Friday, December 14, 2007

Saint for the day - St. 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; Ta' Xbiex, Malta

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 11,2-11.

When John heard in prison of the works of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to him
with this question, "Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?"
Jesus said to them in reply, "Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me."
As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, "What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written: 'Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.'
Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.