Roman Catholics remember Monday, May 10, the life and works of Saint John (San Juan) of Avila, the venerated patron saint of the Spanish clergy and a Doctor of the Church.
Born on January 6, 1499 in Almodovar del Campo, Spain, St. John was ordained priest in 1526. His deep concern and compassion for his poor brethren inspired him to sell all his belongings and distribute the proceeds to the less fortunate.
Popularly known as an excellent preacher, many were influenced by his teachings, including holy men and women who were later canonized by the Roman Catholic Church such as Saints Teresa of Avila, John of God (San Juan de Dios), Francis Borgia, and Peter of Alcantara.
St. John was also a well admired confessor and author.
The saint is also known as the Apostle of Andalusia because of his extensive ministry in that region.
The popular saint died in 1569 and was canonized by Blessed Pope Paul VI on May 31, 1970. On August 21, 2011, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI named him the 34th Doctor of the Universal Church. To this day, his letters and writings, which have remained well preserved, are considered as religious classics in his native Spain.