W E L C O M E 

in this website of the Catholic Faith about the Prince of the Mystic, St. John of the Cross, Doctor Mysticus, who revealed new dimensions of the spirit, "nuevos caminos" (2N 16,8), to the sons of the Church of the new Millennium.


Surfing on the section SPIRITUALITY, you will notice the everlasting novelty contained in the message of Jesus Christ - the Only Redeemer - that St. John of the Cross passed on with his masterly works, codex et schola for those who wish to walk along the path of the life.


In fact, these are the words of the Decree "Die vicesima" (Acta Apostolicae Sedis 18/1926), by which the Pope Pius XI declared St. John of the Cross doctor of the Universal Church, underlying that his works are "codex et schola", whose content is the "caelestis sapientia" that shows the path of the life.


J O H N   O F   T H E   C R O S S

B R I E F   P O R T R A I T




People who met and knew St. John of the Cross (1542-1591) said that “the general expression of his features, his appearance and his gestures give to his face a sweet pleasantness”. In his face there was something that “makes him pleasant, a spiritual light, an inner and lovely sweetness which emanates from his features transfiguring them”.

That is the feeling of those who met him. According to a witness in the Saint Father John “it was clearly visible something divine, which attracted the attention compelling to look and listen to him; it seemed as he had a dignity superior to that of any other man on the Earth”.


About the Prince of Mystics as a “bridge” towards non-Christian religions and in the context of the interreligious dialogue – in particular between the Christian and Indian spirituality – the words of the Hindu scholar of Carmelite mysticism Svami Siddheshwarananda (1897-1957) speak for themselves.  He, a Prince of the Cochin Family (Kerala, India), when he read the Works of the Prince of Mystics, maintained: “When I read St. John of the Cross, I am often enthralled by the light of his personality, I am attracted by the blessing that I feel emanating from a so saint company” (Siddheswarananda, Pensiero indiano e mistica carmelitana, Rome 1982).


The priestly life of Father John carries the Easter sign of the Cross. Anyway, Father John Evangelist, who lived with him about nine years, witnesses that: “he tolerated the suffering with a heroic patience”, and he adds that “he was very cautious, gentle and good-hearted, very mortified, and with a nice appearance”.

St. John of the Cross travelled a lot. These were very long and difficult travels, where the fraternal dialogue with his fellow alternates with long silences, with breaks to pray in the woods or along the banks. Usually they travelled on foot or by mules.


In his books the Mystic Doctor leaves a lot of allusions to the well-disposed explorer, to the exploratory mysticism, to the search for God along the mystic path, particularly in the Ascent of Mount Carmel and in the Dark Night.

He was a simple and disinterested man - Ruiz writes - and he never required a regard for his person, he was the last between his Brothers. But his simplicity and clearness emanated a superior light" (F. Ruiz, S. Giovanni della Croce, mistico e maestro, Bologna 1988, 156).


He died as a "swan" (FB 1,30) when he was only 49 years old, after a brief illness. In the end, before his flight of swan, he asked that his Brothers would read him the Song of Songs, preferring to the prayers for the dying - to which he certainly listened -  the mystic enchantment of the biblical love.


His Works light all the path of the call towards the summit of the union with God-trinity. They can be divided into Main Works: Ascent of Mount Carmel, Dark Night, Spiritual Canticle, The Living Flame of Love; Brief Works: poems, warnings, letters, sayings of light and love.


In January  25th 1675 he was beatified by Clement X. In December 27th he was canonized by Benedict XIII, and he was declared Doctor of the Church the 24th of August 1926 by Pius XI.

  • Paul VI places him between the saints of the Christian joy.
  • John Paul II declared him Master in the Faith.
  • Benedict XVI notices that the Doctor Mysticus describes a sure path towards the holiness.
  • Cardinal Atanasio OCD recalls that St. John found in the mystery of the Cross the spring of every peace and serenity.
  • Father Saverio, Praepositus OCD, shows St. John of the Cross as an expert of the mankind who, walking in the dark night of the faith, finds again his freedom thanks to the relationship of Love with the God-Trinity.



G I O V A N N I    B A L L I N I 


He was born in Brescia, in the parish of Cristo Re, in 1957.

He entered the convent of Discalced Carmelite of San Matteo in Arcetri in 1981. He is friar (1983), and priest (1987) in the Commissariato of Central Italy.


In 1991, 4th Centenary of the Death of St. John of the Cross, he gained the Licence in Theology at the International Faculty of the Teresianum in Rome, with a study about "La comunione con la Trinità in San Giovanni della Croce" (The communion with the Trinity in St. John of the Cross).

From 1999 he lives in the Convent of San Torpè in Pisa and is teacher and researcher of new dimensions in the spirit "nuevos caminos" (Dark Night, II, 16,8) at the Istituto di Spiritualità Santa Teresa di Gesù Bambino, where he gave courses on "Indian Spirituality" (1999), on "The spirituality of the Christian prayer" (2000), and "the diptych: Ascent of Mount Carmel/Dark Night" by St. John of the Cross (2001).


He wrote for Nerbini Publisher in Florence, in the series "Le frontiere dell'anima", of the Journal "Ascetica e Mistica", the texts: "Il sentiero mistico di San Giovanni della Croce. Mistica esplorativa del nuovo millennio" (2008); "Spiritualità indiana. Magistero e mistica carmelitana" (2010).


For "Stella del Carmelo", a Journal of Spiritual Culture, he wrote the articles:

  • "La salita del monte in San Giovanni della Croce" (2000/1);
  • "La preghiera contemplativa" (2001/2);
  • "Giovanni della Croce, atteggiamento contemplativo nella chiesa" (2009/1);
  • «Buddhismo: Il Sentiero della compassione» (2016/2). 

For the Journal of Carmelite Studies "Monte Carmelo" (2010/3) in Burgos, he wrote in Castilian language: "San Juan de la Cruz, buscador de Dios en el nuevo milenio".




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