Lesser Known Saints

John Twenge (John of Bridlington) (1319–10 October 1379)
John was born in Yorkshire to a prominent Catholic family (although it’s prominence wasn’t there yet) He went to Oxford and then joined the Bridlington Priory where John rose to Prior a position he held for 17 years. During his lifetime John was known for his miracles, it is said that he turned water into wine and once five sailors were in danger of a wreck and they prayed to God in the name of John of Bridlington, the sailor’s prayers were answered and  the prior himself appeared to them in his habit and brought them to shore. John was the last saint canonized before the English Reformation and Henry V partly attributed his victory at the Battle of Agincourt, on Saint Crispin’s Day, to John Twenge.

John of Capistrano OFM (24 June 1386 – 23 October 1456)
John was born in Capistrano Italy and had a relatively normal life he became governor of Ladislas until 1416 when war broke out and John was sent to Malatesta to try to broker a peace deal. John was imprisoned and started studying theology with Bernardino of Siena. After John was freed he joined the Friars Minor where he became a noted preacher as he had to preach in town squares as the churches were too small to fit everyone. John was also a reformer as he wrote tracts on heresies and help Bernardino reform the Franciscans as well. At the age of 70 he lead a Crusade in Hungry against the advancing Turks, he might have won the battle but during it John contracted bubonic plague and died. Two Spanish Missions in America are named for John of Capistrano, the one in California was known for the swallows that nested in the mission.

Crispin and Crispinian (died c. 286)
October 25th is Saint Crispin’s Day. This is perhaps the one of the better known saints that appears in literature, or at least the mention of the feast day. In one of the most memorable speeches from Shakespeare’s  Henry V in it King Henry rouses his “band of brothers” on the eve of battle against the French. I’ve always wonder who Crispian is. Crispin and Crispinian were twin brothers from Rome  during the 3rd century. They both fled persecution and ended up in France preaching to the Gauls during the day and making shoes at night. According to legend they were very successful in their preaching and the Roman governor had them tortured and thrown into a river with millstones around their necks, they both survived and were beheaded by the Emperor.


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