Also known as
Giovanni da Capestrano
formerly 28 March
Son of a former German knight, his father died when John was still young. Studied law at the University of Perugia. Lawyer in Naples, Italy. Reforming governor of Perugia under King Landislas of Naples. When war broke out between Perugia and Malatesta in 1416, John tried to broker a peace, but instead his opponents ignored the truce, John became a prisoner of war.
During his imprisonment he came to the decision to change vocations. He had married just before the war, but the marriage was never consummated, and with his bride's permission, it was annulled. Franciscan at Perugia on 4 October 1416. Fellow student with Saint James of the Marches. Disciple of Saint Bernadine of Siena. Noted preacher while still a deacon, beginning his work in 1420. Itinerant priest throughout Italy, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia, preaching to tens of thousands. Established communities of Franciscan renewal. Reported to heal by making the Sign of the Cross over a sick person. Wrote extensively, mainly against the heresies of the day.
After the fall of Constantinople, he preached Crusade against the Muslim Turks. At age 70 he was commissioned by Pope Callistus II to lead it, and marched off at the head of 70,000 Christian soldiers. He won the great battle of Belgrade in the summer of 1456. He died in the field a few months later, but his army delivered Europe from the Muslems.
1386 at Capistrano, Italy
23 October 1456 at Villach, Hungary of natural causes
God is gracious; gift of God
19 December 1650 by Pope Innocent X
16 October 1690 by Pope Alexander VIII
military ordinariate of the Philippines