University of Heidelberg, Germany


Founded by Rupert I of Wittelsbach, 1386, after Pope Urban VI had issued the Bull of authorization, 1385. It was modeled on the University of Paris with faculties of theology, law, medicine, and art and was under the patronage of Saint Catherine of Alexandria. According to the papal Bull of authorization, the provost of the cathedral of Worms was chancellor of the university. Pope Boniface IX, 1399, relinquished twelve important livings and several patronages to the university. In 1432 the university sent two delegates to the Council of Basel in support of the legitimate pope. During the reign of Otto Henry, 1556-1559, it became a school of the Evangelical-Lutheran and later of the Calvinistic stamp. Its progress was destroyed by the Thirty Years’ War and in 1629 it was reorganized as a Catholic institution and some chairs filled by the Jesuits, but the work was entirely suspended, 1631-1652, when it was restored as a Protestant institution. In 1703 under the Catholic Elector John William of the House of Palatine-Neuburg, the first Jesuits were appointed as professors and a Catholic faculty of theology was established. Through the Jesuits a preparatory seminary was established, the Seminarium ad Carolum Borromreum. After the suppression of the Jesuit Order, 1773, the university declined in importance during the following decade. In 1803 it became the State university and the faculty of Catholic theology was removed to Freiburg, 1807. Among the famous Catholic professors of Heidelberg were Rudolph Agricola, Conrad Celtes, Jakob Wimpfeling, Johann Reuchlin, and the Jesuit, Christian Meyer. AEneas Silvius Piccolomini, later Pope Pius II, was its chancellor at one time.

MLA Citation

  • “University of Heidelberg, Germany”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 August 2013. Web. 7 March 2021. <>