St John of the Cross

St. John of the Cross, the Doctor of Detachment.

Solemnity – December 14th

St. John of the Cross was a great mystic, poet and song writer. He composed a number of poems while in prison; and his writing provided spiritual direction for people around him. The Flame of Love, for example, was written in 15 days for spiritual direction to a widowed woman.

In 1572, John traveled to Avila at the invitation of Theresa to become her confessor and spiritual guide. He remained in Avila until 1577. While there, he had a vision of Christ and made a drawing that remains to this day called, “Christ from Above.” The little drawing shows Christ on the cross, looking down on him from above. The image has been preserved for centuries.

As an influential writer and poet, he focused on the growth of the soul and attaining union with God through detachment.

St. John of the Cross was canonized a saint in 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII, and declared doctor of the church in 1926 by Pius XI.