St John of Avila
Spiritual Director of St John of God
John of Avila, known as the Apostle of Andalusia, was born in 1499 at Almodóvar del Campo (Ciudad Real) and died on May 10, 1569 at Montilla (Cordoba). He was beatified by Leon XIII and on 31 May 1970 he was canonized by Pope Paul VI. Pope Benedict XVI named him a Doctor of the Church on 7 October 2012. There are three extant letters he wrote to John of God, to lead him along the path of perfection and of works of charity. Castro, John of God’s first biographer, described John of Avila as, “an excellent man, a consummate theologian, who was so resplendent in holiness, prudence and in the learning for all the people of his age, that thanks to his good example and his teaching, Our Lord acquired so many souls throughout Spain from all walks of life. And since his sermons were so famous he naturally attracted a great following. And so it was on that particulat day. In the congregation there was also John of God who had gone up to hear him preach.” (Ch. VII).