Born: December 1624, Breslau, Silesia (now Wrocław, Poland).
Died: July 9, 1677, St. Matthias monastery, Breslau, Silesia.
Buried: St. Matthias monastery, Breslau, Silesia.
Pseudonym: Angelus Silesius.
Johann was the son of Stanislaus Scheffler. His father, a member of the Polish nobility, was forced to leave his homeland because of his adherence to Lutheranism.
Johann attended Elizabeth’s Gymnasium in Breslau, than enrolled as a medical student at the University of Strassburg in 1643.
The next year, he went to Leyden, and in 1647, to Padua (PhD & MD 1648). He then returned to Silesia, where in 1649 he became the private physician of Sylvius Nimrod of Württemburg-Oels.
The Duke was a staunch Lutheran, and his court preacher, Christiantoph Freitag, administered the ecclesiastical affairs of the district according to strict Lutheran orthodoxy.
Scheffler, who in Holland had become acquainted with the writings of Jakob Böhme, and had been a personal friend of Abraham von Frankenberg, editor of Böhme’s works, soon found that the spiritual atmosphere of Oels did not suit him.
He resigned his post in 1652 and returned to Breslau. There he became acquainted with the Jesuits. In 1653 he joined the Roman Catholic church, and took the name Angelus.
In 1654, Emperor Ferdinand made Scheffler the Imperial Court Physician, but the title was purely honorary, and Scheffler remained in Breslau.
In 1661, Scheffler joined the order of St. Francis, and was also ordained priest at Niesse, Silesia (now Nysa, Poland).
In 1664, he was appointed Rath and Hofmarschall to his friend Sebastian von Rostock, the newly created Prince Bishop of Breslau.
After the bishop’s death in 1671, Scheffler retired to the monastery of St. Matthias in Breslau.