Saint John of Capistrano (1386-1456)

for October 23

Saint John was born in Capistrano, Italy, in 1385. He was the son of a former knight. He studied law, became a lawyer in the courts of Naples, and was eventually appointed the governor of Perugia. He was incarcerated after a battle against a neighboring town and upon release was determined to change his way of life. He joined the Franciscans at the age of 30, and was ordained a priest four years later. His ministry and preaching drew in large crowds and interest at a time of great religious indifference and misunderstanding. He, along with his 12 Franciscan brothers, were extremely helpful in stimulating a dying faith and devotion. John's training in law helped to free the religious orders that were being repressed by heretics. He also helped to bring about a brief reunification between Greek and Armenian Churches. John was appointed to preach a crusade for the protection of Europe. He was very successful in his efforts, but became worn out and susceptible to illness. He fell victim to an infection that was caused by the aftereffects of battle and died on October 23, 1456. Saint John of Capistrano is the patron saint of jurists.

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Saint John is an excellent example of how our unique talents, skills, and interests can help us with our ministry. His training in law helped to free the religious orders that were being repressed by heretics. How can you use your special interests and skills in your ministry? Pray for the Lord's help in discerning your vocation and in discovering how you can use your unique talents to aid in your ministry.


Holy Spirit, you bless us with gifts and talents to be used for God’s Kingdom. Help me to focus on my own gifts and how I can use them to make God’s Kingdom grow and multiply. (Taken from "Take Ten: Daily Bible Reflections for Teens.")