December 13, 2013

John of the Cross, 1591

Juan de la Cruz was a Carmelite mystic who died on December 14, 1591. He is famed for the phrase, “dark night of the soul” — the title of one of his two great mystical poems. The other, the Spiritual Canticle, is Juan’s adaptation of the Biblical Song of Songs and portrays the longing of the soul for God imagined as a lover seeking the beloved.

One of his visions was of the crucified Christ seen from above. He made a small ink drawing of this image, which later inspired Salvador Dalí to produce his famous painting, Christ of St John of the Cross.

The Collect
Judge eternal, throned in splendor, you gave Juan de la Cruz strength of purpose and mystical faith that sustained him even through the dark night of the soul: Shed your light on all who love you, in unity with Jesus Christ our Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
the model for the image is my Brother-in-Christ Francis Sebastian, a fellow seeker after the divine Beloved

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