23 December 2009

John Cantius, priest

23 DECEMBER 2009. Today, just two days before the Nativity of Our Lord, the Church celebrates the feast day (optional memorial) of Saint John of Kanty (in Polish - Jan Kanty), a renowned fourteenth and fifteenth century Polish priest, scholastic and theologian.

Saint John was born in the small town of Kenty (in the Diocese of Krakow) on 23 June 1390. Saint John studied at the Krakow Academy, from which he received baccalareate, masters, and doctoral degrees. After graduation and ordination as a priest, Father John Cantius served as a parish priest for a time, but soon returned to the Krakow Academy as a professor of Sacred Scriptures, a position he held until his death.

As a professor, Saint John helped develop Jean Buridan's theory of "impetus," a precursor to the work of Galileo and Newton. He was also known for his humility and good humor, subsisting on only what was barely necessary and giving the rest of his earnings to the poor.

During his lifetime, Saint John made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and four to Rome on foot.

Saint John died on 24 December 1473, at the age of 83. He was beatified by Pope Clement X on 28 March 1676, and canonized by Pope Clement XIII on 16 July 1767.

Much revered in Poland, Saint John was named Partron of Poland and Lithuania by Pope Clement XII in 1737.

In the United States, the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius, a clerical institute of consecrated life founded in Chicago in 1998, have taken Saint John Cantius as their patron.

Saint John Cantius, pray for us!


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  3. Dearest Jody,
    Thank you for this beautiful place to come and meet my fellow Dominican Laity, and speak of this wonderful Saint, John Cantius. I just returned home from the parish in Chicago, where my eldest son received the habit. It was a blessed day and as Father Phillips said the words, " As you remove the clothing of the secular world and put on the clothes of humility".....I bowed my head in humble thanksgiving for graces Our Lord has poured on my son and our family! Praise God! My son's vocation was nourished through the St. Cecelia Dominicans here in Nashville Tennessee. God bless you!

    Cissy Rampino

  4. Thank God for your son's vocation and your maternal nurturing and support for his call. Thank you for the kind words. I will pray for you and your son.