Saint of the Day 12/23- St. John of Kanty (Cantius)
St. John of Kanty (June 24, 1390 – December 24, 1473) was born in the town of Kenty near Oswiecim (Auschwitz) in the diocese of Cracow, Poland. St. John of Kanty had an easy going personality and a brilliant mind. At the age of 23 he enrolled in one of the oldest universities in Europe, the Cracow Academy.
St. John of Kanty spent most of the rest of his life studying philosophy and theology and becoming head of the department of philosophy. The only time he was away was a brief period during which he had been fired as a result of unjust charges brought by his rivals. He served for eight years as a parish priest, winning the hearts of his parishioners, who begged him to stay with them when his position at the University was restored. As a result of this experience, he is sometimes seen as a patron for those who are out of work or seeking work.
Founded in 1364, the Cracow Academy was renamed in 1817 as the Jagiellonian University to commemorate a Polish dynasty. Copernicus registered at the Cracow Academy 80 years after John of Kanty first registered. Several centuries later another Polish philosopher at the Jagiellonian University, Carol Wojtyla – Pope John Paul II, would look to St. John of Kanty as a patron. In his 1997 visit to his homeland, Pope John Paul II prayed at the tomb of St. John of Kanty as he had when he was a student. His address to professors of the university was based on the theme that summarized the life of St. John of Kanty – knowledge and wisdom seek a covenant with holiness.