Saint John of Capistrano was born in Italy in 1385, the son of a former German knight in that city. He studied law at the University of Perugia and practiced as a lawyer in the courts of Naples. King Ladislas of Naples appointed him governor of Perugia. During a war with a neighboring town he was betrayed and imprisoned. Upon his release he entered the Franciscan community at Perugia in 1416.

He and St. James of the March were fellow students under St. Bernardine of Siena, who inspired him to institute the devotion to the holy Name of Jesus and His Mother. John began his brilliant preaching apostolate with a deacon in 1420. After his ordination he traveled throughout Italy, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia preaching penance and establishing numerous communities of Franciscan renewal.

When Mohammed II was threatening Vienna and Rome, St. John, at the age of seventy, was commissioned by Pope Callistus III to preach and lead a crusade against the invading Turks. Marching at the head of seventy thousand Christians, he gained victory in the great battle of Belgrade against the Turks in 1456. Three months later he died at Ilok, in present-day Croatia. His feast day is October 23. He is the patron of jurists.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Ecce Crucem Domini!
    Fugite partes adversae!
    Vicit Leo de tribu Juda,
    Radix David! Alleluia!

    Saint Anthony of Padua, pray for us.
    Born in Portugal, died in Italy at age 35 (exactly 1/2 the age of Saint John of Capistrano, age 70), let each nationality maintain its uniqueness while moving through the world free of fear, with confidence in the will of God the Father Almighty. Help us cooperate with the redemptive grace of Christ Crucified. Amen.

    Saint John of Capistrano, pray for us. For; prisoners, lawyers, the elderly, righteous just wars against evil, all Franciscan friars/monks/priests and Poor Clare religious communities. Defeat ineffective dialogue with action and Truth. Amen.

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