Solemnity of St. John of the Cross

Priest and Doctor of the Church

Feastday: December 14th

John was born at Fontiveros in Spain about 1542. He entered the Carmelites and with the permission of his superiors began to live a stricter life. Afterwards he was persuaded by Saint Teresa to begin, together with some others, the Discalced reform within the Order; this cost him much hard work and many trials. He died in Ubeda in 1591, outstanding in holiness and wisdom, to which his many spiritual writings give eloquent witness.

Celebrating the Solemnity

We would like to share with you some jewels from the Carmelite Proper of the Liturgy of the Hours which we prayed yesterday on the solemnity of St. John of the Cross. If you would like, read the antiphons slowly and repeat them, as you reflect on, perhaps, what St. John may have experienced in prayer–the intimacy of union with the Holy Trinity. Then think about the fact that God wants that same intimacy with you.

Reflections from the Carmelite Divine Office: Antiphons from Lauds, or Morning Prayer:

He opened his mouth in prayer, and the Lord filled him with the spirit of understanding.

The Lord gave him treasures out of the darkness, and riches that had been hidden away.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human heart has conceived all that God has prepared for those who love him.


Christ our Redeemer inspired our Father Saint John of the Cross to follow him, and raised him to the heights of contemplation. Let us praise our Lord, and say:
Glory to you for ever!

Christ our God, you taught your servant John the science of the Cross; –kindle the fire of your love in those to whom you have entrusted the teaching and government of your Church.
Glory to you for ever!

Christ, unfailing light, you reveal yourself in the night of faith to the poor in spirit; –let your face shine on all those who seek you in poverty amid the darkness of this world.
Glory to you for ever!

Christ, our only teacher, you disclose your highest secrets to those who love and seek you; –grant the consummation of your love to those you have called to serve you in Carmel.
Glory to you for ever!

Christ, triumphant in heaven in the midst of all your saints, –grant everlasting rest and peace in your glory to all our departed brothers and sisters.
Glory to you for ever!

St. John of the Cross, pray for us!


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