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Saint John of Saint Facundus


John was born, the offspring of a noble race, near the Abbey of Saint Facundus, in the Spanish Kingdom of Leon, early in the fifteenth century. His father and mother, after long childlessness, obtained him from God by prayers and good works. While he was still at home as a lad, he was tutored by the Benedictine monks of the aforesaid Abbey, and as he was thus busied, his father obtained for him the benefice of the parish; for in those days it was a common evil in the Church that benefices were bestowed upon children, and it was even common for one man to be given many benefices. Later John became one of the household of the Bishop of Burgos; and that prelate, seeing his uprightness, ordained him priest, and made him a Canon, heaping upon him many kindnesses. However, his conscience reproached him for the pluralities he enjoyed; and he therefore resigned all his Church income, and went to Salamanca to study.

Here he had a severe illness, and vowed to take up a sterner way of living. Whereupon he joined the Augustinian Friars. After his novitiate he was commanded by his superior to undertake the duty of preaching. At that time, owing to bloody feuds, all things human and divine at Salamanca were in such utter confusion that murders were committed almost every hour, and the streets, and even the very churches, flowed with the blood of all classes, especially of the nobility. Thus Salamanca was in need of an apostle of God to stir it from its wickedness. And it was John who, by public preaching and private conversations, softened the hearts of the citizens so that the town was restored to peace.

However, he grievously offended many whose lives he rebuked, especially one nobleman whom he had warned for his cruelty towards his vassals. This man sent two knights to murder him on the road. But when they came nigh the man of God, a terror came upon them, so that they and their horses stood still, until they cast themselves down before the feet of the Saint, imploring his forgiveness for their sin. For there was something in John that convicted men of sin, and made them desire to become men of peace and integrity. Nevertheless, it is believed that he died of poison, somehow administered through his food, at the instance of a woman whose paramour he had converted from his scandalous ways, and returned to his own wife and family. Thus John spent himself, and was spent, as the apostle of a university town, which without him would have had learning, but not Christ. And he went to God on June 11th, in 1479, an example to all priests. In 1690 he was numbered among the Saints.


O GOD, who art the author of peace and lover of charity, who didst endue blessed John thy Confessor with singular gifts for the reconciliation of enemies: grant that by his merits and intercession we may be so stablished in thy charity; that we may not by any temptations be parted from thee. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Anglican Breviary, Frank Gavin Liturgical Foundation, Inc., New York, 1955, pages 1241-1242

Additional Information:

For additional readings, or to learn more about the Anglican Breviary, visit The Anglican Breviary Website.

Ordo Kalendars are available from the Anglican Parishes Association Book Publisher.