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Saint John of the Cross


Also known as Doctor of Mystical Theology

Memorial 14 December formerly 24 November

Profile Born in poverty. Cared for the poor in the hospital in Medina. Lay Carmelite brother in 1563 at age 21, though he lived stricter than their Rule. Studied at Salamanca. Carmelite priest, ordained in 1567 at age 25. Persuaded by Saint Teresa of Avila to begin the Discalced or barefoot reform within the Carmelite Order, he took the name John of the Cross. Master of novices. Spiritual director and confessor at Saint Teresa's convent. His reforms did not set well with some of his brothers, and he was ordered to return to Medina. He refused, and was imprisoned at Toledo, Spain, escaping after nine months. Vicar-general of Andalusia. His reforms revitalized the Order. Great contemplative and spiritual writer.

Proclaimed Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI on 24 August 1926.

Born 24 June 1542 at Fontiveros, Spain

Died 14 December 1591 at Ubeda, Andalusia, Spain; relics at Segovia

Name Meaning God is gracious; gift of God

Beatified 25 January 1675 by Pope Clement X

Canonized 27 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII

Patronage contemplative life, contemplatives ,mystical theology, mystics ,Spanish poets

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