Also known as
John of Kanti
John of Kenti
formerly 19 October
formerly 20 October
Polish country lad. Brilliant student at the University of Cracow, Poland. Priest. Professor of theology at University of Cracow.
Falsely accused and ousted by university rivals, at age 41 he was assigned as parish priest at Olkusz, Bohemia. He took his position seriously, and was terrified of the responsibility, but did his best. For a long time that wasn’t enough for his parishioners, but in the end he won their hearts. After several years in his parish, he returned to Cracow and taught Scripture the rest of his life.
John was a serious, humble man, generous to a fault with the poor, sleeping little, eating no meat and little of anything else. Pilgrim to Jerusalem, hoping to be martyred by Turks. He made four pilgrimages to Rome, carrying his luggage on his back. When warned to look after his health, he pointed out that the early desert fathers lived long lives in conditions that had nothing to recommend them but the presence of God.
At the time of his death, John was so well loved that his veneration began immediately. For years his doctoral gown was worn by graduates receiving advanced degrees at the University of Cracow. He was declared patron of Poland and Lithuania in 1737 by Pope Clement XII, thirty years before his final canonization.
23 June 1390 at Kanty, Silesia, Poland
24 December 1473 at Cracow, Poland, of natural causes
God is gracious; gift of God (John)
28 March 1676 by Pope Clement X (cultus confirmed)
16 July 1767 by Pope Clement XIII