Apart from the introduction by Fr Steuart, The Mystical Doctrine of St John of the Cross consists wholly of passages from St John's own writings. It sets out in continous and convenient form all the essential points in his teachings. St John of the Cross was born near Avila in 1542 and dies at Ubeda in 1591. A Carmelite friar he was an enthusiastic supporter of St Teresa's campaign to restore the original and strict rule. His untiring work to spread the reform led to imprisonment, during which he wrote his first poem. He was canonized in 1726 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1926.