Saint John of Kanty

Feast day December 23

Saints Stories for All Ages

John Cantius, born in 1390, grew up in Poland and became a priest and teacher at the University of Krakow. He was a serious man and a good teacher. He ate no meat, slept on the floor, and rested little. Though John was hard on himself, he was patient and kind to his students, who loved him in return. Some jealous faculty members, however, had him removed. John was sent to do parish work, but he was not acquainted with such duties. Although the people liked him for his generous and energetic spirit, John was not successful as a parish priest.

John returned to the university to teach Scripture. The material he taught was not remembered as much as his holiness. He was known everywhere for his humility and spontaneous generosity. He gave everything to people who were poor and kept only the clothes he most needed. Four times he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, carrying his luggage on his back. When John died at age 83, people had already claimed him as a saint. He is the patron of Poland and Lithuania.


  • Suggest that the students contribute money to the missions.

  • Encourage the students to spend extra time at home, helping to build family unity through their presence and selflessness.

Excerpted from Christ Our Life, by Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio