The Crucifixion,
Drawing by Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591),
Drawn circa 1572,
Pencil on paper
© Convento de la Encarnación, Avila, Spain

The Crucifixion,
Drawing by Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591),
Drawn circa 1572,
Pencil on paper
© Convento de la Encarnación, Avila, Spain

Gospel of 14 December 2023

Feast of Saint John of the Cross

Matthew 11:11-15

Jesus spoke to the crowds: ‘I tell you solemnly, of all the children born of women, a greater than John the Baptist has never been seen; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is. Since John the Baptist came, up to this present time, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm. Because it was towards John that all the prophecies of the prophets and of the Law were leading; and he, if you will believe me, is the Elijah who was to return. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen!’

Reflection on the drawing

Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591), Spanish mystic and Carmelite friar. While Saint John of the Cross is best known for his writings, particularly "The Dark Night of the Soul," he is not commonly associated with the visual arts. Yet today I am sharing with you a drawing of the Crucifixion that he made in 1572 . It is a very small, stamp-sized drawing, which inspired Salvador Dali to paint his well-known Christ of Saint John of the Cross canvas, depicting Christ nailed on the cross, seen from above, against a darkened sky, floating over a lake with boat and fishermen. St John of the Cross drew our image after receiving a mystical revelation. Once he had drawn this little sketch, he gave it to one of the nuns in the Carmelite convent where he was the confessor. The drawing is still preserved there today in Avila, where it is mounted in a reliquary stand (with a tiny fragment of his bone mounted underneath).

The aerial perspective, looking at Christ from above, is how his Father may have looked down upon his Son, at the moment he surrendered his spirit on the cross. Christ's head has fallen upon his chest. We can't see his face. His arms are dislocated and reflect the agony and torture. Christ's hands seem torn by the weight of the inert body that hangs forward from the cross. This is a small but very powerful drawing.

Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, 

Remember Christ crucified and be silent - St John of the Cross.

 

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Jamie Cardinal
Member
Jamie Cardinal
2 months ago

“At the end of your life, you will be judged by your love.”
St. John of the Cross, patron saint of mystics and poets, pray for us.

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
2 months ago

Bit of a self-starter, Chazbo. Thanks be to God for this CA site, massively helpful to me. And yes, the suckling pig was delicious!
La paz sea con nosotros.

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
2 months ago

The Dalì painting is currently on loan to the museum in Figueres, till the end of April 2024. So don’t hurry up to Glasgow….

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
2 months ago

Hello Janey. Try tapping lightly, and slightly to the left of the icon. 🌻

Andy Stoker
Member
Andy Stoker
2 months ago

Whilst we are discussing such matters – can anyone tell me if it is possible to edit a comment after it has been posted?

Hold on – I’ve just found how to do it!

Last edited 2 months ago by Andy Stoker
Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
2 months ago
Reply to  Andy Stoker

👍

Zeffi
Member
Zeffi
2 months ago

Hi Janey, yes, all the time! I even clean my screen and nothing happens, and then suddenly several (I think maybe there can be a bit of a queue of others’ thumbs). It definitely takes a long time, and “liking” a series of comments can take a very long time!

Last edited 2 months ago by Zeffi
Will Howard
Member
Will Howard
2 months ago

Hmmmm … no.
But your ‘furous’ intention is ‘as good “thumb” as’ and a prayer we all feel (grin).

Zeffi
Member
Zeffi
2 months ago
Reply to  Will Howard

👍😀

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