Fr Paul reads today from the Gospel of Matthew (21: 28-32) in which Jesus tells the chief priests and elders of the people a parable about two sons and then says to them ‘John came to you, a pattern of true righteousness, but you did not believe him’. Afterwards, Fr Paul shares a little about the life of St John of the Cross whose memorial we celebrate today.

Fr Paul says, John was born in Spain around the year 1542. He spent some time as a Carmelite Friar before, in 1568, St Therese of Avila persuaded him to lead the reform of the Carmelite Order. This was a difficult task and John suffered imprisonment and punishment by Church authorities.  He died in 1591.

John was regarded by the other monks as the worst of sinners but by the time he died they recognised his sanctity.  John’s works include two major mystical poems and detailed commentaries on them.  He was canonized in 1726 and was declared a Doctor of the Church 1926.

And so, today, Fr Paul says, we pray ‘St John of the Cross, pray for us!’