St. John of Kanty
December 23

St. John of Kanty

Saint John of Kanty


St. John of Kanty

When they lived:

St. John of Kanty, also known as St. John Cantius, lived during the late 14th and early 15th centuries. He was born on June 24, 1390, and passed away on December 24, 1473.

Where they lived:

St. John of Kanty lived in various regions, but he is most famously associated with the city of Kraków, which was then a part of the Kingdom of Poland.

Notable world events during the time of their life:

  • 1420 – The Council of Constance (1414-1418) concludes: This council was a significant event in the history of the Catholic Church, as it aimed to resolve the Western Schism, during which there were rival popes claiming authority. The Council successfully elected Pope Martin V, effectively ending the schism and reuniting the Catholic Church.
  • 1453 – The Fall of Constantinople: One of the most impactful events of the era was the fall of the Byzantine Empire’s capital, Constantinople, to the Ottoman Turks on May 29, 1453. This event marked the end of the Byzantine Empire and had far-reaching consequences for Europe, sparking the Renaissance and influencing the Age of Exploration.
  • 1455 – The Gutenberg Bible is printed: Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the movable-type printing press revolutionized the dissemination of knowledge and played a crucial role in the spread of ideas during the Renaissance. The printing press accelerated the spread of literature, science, and religious texts.
  • 1472 – First recorded use of a mechanical clock: In this year, Italian engineer Francesco di Giorgio Martini created a mechanical clock for the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. This innovation furthered the development of timekeeping and had a lasting impact on various scientific and technological advancements.

Their patronage:

St. John of Kanty is recognized as the patron saint of Poland, Lithuania, and the Pontifical Gregorian University. He is also the patron saint of students and academic institutions due to his dedication to education and knowledge during his life as a professor and scholar.

Early Life

Saint John of Kanty is also known as John of Cantius. He was born on June 23rd, 1390.

Saint John of Kanty was born in Kty, a little town close to Owicim in Poland. His parents were Stanisaw and Anna Kanty.

Saint John was a bright child. He was intelligent and was sent to receive the best education available at the time.

Saint John was sent to the Kraków Academy. He received his bachelor’s degree and a license from the institution a few years later. In 1418, around the age of 28, Saint John became a doctor of philosophy.

After he finished school, he spent a few years tutoring at the same university. He taught philosophy and spent his time preparing for the priesthood.

Sometime later, he was made rector at the School of the Canons regular.At the same time, he was ordained a priest.

While he held the position of rector at the Most Holy Sepulcher in Miechow, he was called back by his alma mater.

Kraków Academy offered Saint John of Kanty a professorship of the Sacred Scripture. He had taken an interest in theological writings and writers. This encouraged him to go on to earn a doctorate in theology.

Saint John was hardworking. He soon got noticed and was appointed director of the department of theology.

His new ascension to what was considered a position of power led his enemies to plan to bring him down. Saint John’s rivals set him up with false accusations.

There was no proper interrogation, and so Saint John was judged guilty of his charges. He was expelled from his position as director and sent out of college.

Saint John was sent out to Olkusz to act as a parish preacher at a church there.

Dedication and devotion

It seemed that Saint John had fallen from grace as a man and as a presbyter. He was not only insulted by the people in his new city, but he was treated like an outcast.

Saint John of Kant carried out his duties and responsibilities with efficiency and an amazing amount of zeal. He was humble, respectful, passionate, and devoted to the church.

Still, this was not enough for the people. They remained suspicious of him, and we were disrespectful towards him. This did nothing to dampen his spirit.

If Saint John was anxious about this new parish, he did not show it. Instead, he puts in his all and provides nothing but the best.

After a while, his parishioners began to take notice of his integrity. Saint John was always available and ready to help. He was generous, almost to a fault, and always split his belongings with those who needed them.

He did all this without complaining.

The period started to realize that they had misjudged him all this time and began to accept him.


After serving the parish for several years, Saint John returned to Krakow, where he taught scripture till his death.

Back in Kraków, Saint John of Kanty was once again accepted by the people who had cast him aside. Their respect for him had strengthened, and he was once more favored by distinguished and noblemen.

St. John Kanty teaching to his congregation

Back in Kraków, Saint John never ceased to give alms to the poor. He was said to have been a man of good humor who never let anything other than the necessities for survival go.

In his time, Saint John made several pilgrimages to holy places.

Death and Canonization

  1. He was buried at the Collegiate Church of St. Anne.

5 Interesting Facts About St. John of Kanty

  1. Did you know that Saint John of Kanty is the patron saint of
    Lithuania and Poland?
  2. Did you know that Saint John of Kant was a vegetarian? He abstained
    from meat.
  3. Did you know that Saint John made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem? It is
    said that he had done this in the hope that he would be martyred.
    for Christ.
  4. Did you know that Saint John is almost always depicted in a
    professor’s gown with his arm around a student or giving his
    garments to the needy?
  5. Did you know that Saint John of Kanty is the only confessor who is
    honored in the Catholic liturgy by three hymns?

Prayer to St. John of Kanty

Almighty Father, through the example of John of Kantymay, we grow in the wisdom of the saints. As we show understanding and kindness to others, may we receive your forgiveness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever Amen.