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Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom Christ

by St. John of the Cross

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History knows St. John of the Cross, Carmelite friar and priest during the Counter- Reformation, not just as an iconic spiritual figure, but also one of Spanish literature. This poem of forty stanzas tells the story of the soul’s search for Christ. In it, the soul is portrayed as a bride searching for her bridegroom after having become separated from him. Overall, the poem loosely follows the narrative of Solomon’s Song of Songs and can serve as an allegorical reading thereof in light of the Gospel. It is interesting to note that one can even read the poem as an early Spanish translation of Solomon’s Song of Songs , as translations of the Bible into the vernacular were forbidden at the time. Even so, this poem is not nor does it claim to be a translation, but rather a literary interpretation.

Kathleen O'Bannon
CCEL Staff
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About St. John of the Cross
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St. John of the Cross
Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia
Born: June 24, 1542, Ferrol, Galicia
Died: December 14, 1591, Andalusia
Related topics: Catholic Church, Criticism, interpretation, etc., Early works, History, John of the Cross,--Saint,--1542-1591
Basic information: John of the Cross (San Juan de la Cruz) (24 June 1542 – 14 December 1591), born Juan de Yepes Álvarez, was a major figure of the Counter-Reformation, a Spanish mystic, Catholic saint, Carmelite friar and priest, born at Fontiveros, Old Castile. Saint John of the Cross was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered, along with Saint Teresa of Ávila, as a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. He is also known for his writings.
Popular works: Dark Night of the Soul, Ascent of Mount Carmel, Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom Christ