St. John of Capistrano

St. John of CapistranoThe patron saint of jurists with a feast day on Oct. 23, St. John of Capistrano was born to a German knight in Capistrano, Italy in 1385. A lawyer who studied at Perugia University, he practiced in the Naples court before being named as governor there. Betrayed and imprisoned following an unsuccessful mediation attempt to end a war between Perugia and Rome, he decided to change his life and joined the Perugia Franciscans upon release from captivity.

Studying along with St. James with St. Bernardine of Siena, John of Capistrano started preaching in 1420. He preached penance in Italy, Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, and Germany. He instituted several communities of Franciscan adherents.

In 1456, Pope Callistus commissioned John to crusade against Mohammed II and Turks invading Vienna and Rome. He led a 70,000-man army that beat the Turks at Belgrade that summer. He died that fall at Illok, Hungary.

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