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Monday, 14 December 2015

14th December - John of the Cross


John (1542-1591) was born in poverty and cared for the poor in the hospital in Medina del Campo, Spain. He became a Carmelite lay brother in 1563 at age 21, though he lived more strictly than the Rule required and was ordained Carmelite priest aged 25. When he took up the barefoot reform within the Carmelite Order, he took the name John of the Cross. After becoming master of novices and spiritual director, his reforms did not set well with some of his brothers, and he was ordered to return to Medina del Campo. He refused, and was imprisoned at Toledo, Spain, escaping after nine months and then becoming Vicar-general of Andalusia. His reforms revitalized the order and he was a great contemplative and spiritual writer.