John of Avila (6 January 1499 – 10 May 1569) was a Spanish priest, preacher, scholastic author, and religious mystic, who has been declared a saint and Doctor of the Church by the Catholic Church. He is called the “Apostle of Andalusia”, for his extensive ministry in that region. John’s first sermon in that region was preached on 22 July 1529, and immediately established his reputation. During his nine years of missionary work in Andalusia, crowds packed the churches at all his sermons. St. John of Avila’s saintly reputation, as well as his efforts to reform the clergy, to establish schools and colleges, and to catechise the laity, were the inspiration for many later reformers. He is especially revered by the Jesuits. Their development in Spain is attributed to his friendship and support for the Society of Jesus.
St. John of Avila
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