Translator's Preface To The Second Edition
DURING the sixteen years which have elapsed since the
publication of the first edition, several reprints have been
issued, and the demand is now such as to justify a complete
resetting. I have taken advantage of this opportunity to revise
the text throughout, and hope that in some of the more difficult
passages I may have come nearer than before to the Saint's mind.
Recent researches have necessitated a considerable amplification
of introductions and footnotes and greatly increased the length of
The only modification which has been made consistently
throughout the three volumes relates to St. John of the Cross's
quotations from Scripture. In translating these I still follow him
exactly, even where he himself is inexact, but I have used the
Douia Version (instead of the Authorized, as in the first edition)
as a basis for all Scriptural quotations, as well as in the
footnote references and the Scriptural index in Vol. III.
Far more is now known of the life and times of St. John of
the Cross than when this translation of the Complete Works was
first published, thanks principally to the Historia del Carmen
Descalzo of P. Silverio de Santa Teresa, C.D, now General of his
Order, and to the admirably documented Life of the Saint written
by P. Crisogono de Jesus Sacramentado, C.D., and published (in
Vida y Obras de San Juan de la Cruz) in the year after his
untimely death. This increased knowledge is reflected in many
additional notes, and also in the 'Outline of the Life of St. John
of the Cross' (Vol. I, pp. xxv-xxviii), which, for this edition,
has been entirely recast. References are given to my Handbook to
the Life and Times of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross, which
provides much background too full to be reproduced in footnotes
and too complicated to be compressed. The Handbook also contains
numerous references to contemporary events, omitted from the
'Outline' as being too remote from the main theme to justify
inclusion in a summary necessarily so condensed.
My thanks for help in revision are due to kindly
correspondents, too numerous to name, from many parts of the
world, who have made suggestions for the improvement of the first
edition; to the Rev. Professor David Knowles, of Cambridge
University, for whose continuous practical interest in this
translation I cannot be too grateful; to Miss I.L. McClelland, of
Glasgow University, who has read a large part of this edition in
proof; to Dom Philippe Chevallier, for material which I have been
able to incorporate in it; to P. Jose Antonio de Sobrino, S.J.,
for allowing me to quote freely from his recently published
Estudios; and, most of all, to M.R.P. Silverio de Santa Teresa,
C.D., and the Fathers of the International Carmelite College at
Rome, whose learning and experience, are, I hope, faintly
reflected in this new edition.
June 30, 1941
A.V.--Authorized Version of the Bible (1611).
D.V.--Douai Version of the Bible (1609).
C.W.S.T.J.--The Complete Works of Saint Teresa of Jesus,
translated and edited by E. Allison Peers from the critical
edition of P. Silverio de Santa Teresa, C.D. London, Sheed and
Ward, 1946. 3 vols.
H.-E. Allison Peers: Handbook to the Life and Times of St.
Teresa and St. John of the Cross. London, Burns Oates and
LL.--The Letters of Saint Teresa of Jesus, translated and
edited by E. Allison Peers from the critical edition of P.
Silverio de Santa Teresa, C.D. London, Burns Oates and Washburne,
1951. 2 vols.
N.L.M.--National Library of Spain (Biblioteca Nacional),
Obras (P. Silv.)--Obras de San Juan de la Cruz, Doctor de la
Iglesia, editadas y anotadas pot el P. Silverio de Santa Teresa,
C.D. Burgos, 1929-31. 5 vols.
S.S.M.--E. Allison Peers: Studies of the Spanish Mystics.
Vol. I, London, Sheldon Press, 1927; 2nd ed., London, S.P.C.K.,
1951. Vol. II, London, Sheldon Press, 1930.
Sobrino.-Jose Antonio de Sobrino, S.J.: Estudios sobre San
Juan de la Cruz y nuevos textos de su obra. Madrid, 1950.