John of Ávila


St John of Ávila
(1499 -1569)

St John of Ávila

St John was born into a wealthy and pious family in Almodovar del Campo, Spain. His father was a Catholic convert. At 14, he started a law degree but failed to finish. For the next three years, he lived a life of severe piety.

With the guidance of a Franciscan Friar, he resumed his studies and received a degree in Philosophy and Theology. At 27, he was ordained a priest and said his first Mass in the Church where his parents were buried, both having died when he was a seminarian.

St John sold his family home, gave the wealth to the poor and made plans to leave Spain for Mexico as a missionary. Arriving in Seville, he was persuaded by the Bishop to remain and become a missionary at home in Andalusia. Over the following years, St John’s missionary work excelled and he acquired a growing number of committed helpers. As his health deteriorated he convinced many of his companions to join the Jesuits. St John’s saintly reputation, as well as his effort to reform the clergy and create schools and colleges, became an inspiration to many future reformers.

His Feast Day is the 10th May, the day of his death. He is a Doctor of the Church and Patron Saint of Andalusia, Spain and Spanish Secular Clergy.


St John of Ávila:
Pray for us that we will use our given skills and talents to help others.

Glory be to the…