Of the Birth of Christ

    by St. John of the Cross [1,2,3]
    When the ancient dispensation
    Its predestin’d course had run,
    Straight from out His bridal chamber
    Came the Bridegroom, God the Son.
    Once on earth, with arms extended
    He embrac’d His heavenly Bride,
    And His blessed Mother laid Him
    In the manger, at her side.
    All around that helpless baby
    Animals were standing by;
    Men sang songs of glad rejoicing;
    Angels join’d their songs on high;
    Celebrating the betrothal
    ‘Twixt the Bridegroom and the Bride
    While the Almighty, in the manger,
    As an infant, wept and cried.
    Gems these tears which human nature
    Brought to the betrothal-rite,
    And the Maid was lost in wonder
    As she witness’d such a sight.
    Man was full of joy and gladness;
    God was weeping, weak and lone.
    Ne’er before throughout the ages
    Had so strange a thing been known.


[1] P. Silverio de Santa Teresa, trans., The Complete Works of Saint John of the Cross: Doctor of the Church, ed. by E. Allison Peers, vol. 2, Spiritual Canticle: Poems (Newman Bookshop, Westminster, Maryland, 1946), pp. 464–465.

[2] His baptismal name is John de Yepes (24 June 1542, Hontoveros, Old Castile). It was only in 24 February 1563 when he received the Carmelite habit in Medina that he took the name John of the Cross. See Benedict Zimmerman, “St. John of the Cross,” The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 8 (Robert Appleton, New York, 1910). 19 Dec. 2008 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08480a.htm>.

[3] His Spanish name is Juan de la Cruz, which is now the generic name of all Filipinos.


About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

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