John Baptist of the Conception, St.
JOHN BAPTIST OF THE CONCEPTION, ST.
Trinitarian reformer, writer, mystic; b. Almadóvar del Campo, Spain, July 10, 1561; d. Córdoba, Feb. 14, 1613. Juan García early evidenced remarkable spirituality and love for recollection. He studied philosophy with the Discalced Carmelites at Almadóvar and theology at the Universities of Baeza and Toledo. He entered the Trinitarian Order in 1580. Admired for outstanding virtue, mortification, and prayerfulness, he was professed (1581) and made official preacher at La Guardia and Seville.
When the general chapter approved the establishment of houses for the primitive observance of John de Matha (1594), John Baptist was made superior at Valdepeñas. His sanctity, self-effacement, and love for God enabled him to overcome opposition to his "reform" as foretold by St. tesesa of avila. He thought of his work as a restoration rather than reform, adding the use of sandals and other austerities to the original rule. A prolific writer, he wrote on all phases of theology, but with special emphasis on mysticism; his works fill nine volumes. Winning the support of Pope clement viii (1599), King philip iii, and others, he established 19 houses of the Discalced friars before his death. His Discalced Trinitarians today form the surviving branch of the Trinitarian Friars founded by john of matha (1213) and felix of valois (1198). He was beatified by pius vii in 1819 and canonized by Paul VI on May 25, 1975.
Feast: Feb. 14.
Bibliography: antonino de la asuncÍon, Diccionario de escritores trinitarios (Rome 1899) 1:182ff. juan del sagrado corazÓn, Santo y Reformador (Córdoba 1959). p. medrano herrero, San Juan Bautista de la Concepción, escritor (Ciudad Real, Spain 1994) ; Valores literarios de San Juan Bautista de la Concepción (Ponce, P.R. 1994). j. pujana, Trinidad y experiencia mística en San Juan Bautista de la Concepción (Salamanca 1983) ; San Juan Bautista de la Concepcion: Carisma y mision (Madrid 1994). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v. (New York 1956) 1:339–340.
[p. m. donovan]