Saint Brigid Religious Education
100 Mayflower Street
West Hartford, CT 06110
St. John of Capistrano
Feast day: October 23
John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, the son of a former German
knight in that city. He studied law at the University of Perugia and
practiced as a lawyer in the courts of Naples.
King Ladislas of Naples appointed him governor of Perugia. During a
war with a neighboring town he was betrayed and imprisoned. Upon his
release he entered the Franciscan community at Perugia in 1416.
He and St. James of the March were fellow students under St.
Bernardine of Siena, who inspired him to institute the devotion to the
holy Name of Jesus and His Mother. John began his brilliant preaching
apostolate with a deacon in 1420. After his ordination he traveled
throughout Italy, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia
preaching penance and establishing numerous communities of Franciscan
When Mohammed II was threatening Vienna and Rome, St. John, at the
age of seventy, was commissioned by Pope Callistus III to preach and
lead a crusade against the invading Turks. Marching at the head of
seventy thousand Christians, he gained victory in the great battle of
Belgrade against the Turks in 1456.
Three months later he died at Illok, Hungary. His feast day is
October 23. He is the patron of jurists.