Sunday, December 23, 2012
We so often here that religion and science don't mix, yet many of the great scientists of the Christian era have been people of faith, John Cantius was one of them.
He was born in Kęty, a small town near Oświęcim, in the diocese of Kraków, Poland, to Stanisław and Anna Kanty. He attended the Kraków Academy at which he attained bachelor, licentiate, and doctor. Upon graduation he spent the next three years preparing for the priesthood, at the end of which he was ordained.
Upon his ordination, he was offered a professorship at another university, which he accepted. 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.
While in Olkusz, he was offered a professorship of Sacrae Scripturae (Sacred Scripture) back at the Jagellonian. He accepted, and held the professorship until his death in 1473. In physics, he helped develop Jean Buridan's theory of "impetus," which anticipated the work of Galileo and Newton.
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 Kraków He was declared patron of Poland and Lithuania in 1737 by Pope Clement XII, thirty years before his final canonization.
Though obscure saint, his namesake was John Cantius Garand, the Canadian born inventor and firearms designer responsible for the U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30 M-1 Garand.
Propers for John Cantius - Priest, Scientist and Teacher
O ALMIGHTY God, who hast called us to faith in thee, and hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses; Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of thy Saints, and especially of thy servant John Cantius, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at length, through thy mercy, we with them attain to thine eternal joy; through him who is the author and finisher of our faith, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle - Hebrews 12:1-2.
SEEING we also are compassed about with so great a of cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The Gospel - St. Luke 6:17-23.
JESUS came down and stood in the plain, with the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coasts of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; and they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all. And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven.
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