Son of a former German knight, John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385.  After studying law at the University of Perugia, he practiced in the courts of Naples.  He was appointed governor of Perugia by King Ladislas of Naples.  He was betrayed and imprisoned during a war with a neighboring town.  He entered the Franciscan community at Perugia in 1416 after his release from prison.  He was inspired bu St/ Bernardine of Siena to institute the devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus and His Mother.  In 1420,  while a deacon he began his brilliant preaching.  He traveled throughout  Italy, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia preaching penance .  He established many Franciscan  renewal communities.  At the age of seventy, Pope Callistus II commissioned St. John to lead a crusade against the threatening Turks.  He marched at the head of  70,000 Christians and at the Battle of Belgrade he gained victory in 1456.  Three months later he died  at Illok, Hungary.

FEAST DAY:  October 23

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