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7 Inspiring truths from St. John of the Cross

ST JOHN OF THE CROSS
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How well this mystic understands the needs of the human heart!

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Juan Yepez was born in old Castile, Spain, in 1542. He entered the Carmelite Order in 1563 and was ordained a priest in 1567.

Shortly after his ordination, John of the Cross met Teresa of Avila and she invited him to join in her work of reforming the Carmelite Order. John committed himself to this effort and became the first member of the monastery of Discalced (“Barefoot”) Carmelite Friars in Durelo.

John of the Cross’s writings, including The Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Spiritual Canticle, and The Living Flame of Love, are filled with symbols and metaphors describing the soul’s search for the Beloved. His most endearing work is his Dark Night of the Soul.

St. John of the Cross died on December 14, 1591. He was canonized in 1726 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1926.

A curiosity

John of the Cross drew an image of Christ crucified after receiving a mystical revelation. It’s a small sketch (its original size is roughly 2.25 in. by 1.9 in.), which St. John of the Cross painted during his time in Avila.

The powerful image is drawn from a vantage point above and to the right of the cross—a perspective that invites us to see Jesus on the Cross as seen through the eyes of God the Father

The mystical and artistic greatness of St. John of the Cross’s drawing captivated Salvador Dalí, who, in 1951, painted his world-renowned work, “Christ of Saint John of the Cross.”

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