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Saint of the Day: Bl. John the Spaniard

Created the Rule of Life for Carthusian Nuns


© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro | CC BY-SA 4.0

Monk (1123-1160)

His life

+ John was born in Leon, Spain, and at the age of 13 he moved to Arles, France, becoming a monk in a local monastery three years later.

+ A few years later, John transferred to a new monastery, entering the Carthusian Order which had been founded by Saint Bruno in 1118. Following his ordination to the priesthood, he was named sacristan and—although he was only in his early twenties—elected prior of his monastery.

+ Around this time a group of nuns in Prébayon asked to be admitted to the Carthusian Order. The general of the Order, Saint Anthelm, asked John to adapt the Carthusian Rule of Life for the nuns, helping to establish the female branch of the Carthusians.

+ John eventually resigned as prior and transferred to the Grande Chartreuse (the motherhouse of the Carthusians) in 1150. From there, he was sent to establish a new monastery, Le Reposoir, in Savoy; he served as the community’s prior until his death on June 25, 1160.

+ Devotion to John “the Spaniard” began to spread after his death and was officially confirmed by Blessed Pope Pius IX who added his name to the Roman Martyrology (the Church’s officially listing of saints and beati) in 1864.

For prayer and reflection

The seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.”—Luke 8:15

Spiritual bonus

On this day the Church also remembers Saint Phanxicô (Francis) Ðo Van Chieu. A lay catechist, devoted to helping missionary priests. Phanxicô was arrersted with the bishop Dominic Henares de Zafra Cubero, whom he served as a aide. They were martyred together on June 25, 1838, in Nam Ðinh, and canonized with other martyrs in 1988.


O God, who in your kindness called your servant blessed John to the following of Christ, grant, we pray, through his intercession, that, denying ourselves, we may hold fast to you with all our heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For a Monk)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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