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Christian saints are considered the world's greatest optimists because of their faith in Christ's redemptive power, which extends to both sinful individuals and disastrous events. The 14th century was marked by significant challenges, including the bubonic plague, the Western Schism, wars, and political unrest. Amidst this backdrop, John Capistrano was born in 1386. He had a successful early career and became governor of Perugia at 26. However, after being imprisoned, he decided to radically change his life and joined the Franciscan Order at 30, becoming a priest by 34. John's sermons drew large crowds during a time of religious indifference, and he played a vital role in reviving faith across central Europe. He also addressed internal disputes within the Franciscan Order and promoted unity between Christian denominations. Later, after the Turks seized Constantinople, John advocated for a crusade to defend Europe. He played a key role in a significant military victory in Belgrade but succumbed to an infection shortly after, dying on October 23, 1456.

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