Rubeo was elected Superior general of the Order in 1564 and immediately set about visiting the houses of the order with the intention of reforming them back to the orders origins of solitude, prayer, devotion to Mary and the apostolate.  He came to Spain in 1564.  He met with Phillip II, the king, in 1566.

From here he went to Andalusia where there was much trouble amongst the friars and resistance to reform.  He convoked a provincial chapter in Sept of that year.  However his efforts to reform and correct abuses angered the guilty parties who appealed to the king.  Unfortunately, Phillip II lost confidence in Rubeo and began his own reform of religious in Spain. 

Rubeo gave Teresa permission to found more houses provided they were under the jurisdiction of the order, and with numbers restricted to 25 nuns per house, and then further stated that the foundations could only be made in Castile.  However he changed this later to allow foundations in all parts.

He restricted the foundation of houses of Discalced friars due to the troubles in Andalusia, but later allowed 2 houses in Castile. 

Of Teresa, he wrote:

‘She does more good for the order than all the Carmelite friars in Spain together.’

Teresa esteemed Rubeo greatly however being misinformed about many things, he inadvertently brought in measures that countered her reform.  He died unexpectedly on the 4th of September 1578 following a bad fall from his mule.  Teresa was very sad on receiving the news, thinking of the pain she might have caused him due to the many misunderstandings that had arisen because of her inability to explain things to him and to getting her letters to him.

 

Text: abridged from Biographical Sketches in The Collected letters of St Teresa of Avila, Vol. 1.

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