St. John was born at Kenty, (whence the surname Cantius), a town in the diocese of Cracow. His parents Stanislaus and Anna, were devout honorable people. From his very infancy John gave promise of the greatest virtue by the sweetness and innocence of his way. After his ordination to the priesthood he redoubled his efforts to the Christian perfection. He administered the parish of Olkusz for several years with notable success, and then returned to teaching. Part of the time left him from this occupation he gave to the salvation of his neighbor, especially through preaching, and the rest to prayer. He came four times to the Apostolic See traveling on foot and carrying his own baggage, both to honor the Apostolic See, and as he said, “to save himself from the punishments of purgatory”, by the indulgences offered there daily. He watchfully preserved a virginal purity, and before his death he had abstained from meat for about thirty-five years. On Christmas Eve he went to the heavenly reward. He was enrolled among the Saints by Pope Clement XIII, and is honored as one of the primary Patrons of Poland and Lithuania. 1960 Roman Breviary
He made one pilgrimage to Jerusalem with the desire of becoming a martyr among the Turks. He died Dec. 24, 1473. Catholic Encyclopedia
Long fasting hath thy body tamed,
With many cruel stripes it bleeds,
Though innocence exemption claimed
For thee from penitential deeds
Then let us follow in the path
Of John, our father and our guide;
Who follows him, his spirit hath
The power to curb all carnal pride.
In winter’s frost thy loving care
Provides a garment for the poor;
For those who want thou dost prepare
Of meat and drink a copious store.
O thou who never didst deny
thine aid unto the suppliant’s prayer,
Hear Christendom’s and Poland’s cry,
And save thy country from despair.
Now let us chant in glad refrain
Unto the Triune God our praise:
O may the prayers of John obtain
Blest joys for us in endless days.
When thou dost pray thy mighty prayer,
Disorders flee, and plagues abate,
And bodies, wasting in disease,
Regain at once their healthful state.
When phthisis, fevers, ulcers dire,
Have brought men to their latest breath,
When they are mourned as victims doomed,
Thou tak’st them from the jaws of death.
Thou pray’st; and goods, which down the stream
Are hurried on at headlong pace,
Drawn by the mighty hand of God,
Float upwards, and their source retrace.
Do thou, who canst such wonders work,
Now from thy throne in heaven deign
To listen to our suppliant prayers,
That we may answering help obtain.
O Trinity forever One,
O Unity forever Trine,
That we may gain eternal joys,
To Cantius‘ prayer thine ear incline.
O glory of the Polish race,
O splendour of the priestly band,
Whose lore did thy lyceum grace,
John, father of the fatherland.
The law of the supernal will
Thou teachest both in word and deed;
Knowledge is naught—we must fulfill
In works, not barren words, our creed!
On foot to apostolic Rome
thy pilgrim spirit joyful hied;
Oh, to our everlasting home
The path declare, the footstep guide!
Again, in Sion’s holy street,
Anew thou wet’st with tearful flood
The pathway of the Saviour’s feet
Erst wet with His redeeming blood.
O sweet and bitter wounds of Christ,
Deep in our hearts imprinted stay,
That the blest fruit the sacrificed
Redeemer gained, be ours for aye!
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.