This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

October 23 -- A Couple of Johns

I've joked before about how many saints named John there are. Two of them -- Blessed John Buoni and St. John of Capistrano -- share a feast on October 23. They make an odd contrast.

John Buoni was a wild-living court jester who got a jolt of faith and became a hermit. His piety attracted followers, to his distress. One night he started walking in search of a sign -- he ended up a hermitage, which he understood to mean that he should take in these followers and organize them monastically. They became Augustinian monks.

John of Capistrano was a knight and lawyer who decided to take vows after having been a prisoner of war. He became a brilliant Franciscan theologian, writing to condemn the heresies of his time. Following the fall of Constantinople to the Turk, he preached Crusade. The Pope eventually commissioned him to organize one. Leading 70,000 soldiers in the summer of 1456, he defeated the Turkish forces in the Battle of Belgrade, halting the Turkish advance into Europe.

A joker who becomes an Augustinian hermit and a lawyer who becomes a Franciscan Crusader (albeit a defensive one). I think they must roll around in my head for a while before I can make sense of them.

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