Where have you hidden,
Beloved, and left me moaning?
you fled like the stag
after wounding me;
I went out calling you, but you were gone.
~~ Spiritual Canticle of St. John the Cross ~ Stanza 1
St. John the Cross was born in 1542 as John (Juan de Yepes Alvarez) in a small community near Avila, Spain. He joined the Carmelite Order in 1563 and took the name Juan de Sato Matia (John of St. Mathias). In 1577, the unreformed Carmelites imprisoned him in Toledo, Spain.
In a dark, cold and desolate six by 10 feet prison cell, he wrote his famous poem: Spiritual Canticle.
In 1578 after nine months of imprisonment, he escaped taking with him his poetry. He stayed in a convent to get better, read his poetry and shared his experience of God’s love to the sisters.
He is similar to Rumi, a poet and a mystic. He also wrote the Dark Night of the Soul and Ascent of Mount Carmel. He is one of the leading poets in Spanish literature.Sources: