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Saint John of the Cross by Francisco de Zurbarán [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

December 14

Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church


“The little white dove
Has returned to the ark with the bough;
And now the turtle-dove
Its desired mate
On the green banks has found.

St. John of the Cross was born in 1542 in Fontiveros, Spain. The son of a poor but noble family, he was raised in an orphanage. Recognized for his joyful spirit, he was sent to a Jesuit College. He entered the Carmelite Order, studied theology at Salamanca, and was ordained a priest. He supported St. Teresa of Avila’s reforms of the Order. Opponents to the reforms imprisoned him in deplorable conditions. He died in 1591 and was canonized in 1726. In recognition of his mystical writings; The Dark Night of the Soul, Ascent of Mount Carmel, Spiritual Canticle, and Living Flame of Love, he was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1926.[2][3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] St. John of the Cross, “Song of the Soul and the Bridegroom” in Spiritual Canticle, tr: David Lewis and Benedict Zimmerman, OCD, (Prior of St. Luke’s: Wincanton, 1909), 34-35, www.ccel.org.
[2] F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1974), 747-748.
[3] Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.


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