Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Blessed John Duns Scotus (c. 1265–1308)

Blessed John Duns Scotus (c. 1265–1308)

Feast day: November 8

Blessed John Duns Scotus was part of a well-off family of farmers. He is referred to as “Duns Scotus” to specify where he was born: Scotland. He joined the Friars Minor at Dumfries and began his studies after novitiate. In those days, a handful of philosophers believed that free will was an illusion. However, Blessed John Duns Scotus knew this to be false, and he upheld the truth using scenarios that resonated with people.

He obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Paris. While teaching there, Blessed John Duns Scotus skillfully defended the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Using the work of Blessed John Duns Scotus, Pope Pius IX defined the Immaculate Conception of Mary in 1854. Blessed John Duns Scotus is often referred to as the “Subtle Doctor.”

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