The feast day of St. John Capistrano is celebrated on October 23. He is the patron saint of chaplains, military chaplains and judges.
St. John was born in 1386. He was the son of a German knight. He was well educated studying civil and church law. By the age of 26 he became governor of Perugia. When a battle broke out against the Malatestes he tried to broker peace. He became a prisoner of war. During his time in prison, he encountered St. Francis of Assisi in a dream and experienced a conversion. When released from prison he joined the Franciscans of Perugia. Four years later he was ordained a priest.
St. John Capistrano was known for his preaching. Great crowds gathered to hear him. He was instrumental in reviving the faith. He was a student of St. Bernadino of Siena who introduced him to the devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus.
During the crusades he preached in Hungary. He visited the kings of Europe uniting them and their armies against invading forces. In 1456, he led a Christian army to Belgrade. When it appeared that they would be overpowered by the Muslims, he ran to the front line holding a crucifix crying “Victory, Jesus, Victory!“ The Christian army won a great victory and Belgrade was freed from the siege.
Several months later, St. John died at Villach in Austria after a painful infection. He was canonized in 1724.
The following quote is taken from the treatise written by St. John Capistrano called “Mirror of the Clergy”.
Those who are called to the table of the Lord must glow with the brightness that comes from the good example of a praiseworthy and blameless life. They must completely remove from their lives the filth and uncleanness of vice. Their upright lives must make them like the salt of the earth for themselves and for the rest of mankind. The brightness of their wisdom must make them like the light of the world that brings light to others. They must learn from their eminent teacher, Jesus Christ, what he declared not only to his apostles and disciples, but also to all the priests and clerics who were to succeed them, when he said: You are the salt of the earth. But what if salt goes flat? How can you restore its flavor? Then it is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
Quote of St. John Capistrano
October is the Month of the Most Holy Rosary.