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St. John Cantius


October 20

John was born at Kenty (whence the surname Cantius), a town in the diocese of Cracow. His parents, Stanislaus and Anna, were devout, honorable people. From his very infancy, John gave promise of the greatest virtue by the sweetness and innocence of his ways.

After his ordination to the priesthood he redoubled his efforts toward Christian perfection. He administered the parish of Olkusz for several years with notable success, and then returned to teaching. Part of the time left him from this occupation he gave to the salvation of his neighbor, especially through preaching, and the rest to prayer. He came four times to the Apostolic See, traveling on foot and carrying his own baggage, both to honor the Apostolic See and, as he said, to save himself from the punishments of purgatory by the indulgences offered there daily.

He watchfully preserved a virginal purity, and before his death he had abstained from meat for about thirty-five years. On Christmas Eve he went to his heavenly reward. He was enrolled among the Saints by Pope Clement XIII, and is honored as one of the primary patrons of Poland and Lithuania.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. III: August to Advent (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1675-1676.

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Epistle and Gospel for October 20