October 23

St. John of Capistrano

Saint John of Capistrano

Early Life

  1. Shortly after resuming office, a war started between the people of
    Perugia and Malatesta’s.

Dedication and Devotion

While in prison, Saint John gave his life to Christ. It was perhaps thethought of possible death that convinced him to take his life veryseriously.

He resolved to turn a new leaf.

Upon his release, Saint John joined the community of the Saint Francisof Assisi. He became a Franciscan Friar around the age of 30.

Although a married man, he took the holy cow because his marriage wasnever consummated.

On the 4th of October, 1416, Saint John joined the Perugian Order of theFriar Minors. After a while, he traveled to Fiesole where he learned andresearched theology. At Fiesole, he was tutored by Saint Bernardine ofSiena.

Afterward, he decided to adopt an ascetic lifestyle. He was austere andwas a staunch defender of the Orthodox. He traveled far and wide topreach the gospel and convert many.

Saint John of Capistrano spent his time preaching, praying, andmeditating. He was also said to have written against all kinds ofheresies not supported by the Orthodox.

Saints John and Bernadine were said to have supported dedication to theHoly Name of Jesus. This caused them to be accused of heresy. In 1429,the accused were invited to Rome where John defender their beliefs.

They were immediately acquitted.


Saint John was always picked as a representative of the Church whennecessary. In 1439, he was commissioned to represent the Church in Milanand Burgundy to debate the claims of the Antipope Felix.

He was also recorded to have been sent to places like France and Austriaconcerning legal matters. While performing these duties, he made it apoint to preach the gospel through the Empire.

Saint John was instrumental in ensuring that peace remained in thechurches across the empire. He helped to reunite both the Greek and theArmenian Churches.

Saint John was vocal about his support of antisemitic violence. Betweenthe years 1451 and 1453, he was known to have ministered against Jews.These sermons were said to have been so powerful that they motivatedsome regions in Germany to expel their Jewish citizens.

In 1453, Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire intimidated theChristian population in Vienna and Rome. Around 1454, seventy-year-oldJohn was sent to rally against the Turks.

Even in his old age, Saint John complied. He initially traded to Bavariaand Austria to preach. Seeing that he wasn’t getting g the results hethought he would, he left for Hungary.

The Hungarians were so impressed with his sermons that they joined himto storm on Belgrade. They were led by Saint John of Capistrano.

Death and Canonization

Saint John survived the siege on the Turks. However, the land was takenover by the deadly disease called Bubonic plague.

Old and fragile, Saint John was susceptible to the plague. He died onthe 23rd of October, 1456. He was at that time in Ilok, now known as theCroatian/Danube border.

Saint John of Capistrano’s canonization is recorded as 1690 by PopeAlexander VIII or 1724 by Pope Benedict XIII. He is celebrated by theRoman Catholic Church on the 28th of March.

The Franciscan Friars founded two Spanish missions and named them afterSaint John.

5 Interesting Facts About Saint John of Capistrano

  1. Did you know that Saint John of Capistrano joined the Franciscan
    order because he had a dream in which Saint Francis instructed him
    to do so?
  2. Did you know that Saint John preached to multitudes? He was recorded
    to have ministered to about 126,000 people in Italy.
  3. Did you know that Saint John was a part of the four great pillars of
    the Observant reform of the Friar Minors?
  4. Did you know that Saint John is sometimes referred to as The Soldier
  5. Did you know that Saint John is the patron saint of military
    chaplains and jurists?

Prayer to Saint John of Capistrano

Lord,you raised Saint John of Capistranoto give your people comfort in their trials.May your Church enjoy unending peaceand be secure in your protection.Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,who lives and reigns with youin the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, forever and ever.Amen.