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Saint John of the Cross

Updated on July 26, 2010

About Saint John of the Cross

Saint John of the Cross was born in Fontiveros, Spain on the 24th day of June in the year 1542. His father belonged to a extremely rich family that had a prominent position in the Spanish society in those times. He chose to marry John's mother though, which caused some major issues in his life. John's mother was from a non-wealthy, working class family and this was not okay with his father's family. They told him he could do as he pleased, but if he chose to marry her that he would be essentially dead to them as a son. Despite the threats from his family, John's father still married his mother because he loved her very much. He did not care that he would be losing his social status by doing so.

Sadly, John's father would die when John was still growing up. This worsened the already troubled situation that their family was having. John's father was able to provide a little money to keep the family afloat by working, but with John still being quite young his mother could not afford to work and take care of him. They lost their home and were out living on the streets for quite some time. When St. John of the Cross was old enough, him and his mother would attempt to find work. Their efforts would turn out to be fruitless though, and their poverty continued.

John would find a job and his mother would too, but both earned meager wages that were only enough to put a roof over their head and not much more. John would let his mother eat his share of the little food they had because he cared about her more than himself.

Saint John took the initiative to change something in his life though. He wanted to become more religious and joined the Carmelites to do so. Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint John made many reforms to the Carmelite Order and did not make many friends by doing so. This did not phase their efforts though, and they would eventually return the order back to the way it had been hundreds of years before their time.

The members of the Carmelite Order that resented John and Teresa's efforts were still bitter over the change however. They ganged up on John and kidnapped him one day while he was sleeping. He was locked in completely dark, small cell. He was hardly fed and savagely beat multiple times a day. John used this time to become the most spiritual that he had ever been though.

John's increased spirituality would cause his break out from captivity eventually. He found a way to take apart the gate he was locked behind and creep out past the sleeping guards one night. John had one problem once reaching the outer limits of the place he was being held, he did not really know where he was at all. Saint John followed a stray dog that was walking around, and it took him back to a nearby village. There John found a convent. He told the nuns there of his life and they all agreed he must stay with them. This is where John would spend the rest of his life. He would die of an unknown sickness in December of 1591. Pope Benedict XIII would canonize John a saint in 1726.


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    • thecatholicexpert profile image

      thecatholicexpert 7 years ago

      Thanks stephane86 I appreciate your support. I'm going to continue posting more and more about different saints so keep checking back for more! God bless!

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      stephane86 7 years ago

      I like that you keep writing hubs about the lives of the saints. There should be more interest in them, since they are the stars that pave our path to heaven, towards our true Good, who is God.