Monday, September 04, 2006

Saint John of the Cross

John was born in Spain and was the son of a weaver. He went to a school for poor children and became a servant to the director of the hospital at Medina. For seven years, John cared for the poor in the hospital while also studying at a Jesuit college.

Even as a youth, he liked to do penance as he understood the value of offering up sufferings for the love of Jesus. Because of this great love of God John joined the Lay Carmelite order as a brother when he was twenty-one.

With St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross was chosen by God to bring a new spirit of eagerness among religious. But his life was full of tests and trials.

Although he opened new monasteries where people followed his holy way of life, they found fault with him and thought that some of his ideas were too strict. He was even thrown into prison and made to suffer terribly. At one time, when he had fierce temptations, God seemed to have left him alone and he suffered alot.

Yet when these storms of trouble passed, the Lord rewarded his faithful servant. He gave him deep peace and joy of heart and John was very close to his God. In fact, Mother Mary herself showed John how to escape from his prison cell.

Saint John had a wonderful way with sinners. Once a beautiful but sinful woman tried to make him do wrong. He talked to her and she decided to change her life. Another lady had such a bad temper that she was nicknamed "the terrible" and St. John was easily able to calm her down by his kind manners.

John asked God to let him suffer every day for love of Jesus. And to reward him, Jesus showed himself to St. John in a special way.

Saint John is famous for his spiritual books, which show us how to grow close to God. He died on December 14, 1591 and is now known as a Doctor of the Church.

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