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Listen to Loreena McKennitt’s 1994 rendition of St. John of the Cross’ “Dark Night of the Soul”


“O guiding night! O night more lovely than the dawn!”

St. John of the Cross is not only a Doctor of the Church. He has also been nicknamed “the most mystical of all poets, and the most poetic of all mystics.” In fact, his works – both his poetry and his treatises on spirituality, that have captivated believers and non-believers alike — are considered one of the all-time peaks of Spanish literature.

One of his most famous works, if not the most famous, is his commented mystical poem/treatise “The Dark Night of the Soul.” Being one of the most important treatises on mystical spirituality in history, this work has deeply influenced later spiritual writers, artists and theologians, from T.S. Eliot to Salvador Dalí. Here, you will find a musical rendition of the poem, translated into English, as sung by the Canadian artist Loreena McKennitt on her 1994 album The Mask and the Mirror.


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