Pray with Today's Saint

St. John Capistrano


St. John of Capistrano was nicknamed the “soldier saint” when, at the age of 70, he helped liberate Belgrade from a sieging army.

John was born in Capistrano, Italy, in 1385, and grew up to study law. After practicing as a lawyer in the courts of Naples, he was appointed governor of Perugia, but during a war with a neighboring town, he was imprisoned. During his imprisonment, he started to study theology, and when he was released in 1416, he entered a Franciscan community at Perugia.

He studied with St. James of the March under the teaching of St. Bernardine of Siena, and later became known as a brilliant preacher. He traveled throughout Europe and Russia preaching penance and establishing Franciscan communities.

When he was 70, the Ottoman Empire was threatening Rome and Vienna and he was commissioned by the pope to rouse interest in a crusade to oppose the invasion. He marched at the head of 70,000 soldiers who won victory at a battle at Belgrade in 1456. He died three months later.

St. John of Capistrano is patron saint of military chaplains and of those who work with the law, and his relics rest in the reliquary chapel in the Basilica. His image here comes from

St. John of Capistrano, you are the patron saint of military chaplains and those who work in the judicial system, pray for us!