Born in 1542 in what is now Spain, St John of the Cross entered the Carmelites in 1563 and received Holy Orders four years later. Soon after they met, St Teresa of Avila enlisted him in her efforts to purify the Carmelite Order. When the strict observances of St John's Disclaced (literally shoeless ) Carmelites sparked widespread reform, some disgruntled monks captured, imprisoned, and tortured him. During those nine months and beyond, St John of the Cross endured a dark night of the soul . This and other contemplative experiences inspired his mystical theology and thereby earned him the title Doctor of the Church.