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St. John of the Cross

Submitted by on Tuesday, 14 December 2010No Comment


  • Reading I:  Zephaniah 3:1-2,9-13
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 34:2-3,19 and 23
  • Gospel Reading: Matthew 21:28-32

Life of St. John of the Cross (The Mystica.COM)

St. John of the Cross, born John Yepes y Alvarez, a Spanish mystic, is considered one of the greatest poets of the Spanish Renaissance. Also, he is recognized as a leading authority of Western mysticism. He was attracted to the Carmelite order, a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church founded in the twelfth century by a group of hermits on Mount Carmel, Israel, and devoted to the ancient prophets Elijah and Elisha, who are said to once lived on the mount. St. John of the Cross became a Carmelite monk at the age of twenty-one and was ordained a priest when he was twenty-five.

The laxity that he found within the order disheartened him, and cooperating with his confidant and friend St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross worked for reformation of the Carmelites. Both he and St. Teresa of Avila founded other monasteries and convents and advocated disciplinary reforms. Their personal correspondence between each other is intensely mystical, describing in terms of human love the ecstasy and the agony of their struggles for personal spiritual perfection, and specifically the mystical experience of the union of the human soul with God.

When he was thirty-five St. John of the Cross was kidnapped and imprisoned by unreformed Carmelites. After two years he escaped and founded the Discalced Carmelites. (The term "discalced" literally means barefoot; however, the current disclaced monks may wear sandals rather than shoes, as symbolic of their stricter observance.) He was appointed rector of a new Carmelite college at Baeza.

During his two years of imprisonment St. John of the Cross wrote The Spiritual Canticle; and, following his escape he wrote The Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Living Flame of Love, and his most famous work The Dark Night of the Soul, which is a continuation of The Ascent of Mount Carmel. More here…

St. John of the Cross on the Web

Zephaniah 3:1-2,9-13
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Woe to the provoking, and redeemed city, the dove.
2She hath not hearkened to the voice, neither hath she received discipline: she hath not trusted in the Lord, she drew not near to her God.
9Because then I will restore to the people a chosen lip, that all may call upon the name of the Lord, and may serve him with one shoulder.
10From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, shall my suppliants the children of my dispersed people bring me an offering.
11In that day thou shalt not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee thy proud boasters, and thou shalt no more be lifted up because of my holy mountain.
12And I will leave in the midst of thee a poor and needy people: and they shall hope in the name of the Lord.
13The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed, and shall lie down, and there shall be none to make them afraid.
Psalm 34:2-3,19
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
2I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall be always in my mouth.
3In the Lord shall my soul be praised: let the meek hear and rejoice.
19The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart: and he will save the humble of spirit.
Matthew 21:28-32
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
28But what think you? A certain man had two sons; and coming to the first, he said: Son, go work today in my vineyard.
29And he answering, said: I will not. But afterwards, being moved with repentance, he went.
30And coming to the other, he said in like manner. And he answering, said: I go, Sir; and he went not.
31Which of the two did the father's will? They say to him: The first. Jesus saith to them: Amen I say to you, that the publicans and the harlots shall go into the kingdom of God before you.
32For John came to you in the way of justice, and you did not believe him. But the publicans and the harlots believed him: but you, seeing it, did not even afterwards repent, that you might believe him.

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