Cruz, Juan De La
CRUZ, JUAN DE LA (1542-1591, a Spanish mystic, whose family name was Yepes, was born at Ontiveros, in Old Castile. He took the vows at twenty-one, and soon became the faithful and ardent follower of Santa Teresa in her plans for the reform of the Carmelite order, to which he belonged. His zeal drew upon him the wrath of his brethren, through whose influence he was imprisoned for nine months. His release was procured by Santa Teresa, under whom he worked with fervent devotion for many years ; but in 1591, having ventured to oppose his superiors, he was sent to a monastery in the Sierra Morena. His health, however, gave way, and he was allowed to change his residence to the monastery of Ubeda, where he died in 1591. In 1675 he was beatified, and in 1726 he was canonized. The poems and prose works of San Juan de la Cruz, which are chiefly devotional and never secular, though rhapsodical awl mystical and often obscure, are distinguished by much passionate eloquence and beauty of diction.
Since 1619, the date of the first edition, they have been frequently reprinted. They have been several times translated into French, and a Latin version appeared at Cologne in 1639. A complete edition forms volume xvii. of the Biblioteea de Autores Espagoles, where is also contained au interesting treatment of his character ; and his poems are published in Depping's Floresta de Rims Castellanas, and in an edition by Storck (Munster, 1854), who has also published a German version. See, besides, the highly laudatory and popular life published in 1625, and the lives by Joseph de Jesu-Maria and by Sainte-Alexis.