It’s been nine years since I visited the Walled City of Avila, in Spain, with my daughter, Maia.
But, until today, the memory of that visit stays in my mind. It was the city where St. Therese of Avila, the nun whose writings had guided countless priests and nuns, especially those related to the Carmelite Orders, had been born and grew up in. It was for visiting her house and chapel that I had gone there.
But when I was there, I discovered that the tiny city, which you could walk around in half an hour, had three churches inside it. One was in the name of an ancient saint whose name I no longer remember. The second was in St. Therese’s. And, when I asked who the other priest was, I was told that it was St. John of the Cross.
The tourist guide further informed me that St. John had been a highly intellectual person who loved the books that St. Therese also loved, and wrote very deeply meaningful poems.
I was more than pleasantly surprised.
San Juan de la Cruz, whose name had been used to apply to humorous and no-care Filipinos for ages, had actually been a very intellectual person!
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