Romans 4.20-25; Luke 1; Luke 12.13-21
Born in Capistrano, Italy, in 1386, John was a successful lawyer and became Governor of Perugia in 1412. In 1416, he and his wife mutually consented to separation so that he could become a Franciscan. He travelled extensively through Italy, Germany, Austria, Bohemia, Hungary, Poland and Russia preaching penance and establishing numerous communities of Franciscan renewal. When Mohammed III was threatening Vienna and had captured Constantinople, St John was commissioned by Pope Callixtus III in 1453 to preach a Crusade against the invading Turks. At the age of 70, marching at the head of 70,000 Christians, he gained victory in the battle of Belgrade in July of 1456. Three months later he died of the plague in Ilok, Hungary (today part of Croatia). He is the patron saint of jurists.