Juan de Villanueva
St. John of the Cross

Cathedral of St. Savior, Oviedo, Spain

This statue is in the left side of the retable of St. Teresa of Ávila and is identified as St. John of the Cross in the guide published by the cathedral. Since he worked with St. Teresa on the reformation of the Carmelites, this would be an appropriate place for St. John's statue. However, the iconography is somewhat confused. Carmelites do sometimes wear a broad mantle like the one shown here, but it should be white, and there should also be the broad scapular characteristic of the order. (See the order's web page, "Our Habit.") Most other portraits of the saint do include a scapular and a white mantle. And they do not feature a knotted belt, which is part of the Franciscan habit. Also, there is no cross, a very common feature by which other images refer to the "of the Cross" in John's name.

The book is seen in some images of the saint. It refers to the numerous influential works on the contemplative life that earned him the title of "Doctor of the Church."

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Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.