KIS, STEPHANUS (called Szegedinus from his birthplace): Hungarian Reformer; b. at Szeged (96 m. s.e. of Budapest) 1515; d. at Ráczkeve (22 m. s.s.w. of Budapest) 1572. He studied at Vienna and Cracow, and under Melanchthon at Wittenberg 1543-45. He served as school-teacher in his native land, suffering persecution for his faith until Peter Petrovics, commander of Temesvar under Queen Isabella and a Calvinist, took him into favor and made him rector of his school (1548). Political changes brought Temesvar under Ferdinand of Hapsburg, Petrovics was succeeded by a Roman Catholic in 1552, and all Protestant pastors and teachers were driven from the town. Kis found refuge under Turkish dominion, but the ill will of the Romanists followed him and, on their complaint, he was kept imprisoned in chains for a year and a half by a Turkish pasha until his friends released him by a heavy ransom in 1563. Hence forth he lived in quiet at Ráczkeve, acting as super intendent of thirty-five congregations under Turkish rule. He was the greatest scholar among the Hungarian Reformers and his works made him known in all Europe. They are: (1) Theologiae sincerae loci communes (Basel, 1585), preceded by a sketch of his life by his scholar and successor at Ráezkeve, Matthćus Skaricza, which is also an important source for the history of the Reformation in Hungary and contains a couplet by Paulus Turi, another of the pupils of Kis, on Calvin's " Institutes":

    Praeter apostolicas post Christi tempora chartas
    Huic peperere libro saecula nulla parem.
(cf. The Presbyterian and Reformed Review, Apr., 1899, p. 194). (2) Speculum pontificum Romanorum (Basel, 1584; 5th ed., 1624; Germ. transl., 1586); (3) Assertio vera de trinitate (Geneva, 1573, edited by Beza); (4) Tabulae analyticae (Schaffhausen, 1592).


BIBLIOGRAPHY: The Life by Matthćus Skaricza was republished, Basel, 1608, cf. Miscellanea Groeningana vi. 1, pp. 508-559, 1762. A life in Hungarian, by Ladislaus Földvari, appeared at Budapest, 1899.

KISS OF PEACE: (Gk. philema hagion, philema agapes, aspasmos, eirene; Lat. osculum sanctum, osculum pacis, salutatio, pax): An expression which occurs five times in the New Testament at the close of an apostolic message (Rom. xvi. 16; 1 Cor. xvi. 20; II Cor: xiii. 12; I Thess. v. 26; I Pet. v. 14) in the exhortation "Salute one another with an holy kiss" or an equivalent expression. A congregational assembly before which the letters were read aloud is assumed, and a custom of the synagogue may be involved (cf. The Expositor, ix. 1894, p. 461). The import of the holy kiss is a general attestation of brotherly love on the ground of religious fellowship, and it is not to be considered an independent liturgical ceremony.

After the middle of the second century the kiss of peace has an established place in public worship and a definite connection with the Eucharist, in the transition from the prayers preceding and introducing that solemnity to the act of consecration. This place is assigned to it in Tertullian, and Clement of Alexandria terms it "a mystery." The liturgical sources and liturgies of the Eastern Church attest the subsequent continuance of the practise in the same context. At the outset, moreover, this ordinance appears to have been frequently in force in the West. Only in Rome and North Africa, the kiss of peace occurred not before the consecration, but between consecration and communion, an arrangement, which, in course of time, became the prevailing one in the Latin Church (see Mass, II.). The modification is doubtless to be explained by an endeavor to associate the practise immediately with the eucharistic solemnity, toward which it is directed. For in this context the kiss of peace has its basis and significance under the words of the Lord, "First be reconciled with thy brother, etc." (Matt. v. 23 sqq.), wherein agreement or unity is accentuated. The ceremony was begun by the clergy among themselves, and the congregation followed. It is to be assumed that originally the separation of the sexes was duly observed; and to prevent disorder, this point was repeatedly and insistently emphasized in later times.

In Western Christendom the kiss of peace continued to be observed until the waning period of the Middle Ages, though it is an open question to what extent and in what particular forms. The East appears to have given up the general kiss of peace still earlier. In both divisions of Christendom there was substituted in its place the practise of kissing the altar, the sacred elements, or the stole by the clergy, and kissing the hand by both clergy and laity. It was only transiently that they followed, in the West, the precedent purporting to have been adopted by Bishop Walter of York (1250), of using the "kiss tablet" (osculatorium, pax), a metal, or, in some cases, marble disc exhibiting the cross or sacred


figures. Relics or even the book of the Gospels were sometimes employed in the practise. At a later period the osculatorium was withheld from the laity and reserved exclusively for the clergy.

If not quite unrelated, still in only a very general relation to the holy kiss, is the kiss bestowed on neophytes, after the sacrament of baptism; on penitents when reinstated in full communion; on the dead; and on candidates for ordination.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: DB, iii. 5-6; EB, iv. 4252-54; Bingham, Origines, II., xi. 10, xix. 17, IV., vi. 15, XII., iv. 5, XV., iii. 3; E. Martčne, De antiquis ecclesiae ritibus, I., iii. 4-5, Antwerp, 1736; A. J. Binterim, Denkwürdigkeiten, i. 1, pp. 163, 492 iv. 3, p. 485, Mainz, 1825-27ˇ W. Palmer, Antiquities of the English Ritual, vol. ii., London, 1845; DCA, ii. 902-906.


CCEL home page
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at
Calvin College. Last modified on 10/03/03. Contact the CCEL.
Calvin seal: My heart I offer you O Lord, promptly and sincerely