Connecting to LoRa RFM95 using radiohead fails everytime

Hi, I bought 2 rfm95 without level shifter - I made it myself. I copied the code from this tutorial: RFM9X Test | Adafruit RFM69HCW and RFM9X LoRa Packet Radio Breakouts | Adafruit Learning System yet got "LoRa radio init failed" everytime.
I tried with and without my shifter with the same result. That holds for both modules I bought. I am sure that I wired everything correctly.

RST - 9, Interrupt - 2, MOSI - 11, MISO - 12, SCLK - 13, CS - 10 on Arduino Uno

Is it possible that both modules have been damaged from the very beginning? What exactly does rf95.init() do?