23 December 2010

Saint John of Kanty

23 DECEMBER 2010. Today, just two days before the Church celebrates the blessed nativity of our Lord, the Church commemorates Saint John of Kanty, a renowned Polish priest, scholastic, and theologian.

Among the many traits of Saint John that speak of his sainthood, one was the love he showed as a priest. When rivals at the university were jealous of Saint John's popularity among his students, and set false charges against him. As a result of these falsehoods, Saint John for a time was assigned as pastor of a country church in Olkusz in Bohemia. The people of Olkusz were skeptical of their new pastor, thinking that their country church was being used as a dumping ground for a disgraced academic. But, Saint John worked diligently to show his love for his new flock, though nervous about his responsibility, in all that he did. When Saint John was finally exonerated of all the false charges against him, and invited back to the university, the people of Olkusz are reported to have followed for several miles down the road in an effort to persuade him to stay.

After returning to the university, Saint John was given the position of Professor of Sacred Scriptures, a position he then held until his death. Saint John was so well liked that he was very often invited to dinner by nobility.Once, he was turned away at the door by a servant who thought his cassock was too frayed. Not arguing, Saint John went home and changed into a new cassock. However, during the meal a servant spilled a dish on Saint John's new cassock, to which he replied: "No matter. My clothes deserve some dinner, too. If it hadn't been for them I wouldn't be here at all."

Saint John was constantly mindful of the needs of others too. Once, Saint John saw a beggar walk by outside his window as he ate dinner. He immediately jumped up from his dinner and filled the beggar's bowl with food. He asked no questions of the beggar, he made no demands. He simply saw someone in need and reacted with love.

Saint John repeated taught his students this: "Fight all error, but do it with good humor, patience, kindness, and love. Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause."


Almighty Father,
through the example of John of Kanty
may we grow in the wisdom of the saints.
As we show understanding and kindness to others,
may we receive your forgiveness.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


No comments:

Post a Comment