Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, priest and doctor of the Church

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

St. John of the Cross 1542-1591 was born and died in Spain. His parents were poor and could not give him training in any trade. Hence he became the servant of the sick in the hospital of Medina. In 1563 he offered himself as a lay brother to the Carmelite friars, who, however, perceiving his unusual talents, had him ordained a priest. When he was about to join the more severe Order of the Carthusians, the saintly Teresa persuaded him to remain and help her in the reform of the Carmelite Order. This reform of his order caused him such sufferings and brought him many trials. But his sufferings served only to detach him from creatures. He had a great devotion to Our Lords Passion and voluntarily sought out humiliations. When Our Lord asked him what reward he would ask for his labors, John answered: “To suffer and to be despised for Thee.” He died of a cruel disease, embracing the crucifix. Because of his profound treatises on mystical theology Pope Pius XI proclaimed him Doctor of the Church. According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite St. John of Cross feast is celebrated on November 24.

via Catholic Culture : Liturgical Year.


Reflections from the Saints

If you do not learn to deny yourself, you can make no progress in perfection.

– St. John of the Cross

via myCatholic.com » Customizable Catholic Homepage


Scripture Readings for Mass
First Reading: Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13 (DRB)

Thus says the LORD:

Woe to the provoking, and redeemed city, the dove. She hath not hearkened to the voice, neither hath she received discipline: she hath not trusted in the Lord, she drew not near to her God.

Because then I will restore to the people a chosen lip, that all may call upon the name of the Lord, and may serve him with one shoulder. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, shall my suppliants the children of my dispersed people bring me an offering.

In that day thou shalt not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee thy proud boasters, and thou shalt no more be lifted up because of my holy mountain. And I will leave in the midst of thee a poor and needy people: and they shall hope in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed, and shall lie down, and there shall be none to make them afraid.

Responsorial: Psalm 34[33]:2-3, 6-7, 17-19, 23 (DRB)

R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor. (U.S. Lectionary)

I will bless the LORD at all times,
his praise shall be always in my mouth.
In the LORD shall my soul be praised:
let the meek hear and rejoice.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

Come ye to him and be enlightened:
and your faces shall not be confounded.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him:
and saved him out of all his troubles.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

But the countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil things:
to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
The just cried, and the LORD heard them:
and delivered them out of all their troubles.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart:
and he will save the humble of spirit.
The Lord will redeem the souls of his servants:
and none of them that trust in him shall offend.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

Gospel: Matthew 21:28-32 (DRB)

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:

But what think you? A certain man had two sons; and coming to the first, he said: Son, go work today in my vineyard. And he answering, said: I will not. But afterwards, being moved with repentance, he went. And coming to the other, he said in like manner. And he answering, said: I go, Sir; and he went not. Which of the two did the father’s will? They say to him: The first. Jesus saith to them: Amen I say to you, that the publicans and the harlots shall go into the kingdom of God before you.

For John came to you in the way of justice, and you did not believe him. But the publicans and the harlots believed him: but you, seeing it, did not even afterwards repent, that you might believe him.

via myCatholic.com » Customizable Catholic Homepage


St. John of the Cross

Christ of Saint John of the Cross

Juan de Yepes was the Castilian son of a poor silk weaver of Fontiberos, Toledo, Spain and was born in 1542. His father was of noble birth; he had married much beneath him, and for that offense had been entirely cut off by his family. He had taken to silk weaving as a means of livelihood, but had never been able to make much of it. Soon after the birth of Juan he died, worn out with the effort to keep
his wife and three children. The family was left in direst poverty; the children grew up always underfed, so that to the end of his life Juan remained dwarfed in stature.

Unable to learn a trade, he became the servant of the poor in the hospital of Medina, while still pursuing his sacred studies. In 1563, being then twenty-one, he humbly offered himself as a lay-brother to the Carmelite friars, who, however, knowing his talents, had him ordained priest. He would now have exchanged to the severe Carthusian Order, had not St. Teresa of Avila, with the instinct of a saint, persuaded him to remain and help her in the reform of his own Order.

Thus he became the first prior of the Discalced (meaning “barefoot”) Carmelites. His reform, though approved by the general, was rejected by the elder friars, who condemned the saint as a fugitive and apostate, and cast him into prison, whence he only escaped, after nine months’ suffering, at the risk of his life. Twice again, before his death, he was shamefully persecuted by his brethren, and publicly disgraced. But his complete abandonment by creatures only deepened his interior peace and devout longing for heaven.

St. John was a great contemplative and spiritual writer. He was proclaimed Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI on August 24, 1926. He is the patron of contemplative life, mystical theology, mystics, and Spanish poets.

Excerpted from Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints © 1878 [by John Gilmary Shea]  and Saints for Sinners by Alban Goodier, S.J.

“With what procrastinations do you wait, since from this very moment you can love God in your heart?”

Excerpted from Prayer of a Soul Taken with Love — St. John of the Cross

Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me. What do you ask, then, and seek my soul? Yours is all of this, and all is for you. Do not engage your self in something less or pay heed to the crumbs that fall from your Father’s table. Go forth and exult in your Glory! Hide yourself in it and rejoice, and you will obtain the supplications of your heart.

Excerpted from Sayings of Light and Love, 26-27 — St. John of the Cross

Patron: Contemplative life; contemplatives; mystical theology; mystics; Spanish poets

Things to Do:

via Catholic Culture : Liturgical Year.

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