Saint John of Kanty

statue of Saint John Cantius; date and artist unknown; Saint Pölten, Niederösterreich, Austria; photographed on 13 April 2013 by Ralf Roletschek; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • John Cantius
  • John Kantius
  • John of Kanti
  • John of Kenti
  • Giovanni da Kety
  • Giovanni Canzio



Polish country lad. Brilliant student at the University of Cracow, Poland. Priest. Professor of theology at University of Cracow.

Falsely accused and ousted by university rivals, at age 41 he was assigned as parish priest at Olkusz, Bohemia. He took his position seriously, and was terrified of the responsibility, but did his best. For a long time that wasn’t enough for his parishioners, but in the end he won their hearts. After several years in his parish, he returned to Cracow and taught Scripture the rest of his life.

John was a serious, humble man, generous to a fault with the poor, sleeping little, eating no meat and little of anything else. Pilgrim to Jerusalem, hoping to be martyred by Turks. He made four pilgrimages to Rome, carrying his luggage on his back. When warned to look after his health, he pointed out that the early desert fathers lived long lives in conditions that had nothing to recommend them but the presence of God.

At the time of his death, John was so well loved that his veneration began immediately. For years his doctoral gown was worn by graduates receiving advanced degrees at the University of Cracow. He was declared patron of Poland and Lithuania in 1737 by Pope Clement XII, thirty years before his final canonization.



Name Meaning

  • God is gracious; gift of God (John)





  • in a professor‘s gown with his arm around the shoulder of a young student whose gaze he directs towards heaven
  • giving his garments to the poor


Fight all error, but do it with good humor, patience, kindness, and love. Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause. Saint John of Kanty

MLA Citation

  • “Saint John of Kanty“. CatholicSaints.Info. 16 September 2021. Web. 1 December 2021. <>