Saint John of Kęty, Priest

Luke 1:57-66
‘His name is John’

The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son; and when her neighbours and relations heard that the Lord had shown her so great a kindness, they shared her joy.

Now on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother spoke up. ‘No,’ she said ‘he is to be called John.’ They said to her, ‘But no one in your family has that name’, and made signs to his father to find out what he wanted him called. The father asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And they were all astonished. At that instant his power of speech returned and he spoke and praised God. All their neighbours were filled with awe and the whole affair was talked about throughout the hill country of Judaea. All those who heard of it treasured it in their hearts. ‘What will this child turn out to be?’ they wondered. And indeed the hand of the Lord was with him.


Malachi 3:1-4,23-24
Before my day comes, I will send you Elijah my prophet

The Lord God says this: Look, I am going to send my messenger to prepare a way before me. And the Lord you are seeking will suddenly enter his Temple; and the angel of the covenant whom you are longing for, yes, he is coming, says the Lord of Hosts. Who will be able to resist the day of his coming? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he is like the refiner’s fire and the fullers’ alkali. He will take his seat as refiner and purifier; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and then they will make the offering to the Lord as it should be made. The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will then be welcomed by the Lord as in former days, as in the years of old.
Know that I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before my day comes, that great and terrible day. He shall turn the hearts of fathers towards their children and the hearts of children towards their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a curse.


Psalm 24(25):4-5,8-9,10,14
Stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.

Lord, make me know your ways.
Lord, teach me your paths.
Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:
for you are God my saviour.
Stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.
The Lord is good and upright.
He shows the path to those who stray,
He guides the humble in the right path,
He teaches his way to the poor.
Stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.
His ways are faithfulness and love
for those who keep his covenant and law.
The Lord’s friendship is for those who revere him;
to them he reveals his covenant.
Stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.

Source: Jerusalem Bible
Catechism of the Catholic Church
God Is Love

218 In the course of its history, Israel was able to discover that God had only one reason to reveal himself to them, a single motive for choosing them from among all peoples as his special possession: his sheer gratuitous love. And thanks to the prophets Israel understood that it was again out of love that God never stopped saving them and pardoning their unfaithfulness and sins.

219 God’s love for Israel is compared to a father’s love for his son. His love for his people is stronger than a mother’s for her children. God loves his people more than a bridegroom his beloved; his love will be victorious over even the worst infidelities and will extend to his most precious gift: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.”

220 God’s love is “everlasting”: “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you.” Through Jeremiah, God declares to his people, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”

221 But St. John goes even further when he affirms that “God is love”: God’s very being is love. By sending his only Son and the Spirit of Love in the fullness of time, God has revealed his innermost secret: God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange.


John Cantius was born in Kęty, a small town near Oświęcim, Poland, to Stanisław and Anna Kanty. He attended the Kraków Academy at which he attained bachelor, and licentiate. In 1418 he became a Doctor of Philosophy. Upon graduation he spent the next three years conducting philosophy classes at the university, while preparing for the priesthood.

Upon his ordination, he became rector at the school of the Canons Regular of the Most Holy Sepulcher in Miechow. While there, he was offered a professorship of Sacra Scriptura (Sacred Scripture) back at his alma mater, the Kraków Academy, which would later be named the Jagiellonian University. He attained a doctorate in theology and eventually became director of the theology department. He held the professorship until his death in 1473. John spent many hours copying manuscripts of the Holy Scriptures, theological tracts, and other scholarly works.
In physics, he helped develop Jean Buridan’s theory of impetus, which anticipated the work of Galileo and Newton.

During his time in Kraków, John Kanty became well known in the city for his generosity and compassion toward the poor, especially needy students at the university. He subsisted on what was strictly necessary to sustain his life, giving alms regularly to the poor. He made one pilgrimage to Jerusalem and four pilgrimages on foot to Rome.
Michael Miechowita, the medieval Polish historian and the saint’s first biographer, described the saint’s extreme humility and charity; he took as his motto:
Conturbare cave: non est placare suave,
Infamare cave; nam revocare grave.
(Beware disturbing: it’s not sweetly pleasing,
Beware speaking ill: for taking back words is burdensome.)

He died while living in retirement at his alma mater on 24 December 1473, aged 83. His remains were interred in the Collegiate Church of St Anne, where his tomb became and remains a popular pilgrimage site. He is the patron of the diocese of Bielsko-Żywiec (since 1992), and of the students.

Veneration
John Cantius was beatified in Rome by Pope Clement X on 28 March 1676. He was named patron of Poland and Lithuania by Pope Clement XII in the year 1737. Ninety-one years after his beatification, Blessed John Cantius was canonized on 16 July 1767, by Pope Clement XIII.

The Roman Breviary distinguishes him with three hymns; he is the only confessor not a bishop who has been given this honor in the Catholic liturgy.
St. John Cantius is a popular saint in Poland. A number of churches and schools founded by Polish diaspora communities throughout North America are named in his honor, in cities as far-ranging as Cleveland, Ohio; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Rolling Prairie, Indiana, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; St. Cloud, Minnesota; Wilno, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Erie, and Windber, Pennsylvania; New York City and Buffalo, New York.

“John Cantius” has been used as a first and middle name—see, for example, John Cantius Garand.
In 1998, a new religious institute was founded, based in Chicago, which took St. John Cantius as their patron saint. Thus they are the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius.

Source: Wikipedia