Quote of the day: 12 December

In the summer of 1591, a major meeting in Madrid showed up serious differences of opinion in the Teresian reform. John seems to have regarded some policies of the central government as unfairly harsh, and he objected strongly. While much is unclear, the fact is that John came out of the meeting without effective voice in the central running of the reform. Instead, he was on course for the mission in Mexico, ‘the Indies’. He asked for volunteers (significantly, ‘friends’) who would willingly go with him.

Some weeks later the volunteers’ signatures had been collected; but John’s own destination had changed. A letter of his to one of them (‘The letter consoled me immensely’) announces that John was embarking for ‘other, better Indies’, where the treasures are ‘eternal’, and was preparing his luggage for the voyage. He died later that year.

Iain Matthew, O.C.D.

The Impact of God, Chap. 10


Virgin of Guadalupe (detail)
Mexican, 18th c.
Oil on canvas
IMA at Newfields


Sixty years before John prepared to leave for Mexico, the Blessed Virgin appear to Saint Juan Diego


Matthew, I 1995,  The Impact of God: Soundings from St. John of the Cross,  Hodder & Stoughton, London.

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