The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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John of Capistrano, Saint for Today

Canisius | 29 March, 2006 21:46

On Gueranger's calendar, yesterday was the feast of St. John Capistrano. Dom Gueranger showed himself a consumate story teller in recounting St. John's exploits against the Islamic crisis of his age.

Here's the short version. The sultan besieged Belgrade in the 1450's, and it was one of those finger-in-the-dyke moments when the fate of Europe rode on the outcome of this siege. You would expect that all the monarchs of Europe would unite and come marching to the rescue, but--in an eerily familiar move--they decided the time was ripe to bicker with eacher instead. At the Pope's request, the Franciscan friar John of Capistrano went on a preaching crusade, rounded up some 70,000 men, most of them peasants, and marched off to relieve the siege of Belgrade. To the stupifaction of his helper, the John Hunyadi--the one nobleman who could be persuaded to come along--JC decided on an outright attack. His peasant mob, armed with pitchforks, scythes, and other farm implements, stormed the enemy lines with the name of Jesus as their battle cry, and routed or killed 120,000 trained muslim soldiers.

News reached the pope's ears on August 6th, and right then and there he declared it a feast day, the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ, because God had once again glorified his Son. And the feast of the Transfiguration is held on August 6th to this day!

Now wait for August 6th, and see if anyone mentions the historical background of the feast. Might be a touchy subject just at the moment.

St. John of Capistrano--everyone join in now, 'cause I mean it--PRAY FOR US.


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