FEAST OF ST JOHN KANTY (ST JOHN CANTIUS): Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God’s invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint.
St. John Kanty receives his name from his birthplace, Kant, near Oswiecim in Poland. After his ordination, John was appointed professor of theology at the University of Krakow. He was known to lead a very strict life. He later became a parish priest at Olkusz.
He was a serious and humble man. There is a story that once when he was dining, a starving beggar passed the door. John jumped up and carried out all his food to the man; when he returned to his seat he miraculously found his plate full.
St. John’s second appointment at the University was as professor of Sacred Scripture, which he held to the end of his life. He was known to all the poor in Krakow. His goods and money were always at their disposal, and many times they literally “cleaned him out.” His own needs were few; he slept on the floor, never ate meat, and when he went to Rome he walked all the way and carried his luggage on his back. He was never weary of telling his pupils to “fight all false opinions, but let your weapons be patience, sweetness and love”.
Several miracles were attributed to St. John, and when news got around the city that he was dying, there was an outpouring of sorrow. He died on Christmas Eve 1473 at the age of 83. St. John Kanty was canonized in 1767.
When Saint John Kanty’s feast day was first inserted into the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints in 1770, it was initially assigned to October 20, but in 1969 it was moved to December 23, the day before the anniversary of his death, which occurred on Christmas Eve, 1473.
At the 10:30 Mass on Sunday, December 22 prayers will be offered to Our Patron Saint and holy cards will be blessed and handed out. A coffee hour will follow in the cafeteria.
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