JOHN OF KANTY OR CANTIUS—1390-1473
Feast: December 23
<Lives> of John of Kanty (Kanty is near Oswiecim in Poland) are many but not entirely dependable. Nevertheless we have record of him as a holy and learned man who was both a distinguished university teacher and a benefactor of the poor. He came from a family of good position, and was sent to the University of Cracow, where he did well. He was ordained priest, and appointed to a lectureship in the University. His academic life was however interrupted when jealous rivals managed to get him removed from his teaching post, and he was sent to labor as a parish priest. This caused him much distress, as he was both unused to this kind of work and weighed down by the feeling of its heavy responsibility. But he gradually won the love of his parishioners, who wept when, after some years, he left them to return to the University of Cracow as professor of Scripture. This post he held for the rest of his long life; and he became increasingly famous for his teaching, his humble and austere way of living and his spontaneous generosity to chose in need. Perhaps his best lesson for us, especially in these days of increasing communication, lies in one of his favorite sayings to his pupils: 'Fight all false opinions, but let your weapons be patience, sweetness and love. Roughness is bad for your own soul and spoils the best cause.'

When he died St. John was greatly mourned, and was already accounted a worker of miracles; but he was not canonized until 1767.


Taken from "The Saints: A concise Biographical Dictionary", edited by John Coulson, published by Hawthorn Books, Inc. 1960.


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