October 22, 2000
volume 11, no. 208

LITURGY for Sunday and Monday, October 22-23, 2000

SUNDAY, October 22, 2000

      First Reading: Isaiah 53: 1-=11
      Psalms: Psalm 33: 4-5, 18-20, 22
      Second Reading: Hebrews 4: 14-16
      Gospel Reading: Mark 10: 34-45

Monday, October 23, 2000

    Monday October 23:
    Weekday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Saint John of Capistrano, Priest and Religious Missionary

    Green or White vestments

      First Reading: Ephesians 2: 1-10
      Psalms: Psalm 100: 2-5
      Gospel Reading: Luke 12: 13-21

Feast of Saint John of Capistrano, Priest and Religious Missionary

        Born in Capistrano, Italy near Abruzzi in 1386, Saint John of Capistrano he entered law school at Perugia where he was appointed governor there in 1412 at the age of 26. Married, he became enmeshed in the war between Perugia and Malatesta and was captured. While in prison, he had a life-changing conversion through a purported vision of Saint Francis of Assisi who invited John to join him in his Order. When John was finally released , was able to obtain a dispensation to enter the Friars Minor, despite the fact he was married. In 1420 he was ordained and began to preach throughout Italy, bringing in thousands to hear him wherever he spoke. His life would be one of preaching the true faith in the midst of great schism and defending Holy Mother Church and Europe from the threatening Turkish infidels. He would become known as the "Apostle of Europe" for his prayers, devotion and staunch defense of the faith not only saved Europe, but saved the Franciscan Order as well and strengthened the Church during dire times. Along with Saint Bernardine of Siena John endeavored to heal the split within the order, drawing up plans that were approved by the general chapter in 1430 at Assissi. That same year John, who was commissary general of the Franciscans, was instrumental in getting his dear friend St. Bernardine appointed Vicar General of the Observants. Almost immediately after that he journied to France where, in cooperation with Saint Colette, helped reform the Poor Clares. John was also a great aid to the pontiffs. Pope Eugene IV appointed John inquisitor in the proceedings against the Fraticelli vs. the Franciscans and John also ruled over the charges leveled against the Gesuats. In 1439, Eugene IV sent him on a papal diplomatic mission as papal legate to Milan and Burgundy to successfully make a stand against the antipope Felix V. Six years later the Holy Father, so pleased with John's diplomacy and firmness in backing Holy Mother Church, sent him to France to meet with the king as the papal legate to France. Rulers were so impressed with John that in 1451, the Emperor Frederick strongly recommended that the new pontiff Pope Nicholas V send John as commissary and inquisitor general to fend off the Hussites. Along with twelve Franciscans John again was successful. John preached throughout Europe, specifically Bavaria, Poland and Saxony, effecting countless conversions and tremendous revivals of faith. When the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453 John concentrated all his energies and faith into denouncing the infidels, forming a crusade against the Turks. Though he was unsuccessful in Austria and Bavaria, he teamed up with Hungarian leader Janos Hunyady to rally the Hungarians to resist the Turkish invasions. After capturing Constantinople, the Turks set their goal in capturing Belgrade in Serbia, at that time gateway to the west. Rallying the people against the infidels, John led the left wing of the Christian army to triumph at the Battle of Belgrade in 1456. His victory stalled the Turkish invasion which in turn saved all of Europe. To commemorate the significance of this event Pope Callistus III instituted the Feast of the Transfiguration. That same year both he and Hunyady contracted the bubonic plague from the filthy conditions of the battlefield, and both subsequently were claimed by the Black Death, Hunyady one week before John who died on October 23, 1456 at Villach, Austria. John was canonized by Pope Alexander VIII in 1690. This faithful Franciscan is most remembered here in the United States for the mission of the same name located in southern Orange County, California along the Pacific coast where, for decades, the swallows always return to the Mission of San Juan Capistrano on the feast of St. Joseph.

October 22, 2000
volume 11, no. 208

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