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To most Catholics in this country, St. John from Kenty—otherwise know as John Kanty or John Cantius—is an obscure saint, but even in Europe, probably few people know of Pope John Paul II’s deep and lifelong devotion to this professor saint.

St. John Cantius was born at Kenty, near Oswiecim, Diocese of Krakow, Poland, 1412 (or 1403); died at Krakow, 1473, and was buried there under the church of St. Anne; his feast is on 20 October. He was the son of Stanislaus and Anne who were pious country people; he received his primary education at his native town, and then being sent by his parents to the Academy of Krakow, he soon impressed his professors and colleagues with his pleasant and amiable disposition; always happy, but serious, humble, and godly, he won the hearts of all who came in contact with him.

From the Canonization Bull for St. John Cantius, Pope Clement XIII commented: “He belonged to a group of outstanding men, distinguished by knowledge and holiness, who both taught and put into practice, as well as defended, the true faith which was under attack by its enemies... God was constantly in his heart and on his lips."

St. John Cantius filled his life with good works as an expression of the exhortation given by St. James in his epistle: “So it is with the faith that does nothing in practice. It is thoroughly lifeless.” (Jas 2, 17)

In his writings St. John Cantius defended the truths of the faith and for this was maliciously attacked by the Hussites.

St. John Cantius supposedly often said: “What kind of work can be more noble than to cultivate the minds of young people, guarding it carefully, so that the knowledge and love of God and His holy precepts go hand-in-hand with learning? To form young Christians and citizens...

Thus no-one doubts that the Blessed John Cantius was certainly worthy to be numbered among those renowned men, distinguished for their doctrine and holiness, who taught and were active in taking measures to defend the true faith against the attacks of those most evil adversaries; he is widely known in the University of Cracow to have handed down learning drawn from the purest fount, at a time when in lands not so far away heresy and schism was raging...

The celebration of St. John Cantius, the patron and native son of the Kraków Archdiocese, can be preceded by a novena, which should begin October 11 and be conducted during Rosary services. In centers of special devotion to St. John from Kenty one should attempt to maintain a solemn character for the novena, combining it with Holy Mass and a sermon...

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St. John Cantius.

That He would deign to strengthen and increase the spirit of brotherly love and unity in the Holy Church, St. John Cantius, intercede for us,

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