St. Therese of Lisieux >  Carmelite Spirituality >  John Of The Cross

John Of The Cross - Selected Writings

Item Number: 2147

Catalog Code: 9780809128396

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John Of The Cross

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In one series, the original writings of the universally acknowledged teachers of the Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Islamic and Native American traditions have been critically selected, translated and introduced by internationally recognized scholars and spiritual leaders.


I abandoned and forgot myself
Laying my face on my beloved;
All things ceased; I went out from myself,
Leaving any cares forgotten among the lilies.

John of the Cross 1542-1591

There are few works on the spiritual life in the West that can match the insight and sheer beauty of those of the sixteenth-century Spanish Carmelite, St. John of the Cross. A collaborator with St. Teresa of Avila in the reform movement that attempted to forge a new style of religious life, dedicated to recollection yet distinct from both the enthusiasm of the alumbrados and the sterility of the conventual Carmelites, John was no stranger to suffering. As he so memorably wrote in The Ascent of Mount Carmel, summing up his doctrine of detachment,
"nothing (nada), nothing, nothing, and even on the Mountain nothing"

Yet the harshness of his teaching that emerges in the context of his commentaries on his poetry is balanced by the poetry itself - a poetry that breathes the warmth and sweetness of the tender love of God that made John one of the greatest mystical writers of all time and earned him the title, Doctor of the Church.  Here, under one cover, are selections from his major works in a revised translation by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. Taken as a whole, this volume represents the essential St. John of the Cross and will serve well both the newcomer and the expert.

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9"  (22.8 cm) x 6"  (15.2 cm) x 0 3/4"  (1.90 cm)
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St. John of the Cross

St. John of the Cross Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 12/14
Tridentine Calendar - 11/24

Patron Of: Contemplative Life, Mystical Theology, Mystics, Spanish Poets

Also known as
    Doctor of Mystical Theology

    14 December
    formerly 24 November

    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.

    24 June 1542 at Fontiveros, Spain

    14 December 1591 at Ubeda, Andalusia, Spain; relics at Segovia

Name Meaning
    God is gracious; gift of God

    25 January 1675 by Pope Clement X

    27 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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