St. John of Kanty

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 12/23

Patron Of: Lithuania, Poland

Also known as
    John Cantius
    John Kantius
    John of Kanti
    John of Kenti

    23 December
    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

Name Meaning
    God is gracious; gift of God (John)

    28 March 1676 by Pope Clement X (cultus confirmed)

    16 July 1767 by Pope Clement XIII


All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.


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