1564-1568 Attends University of Salamanca
John, a Carmelite Novice, was known as “remarkable” for his “outstanding talent” and was appointed prefect of studies while still a student. With this office went the obligation to teach class daily, defend public theses and resolve objections that were raised.
Years later Ana Maria de Jesus, a nun in Avila asked him what he asked of the Lord at his first Mass.
“I besought His Majesty to grant me the grace never to offend him through mortal sin and that I might suffer in this life the penance due all the sins that, as a weak man, I might have committed had His Divine Majesty not held me in his hand!”
“And I asked him if he believed that God had heard his prayer; and he answered that he believed it just as he believed he was a Christian, and he was certain God would answer it completely.” –God Speaks in the Night—-The Life, Times, and Teaching of St. John of the Cross, Federico Ruiz
October 1567 First Meeting with St. Teresa
Still at Salamanca, the quest for titles, chairs, promotions and awards were of no interest for him. He was in search for a pure contemplative life….with the Carthusians.
Having been told of John’s exceptional qualities St. Teresa arranged a meeting with him. She was 52 at the time; he was 25.
“ When I spoke with this friar he pleased me very much. I learned from him how he also wanted to go to the Carthusians. Telling him what I was attempting to do, I begged him to wait until the Lord would give us a monastery and pointed out the great good that would be accomplished if in his desire to improve he were to remain in his own order and that much greater service would be rendered to the Lord. He promised me he would remain as long as he wouldn’t have to wait long.” –The Foundations