Saint Juan de Ávila

Saint Juan de Ávila

Ciudad Real, Provincia de Ciudad Real, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain
Death 10 May 1569 (aged 70)
Montilla, Provincia de Córdoba, Andalucia, Spain
Burial Montilla, Provincia de Córdoba, Andalucia, Spain
Memorial ID 126524586 · View Source
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Saint. Popularly referred to as the "Apostle of Andalusia", Juan de Ávila was born in Almodóvar del Campo to a well to do couple of Jewish origins. Studying law at the University of Salamanca, he abandoned his studies, seeking a life of solitude. Some three years later, a Franciscan friar who happened to pass by in Almodóvar, met Juan and realizing his intellect suggested him to pursue his studies. Entering the University of Alcalá de Henares, he studied philosophy and theology and was ultimately ordained priest in 1526. Having lost by this time his parents, he gave his vast inherited fortune to the poor and sought to move to the Indies as a missionary but was prevented to do so by the archbishop of Seville, Alonso Manrique de Lara, who saw in him the capability of re-evangelising his diocese and the territory of Andalusia previously occupied by the Moors. Thus started his evangelization mission which lasted forty years and led to his denomination of "Apostle of Andalusia". Heavily rebuking the aristocratic class for its conduct, Juan was denounced to the Holy Inquisition and imprisoned. Declared innocent and freed a year later, Juan served as spiritual director to Saint Teresa of Ávila, Saint Francis Borgia, Saint John of God, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Peter of Alcántara and Saint Louis of Granada. His oratory soon became well known across the region as would soon become his writings considered classics of western spirituality. Named master of sacred theology, in 1538 he was appointed as the first rector of the newly established University of Baeza. Retiring to a small house in Montilla, Córdoba, due to ill health, Juan passed away clinging a crucifix in 1569. His works, which include letters, sermons and spiritual conferences were the inspiration for many later reformers and eventually led Pope Benedict XVI to declare Juan as Doctor of the Church along with Saint Hildegard of Bingen on October 7, 2012. Previously beatified in 1759 and canonized in 1893, Juan is highly revered by the Jesuits for his friendship and support in the formation of their Society while to this day he remains venerated as the patron of diocesan priests in Spain.

Bio by: Eman Bonnici


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Eman Bonnici
  • Added: 17 Mar 2014
  • Find a Grave Memorial 126524586
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Saint Juan de Ávila (6 Jan 1499–10 May 1569), Find a Grave Memorial no. 126524586, citing Basílica de San Juan de Ávila, Montilla, Provincia de Córdoba, Andalucia, Spain ; Maintained by Find A Grave .