ST JOHN CANTIUS, CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: DECEMBER 23
John was born in the diocese of Cracow in the town of Kenty, from which he took his surname Cantius. His parents Stanislaus and Anna were holy and respectable people. From his infancy, his sweetness of disposition and innocence gave hope of the greatest virtue.
HE BECAME A PRIEST
After becoming a priest, he increased his ardour for Christian perfection. For some years he administered the parish of Ilkusi with great efficiency. Whatever time was left from his studies he devoted partly to the salvation of his neighbour, especially preaching sermons on sacred subjects, and partly by prayer.
ON FOOT, HE MADE FOUR VISITS TO ROME
He made four visits to Rome, travelling on foot and carrying his own luggage, both to show honour to the Apostolic See and, as he used to say, to save himself from the punishments of Purgatory through the indulgences obtainable there daily.
HE ABSTAINED ENTIRELY FROM MEAT
He guarded his virginal purity most vigilantly, and for about thirty-five years before his death abstained entirely from flesh-meat. On Christmas Eve , his soul took flight to heaven. Pope Clement III added him to the list of the saints, and he is honoured as one of the foremost patrons of Poland and Lithuania.
Grant, we beseech you, almighty God, that by following the example of blessed John, your Confessor, we may advance in a knowledge of holiness and, by showing pity for others, obtain your forgiveness through his merits. Through our Lord…
– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964 [bold titles added]