was he holy and pious or in need of a lot of work?

Also, is there any cause for his canonization? Why or why not?


He was a seventeenth-century German Jesuit and polymath - IOW, he was colossally learned, in a century of very learned men - who is perhaps best remembered for his inaccurate translations of hieroglyphic Egyptian texts. He also tried his hand at calculating how high the Tower of Babel would have to have risen if it were to touch the heavens as its builders in Genesis 11 wanted.

That’s all I know :slight_smile:

With all his learning and vast amount of adulation which he received on all sides, Kircher retained throughout his life a deep humility and a childlike piety. In 1629 he had intimated to his general his desire to devote his life exclusively to the spreading of the Faith in China, but this wish remained unfulfilled, and, to console himself for this disappointment, he erected during his last years a sanctuary (della Mentorella) in honour of the Mother of God on the crest of the Sabine Hill near Rome, whither, during his lifetime as now, thousands made pilgrimages and found help and consolation. In this sanctuary Kircher’s heart was buried, and at the beginning of the twentieth century this place of pilgrimage was distinguished by a gigantic statue of Divine Redeemer on the neighbouring crest of Guadagnole.

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