Giovanni Capistrano

(1386–1456)
   Missionary and Saint.
   Giovanni was born in Capistrano in Italy. He studied law at the University of Perugia and in 1412 he married and was appointed Governor of Naples. While a prisoner of war, he had a vision of St francis of assisi and in 1416 he disentangled himself from his marriage and joined the Franciscan Order. He preached throughout Italy and became Vicar-General of the cismontane community. He supported bernardino in his reforms of the order and defended him before Pope Martin V. In 1451 he was sent by Pope Nicholas V to preach against the teachings of John hus in Austria, Hungary and Bohemia. He was highly effective in this mission, which was only curtailed by the capture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453. Inspired by the danger, he travelled to Hungary to preach a crusade. He succeeded in raising an army which defeated the Turks in 1456 and which diverted them from Belgrade. He himself died of plague the same year. Giovanni is remembered as one of the early heroes of the Franciscan Order.
   G. Hofer, St John Capistran, Reformer, translated by P. Cummins (1943).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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