St. John of the Cross
- 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
- Doctors of the Catholic Church
- Catholic Encyclopedia
- Article by Thomas Merton: CIN.org
- American Catholic
- OCD Website
- The Works of John of the Cross: Poetseers.com
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