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Saint John of Capistrano
Saint John of Capistrano

Saint John of Capistrano

Feast Day
Oct 23, 2012
Jurists, Military Chaplains
<p>St. John of Capistrano was born in 1386 in Naples, Italy.&nbsp; He studied law at the University of Perugia. &nbsp; In 1412 King Ladislaus of Naples appointed him Governor of Perugia in order to establish public order.&nbsp; When war broke out between Perugia and Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta in 1416, John was sent as ambassador to broker peace.&nbsp; Instead, Malatesta threw him in prison.&nbsp; He put aside his new young wife while in prison, due to despair, since the marriage was never consummated.&nbsp; He started to study theology with Bernardine of Siena.&nbsp;</p> <p>John entered the Order of Friars Minor at Perugia.&nbsp; From the beginning he started with the most rigorous asceticism, defending the ideal of strict observance and orthodoxy, following the example of Bernardine of Siena.&nbsp; From 1420 onwards he preached with great effect in many cities, becoming well known. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>St. John was a preacher of repentance, and that type of preacher was not widely accepted in the 15<sup>th</sup> century.&nbsp; John did however, have great success at preaching repentance in northern and central Erope, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, and Poland.&nbsp; He became so popular, that the largest Churches could not hold the crowds.&nbsp; He would preach in the public squares.&nbsp; At Brecia in Italy, he preached to a crowd of over 126,000 people, pointing out the success of his preaching on repentance. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Ottoman Empire threatened Christian Europe.&nbsp; A year later, Pope Callixtus III sent John, now at the age of seventy, to preach&nbsp; a Crusade against the invading Turks.&nbsp; John succeeded in gathering enough troops to march onto Belgrade, which at that time was under siege by Turkish forces. &nbsp; The old frail friar actually led his own contingent into battle. This earned him the title of &ldquo;Soldier Priest&rdquo;. &nbsp; St. John survived the battle, but fell victim to the bubonic plague, prevelant in the unsanitary conditions of armies in that time.&nbsp; He died on October 23<sup>rd</sup>, 1456 at the nearby town of Ilok, Croatia. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away</strong></span></p> <p>St. John of Capistrano was a learned man, that while imprisoned had a calling to the religious life.&nbsp; He became a Franciscan Friar, and preached repentance around Europe. This type of preaching was not popular in his day, nor well received.&nbsp; But due to his dynamic preaching style, he was not only well received, but the largest Churches in his day, could not hold the crowds that he would draw.&nbsp; St. John served the Church well, and worked well into old age, to aid in saving souls. &nbsp;</p>