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Saint John of the Cross - I abandoned and forgot myself laying my face on my Beloved all things ceased I went out from myself leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies John of the Cross is one of the acknowledged masters of mystical theology It is thought among present day theologians that there is no other writer who has had a greater influence on Catholic spirituality than John of the Cross He is a canonized saint of the Catholic Church and was made a Doctor of the Church because of his extreme influence on present day doctrine His dedication as a leader in service is surpassed only by his deep faith in the workings of the Trinity through Jesus on earth as a model and the Holy Spirit as our guide to a life of spirituality John of the Cross was born Juan de Yepes in 1542 to a poor family of Spanish nobility When John was a boy he attended a school for poor children gaining a basic education and the opportunity to learn skills from local craftsmen When he was 17 John began to work at the Plague Hospital de la Concepcion and its founder offered to let him attend the Jesuit College so long as he did not neglect his hospital duties From 1559 to 1563 John studied with the Jesuits learning Latin Greek and other subjects He was offered the chance to study for the secular priesthood which would have given him material security but he felt God was calling him to Religious life At age 20 he entered the Carmelite Order being clothed with the habit on February 24 1563 and taking the name Juan de Santo Matia John of Saint Matthias He was ordained in 1567 and said his first Mass in Medina del Campo During that trip he first met Teresa of Avila and she encouraged him to promote her reform among the mens
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