St. John of the Cross (1542-1591) was one of the greatest mystics and religious poets in Christian history. One of his most famous works is “The Dark Night of the Soul.” The dark night refers both to a period of intense suffering and to a stage in a life devoted to contemplative discipline. John, like his close associate St. Teresa of Ávila, was a Carmelite who tried to reform the order. For his efforts, John was imprisoned for nine months by fellow Carmelites in horrendous conditions: he was beaten, nearly starved, and allowed to see light only a few moments a day. After living this dark night, he, near death, miraculously escaped. The dark night, then, refers to a period of suffering and alienation, at the end of which one gains enlightenment.
This statue incorporates many of the symbols in John’s poem “The Dark Night of the Soul,” a poem about the stages of mystical prayer, the final level being unification with “the beloved” (the divine), here depicted as a child. The poem, thus, is ultimately about rising from suffering to knowledge and peace. This St. John of the Cross statue fits perfectly into the Lousiana Tiled Niche (Item #2007909).
This one of a kind piece is hand carved by American artist Hank Schlau and hand painted by his wife Karen Schlau. Made of durable material that can be displayed both indoors and outdoors.
Dimension & Specifications
|By:||Nini (New London, CT, May 22, 2011)|
|Review:||I purchased the statue of St. John as a communion gift for my grandson, John. Lovely gift to consider for communion or confirmations gifts.|