John of Capistrano

1386-1456. Franciscan* leader and preacher. Having studied civil and canon law in Perugia, he joined the Observant Franciscans there and preached against the Fraticelli.* He did much to win for the Observants their own provincial vicars (1431) and to gain them holy places in Palestine. Later he became vicar general of the Cismontane community and wrote a course of studies, having founded other convents and monasteries. He defended Bernardino of Siena* before Martin V, and (unsuccessfully) the Angevin cause in Naples as papal legate (1435-36). He obtained for Third Order Franciscans the right to live in common (1436) and spent two years in Milan preaching and writing (1440-42). Nicholas V sent him to Austria to preach against the Hussites (1451), extending his responsibility to Styria, Hungary, and Bohemia. In 1454 Pius II had him preach the crusade which brought about the 22 July victory. He was canonized in 1690.