John of Ávila, Saint

John of Ávila, Saint, c.1500–1569, Spanish Catholic preacher, author, clerical reformer, and spiritual leader, Doctor of the Church. After studying law, philosophy, and theology in Salamanca and Alcalá, he was ordained in 1526 and sent to evangelize in Andalusia. His sermons on the misuse of wealth by the aristocracy led to his imprisonment and investigation by the Inquisition (1532–33). He then spent several years preaching and establishing schools in Andalusia, and served as the first rector of the Univ. of Baeza. John also was instrumental in the spread of the Jesuit order in Spain. His writings include Audi Filia [listen, daughter], a spiritual work written for a nun, and letters to his disciples. Feast: May 10.

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