Memorial of St. John of the Cross

St. John of the Cross (right) with St. Teresa of Avila (left).

St. John of the Cross (1542-1591) was born and nurtured in poverty, and chose it also for his portion. Unable to learn a trade, he became the servant of the poor in the hospital of Medina, while still pursuing his sacred studies. In 1563, being then twenty-one, he humbly offered himself as a lay-brother to the Carmelite friars, who, however, knowing his talents, had him ordained priest. He would now have exchanged to the severe Carthusian Order, had not St. Teresa of Avila, with the instinct of a Saint, persuaded him to remain and help her in the reform of his own Order. Thus he became the first prior of the Discalced Carmelites. His reform, though approved by the general, was rejected by the elder friars, who condemned the Saint as a fugitive and apostate, and cast him into prison, whence he only escaped, after nine months’ suffering, at the risk of his life. Twice again, before his death, he was shamefully persecuted by his brethren, and publicly disgraced. But his complete abandonment by creatures only deepened his interior peace and devout longing for heaven.

“Live in the world as if God and your soul only were in it; so shall your heart be never made captive by any earthly thing.”

St. John of the Cross

To learn more about St. John of the Cross, I recommend the film of the life of St. Teresa of Avila.

Honor the saint by attending Mass and/or celebrating the Liturgy of the Hours.

William C. Michael, Headmaster
Classical Liberal Arts Academy

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