|Saint John Cantius|
Saint John Cantius
June 23, 1390|
Kęty, Oświęcim, Poland
|Died||December 24, 1473
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||28 March 1676, Rome by Pope Clement X|
|Canonized||1767, Rome by Pope Clement XIII|
|Major shrine||Church of St. Anne
20 October (General Roman Calendar 1770-1969)
|Attributes||in a Professor's Gown with his arm around shoulder of a young student whose gaze is directed towards Heaven; giving his garments to the poor|
|Patronage||Poland; Lithuania; Jagiellonian University|
Saint John Cantius (Latin: Joannis Cantii) (Polish: Jan z Kęt or Jan Kanty) (23 June 1390 – 24 December 1473) was a Polish priest, Scholastic philosopher, physicist and theologian. He is also known as John of Kanty or John of Kanti.
He was born in Kęty, a small town near Oświęcim, in the diocese of Bielsko-Źywiec, Poland, to Stanisław and Anna Kanty. He attended the Kraków Academy at which he attained bachelor, licentiate, and doctor. Upon graduation he spent the next three years preparing for the priesthood, at the end of which he was ordained.
Upon his ordination, he was offered a professorship at another university, which he accepted. While there, he was offered a professorship of Sacrae Scripturae (Sacred Scripture) back at his Alma Mater, the Krakow Academy, which would later be named the Jagiellonian University. He accepted, and held the professorship until his death in 1473. In physics, he helped develop Jean Buridan's theory of impetus," which anticipated the work of Galileo and Newton.
John Cantius was noted throughout his life for his good humor and humility. He subsisted only on what was strictly necessary to sustain his life, giving alms regularly to the poor. He made one pilgrimage to Jerusalem and four pilgrimages to Rome, all on foot.
Michael Miechowita, the medieval Polish historian and the saint's first biographer, described the saint's extreme humility and charity; he took as his motto:
- Conturbare cave: non est placare suave,
- Infamare cave; nam revocare grave.
- (Beware disturbing: it's not sweetly pleasing,
- Beware speaking ill: for taking back words is burdensome.)
He died while living in retirement at his Alma Mater on 24 December 1473, aged 83. His remains were interred in the Students Church of St Anne, Kraków, where his tomb became and remains a popular pilgrimage site. He is the patron of the diocese of Bielsko-Żywiec (since 1992), and of the students.
Throughout his life, various miracles were attributed to him. John Cantius was beatified in Rome by Pope Clement X on March 28, 1676. He was named patron of Poland and Lithuania by Pope Clement XII in the year 1737. Ninety-one years after his beatification, Blessed John Cantius was canonized on July 16, 1767, by Pope Clement XIII.
St. John Cantius is a popular saint in Poland. A number of churches and schools founded by Polish diaspora communities throughout North America are named in his honor, in cities as far-ranging as Cleveland, Ohio; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Philadelphia and Erie, Pennsylvania; Buffalo, New York; and New York City.
"John Cantius" has been used as a first and middle name—see, for example, John Cantius Garand.
When Saint John Cantius's feast day was first inserted into the Roman Catholic calendar of saints in 1770, it was initially assigned to 20 October, but in 1969 it was moved to the 23 December, the day before the anniversary of his death, which occurred on Christmas Eve 1473.
Some traditionalist Catholics continue to observe pre-1970 versions of the Roman Calendar: in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite the General Roman Calendar of 1962 is used. Thus, in that liturgical observance his feast day is still celebrated on the 20 October.
Media related to John Cantius at Wikimedia Commons
- Biography from the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius
- Bull of Canonization (1767) by Pope Clement XIII
- Biography from The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1910
- Novena to Saint John Cantius
- Biography at The Catholic Forum
- Patron Saints Index: Saint John Cantius