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Saint of the Day 10 May: Saint John of Avila

John of Avila, the saint who wanted to find a solution to wars and who proposed the International Court of Arbitration

Good diplomacy and gifts of intellect were certainly not lacking in this saint, John of Avila, who was ahead of his time

He was a wayfarer of God, he went to the peripheries of the world and the neighbourhood, he was always on the side of the ‘anawim’, the wretched.

You would see him and not want to let him go.

To think that he had a destination, India, the new world then it was said, but they begged him to stay there a little longer.

Born in 1499, of Spanish descent, he died there without going out into the world.

His wealthy parents saw him return home from the prestigious university

One should not think too much that saints years and years away from our times are so different from the way of feeling today.

Christ is the same yesterday, today and always.

And the world, in its contradictions, with some economic and social evolution (if you want to call it that) is the same yesterday and today.

John of Avila could really afford it all, a spoiled son sent to the best university in Salamanca.

And still today this city is a renowned intellectual centre attracting students and scholars from all over the world.

No, it is useless to continue studying law, Giovanni told himself: I realised I wanted to become a priest.

A thug? At one point John of Avila was arrested

Unfortunately, being taken to the stars, being recognised, becoming popular does not always have its merits.

Sometimes, the tumble to the stables is quite painful.

Due to a misunderstanding, caused in no small part by fierce jealousy (and we know it all too well! Sic), he was placed under arrest during a homily.

But he certainly did not let himself be taken in by unfortunate despair.

On the contrary, John of Avila took advantage of it to work on sowing.

He had a spiritual daughter, Sancha Carrillo, now venerable, and put down in writing all the teachings between him and the holy woman.

He rendered his soul to God, after returning to former glories, esteemed by all, on 10 May 1569.

St John of Avila, help us to accept what life has in store for us as you have truly done in yours.

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Dicastero delle cause dei santi

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