Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Vincent Canes

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(JOHN BAPTIST)

Friar Minor and controversialist, born on the borders of Nottingham and Leicestershire, date uncertain; died in London, June, 1672. Though brought up a Protestant, he embraced the Catholic Faith at the age of twenty, and shortly afterwards went from England to Douai. Here he was received into the Franciscan Order and became lector of philosophy and later professor of theology in the convent of the Friars Minor. Having returned to England, he laboured strenuously for the spread of the Catholic Faith and was chosen by the Catholics to defend their cause against Dr. Stillingfleet. Canes' well-known ability as a controversialist was strengthened by the absence of bitterness or animosity towards his opponents, while his elegant and graceful style made his writings effective. His works are:


  • (1) "The Reclaimed Papist: or a Dialogue between a Popish Knight, a Protestant Lady, a Parson and his Wife" (1655);
  • (2) "Fiat Lux: or a General conduct to a right understanding and charity in the great Combustions and Broils about Religion here in England, betwixt Papist and Protestant, Presbyterian and Independent. To the end that Moderation and Quietness may at length happily ensue after so serious Tumults in the Kingdom' (1662). This work was dedicated to Elizabeth, Countess of Arundel and Surrey, the mother of Cardinal Howard, and is admirably calculated to inspire sentiments of moderation and peace;
  • (3) "Infallibility" (1665), an appendix to the preceding work;
  • (4) "An Epistle to the Author of Animadversion on Fiat Lux" (1664);
  • (5) "Diaphanta, or Three Attendants on Fiat Lux, wherein Catholik Religion is further excused against the opposition of several Adversaries" (1665);
  • (6) "Three Letters declaring the strange, odd Proceedings of Protestant Divines when they write against Catholics," etc. (1671);
  • (7) "To Katholiko Stillingfleeto; being an account given to a Catholik friend of Dr. Stillingfleet's late book against the Church of Rome" (1672).

GILLOW, Bibl. Dict. of Eng. Cath. (London, 1885), I, 392-93; HURTER, Nomenclator, II, 96-97; THADDEUS, The Franciscans in England (London, 1898), xiii, 109-10.

STEPHEN M. DONOVAN