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Lives of the Saints:

How They Changed the World

Saint John Kanty (1390–1473)

Saint John Kanty (1390–1473)

Patron of Lithuania and Poland

Feast day: December 23




Saint John Kanty was born in Poland and studied at the University of Kraków. He then became a professor of theology at his alma mater. However, John’s tenure didn’t last long. His fellow professors were jealous of his popularity and falsely accused him of wrongdoing. He was ousted from the university and became a parish priest in Olkusz, Bohemia. At first, his parishioners were suspicious of their new discredited pastor, but through John’s sincere interest and concern for them they eventually grew to love him. After eight years, John was reassigned back to Kraków. Many of his once-hostile parishioners followed him out of town and begged him not to leave. John was reinstated at the University of Kraków, where he became professor of Sacred Scripture. John was very humble,  of the  patient, loving, and caring of the poor. He shared his philosophy of life with many of his students: “Fight all error, but do it with good humor, patience, kindness, and love. Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause.” Saint John Kanty died in 1473 and was canonized in 1767. (Image by mzopw, Wikimedia Commons)