St. John of Capistrano (two Franciscan missions are named after him, the one to which the swallows return in Southern California, and another in Texas.) is also known as the "soldier priest." At the age of 70 he was designated by the pope to preach a crusade against the Muslim incursion into central Europe and northern Italy after Constantinople had already fallen. The crusade was successful, but John succumbed to the plague several months later.
When to walk away and when to fight? In today's first reading, St. Paul even struggles within himself in a battle between what he knows he should do and what he feels like doing.
Our church has soldiers and martyrs, warriors and peacemakers. Let us pray for prudence and wisdom on this feast of a soldier saint and for the protection of those in battle for freedom and justice.
St. John is depicted holding a cross aloft during the Siege of Belgrade.