Capistrano, Giovanni Di
CAPISTRANO, GIOVANNI DI (1386-1456), was born at the little town of Capistrano in the Abruzzi. He was educated for the profession of law, and till about his thirtieth year was engaged in practice as an advocate. Ile then entered the Franciscan order, and became one of its most rigid and devoted adherents. At the same time he manifested very remarkable powers as a popular preacher, and was consequently employed on various missions by the popes. In 1450 he was sent by Nicholas V. to Germany to preach against the Hussite heresy, and at the same time to excite the Germans to a crusade against the Turks who, under their great leader, Mahomet II., were threatening to overrun Europe. Capistrano did much to repress the Hussite movement, and though he failed to excite a crusade against the Turks, his religious enthusiasm sustained the inhabitants of Belgrade when that town was besieged by the Turkish forces in 1456. He accompanied them with the cross in his hand in their successful sortie, a few months before his death. He was canonized in 1690.