visions of st. john

THE VISION OF ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST: THE APOCALYPTIC WOMAN, DETAIL OF THE WORK-DAY SIDE OF AN ALTAR WING FROM SZENTBENEDEK (TODAY MĂNĂSTIREA, ROMANIA)

1520

MNG

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St. John of Capistrano (1385-1456) was born in Capistrano, Italy. After the death of his father, his mother sent him to study law in Perugia where he rose to prominence. He achieved great success as a lawyer and was appointed governor of Perugia. He was an upright leader who refused bribes and corruption. While attempting to negotiate a peace treaty he was imprisoned, which gave him opportunity to assess the direction of his life and the state of his soul. After having a vision of St. Francis of Assisi, John left the world and entered religious life as a Franciscan friar. He was taught theology by St. Bernardine of Siena, and together the two worked to reform the Franciscan Order. St. John traveled throughout Italy preaching for the salvation of souls, combating the heresies of his day, and winning many souls away from schism and heresy.  Merchants would suspend their business as great crowds gathered to hear him preach in the public squares. He was also known as a healer, and many of the sick were brought to him to be cured. St. John was frequently used as an ambassador by the Holy See which allowed him to preach across the Holy Roman Empire, earning him the name “Apostle of Europe.” He also preached a crusade against the Muslim Turks for the emancipation of Hungary. He was present at the Battle of Belgrade and led the charge of the Christian army under a banner monogrammed with the Holy Name of Jesus, to which he had a great devotion, urging the crusaders to invoke the name of Jesus for success in battle. The victory of the Christian army was attributed to his efforts. St. John of Capistrano is the patron of judges, military chaplains, lawyers, and jurists. His feast day is October 23rd.