Born in Spain.
After studying law at the university, he became a hermit for a time.
When he was 26, he was ordained to the priesthood.
When he was 29, he had wanted to go to Mexico to help with missionary work, but the archbishop asked him to stay to help revive the faith in Andalusia. He remained in Spain to do ask he was asked.
He drew great crowds with his vibrant sermons and was eventually imprisoned by the Inquisition in Seville. After that, he became even more renowned by the people; after he was released, he was able to carry his zeal for the Gospel message intoCordoba,Granada, and many other towns.
He worked ardently for clerical reform, trying to get priests and nuns to live up to their vows of especially chastity.
He became the spiritual director of St. Teresa of Avila (doctor of the Church; mystic and reformer of the Carmelites), St. John of the Cross (doctor of the Church; mystic and reformer of the Carmelites), St. John of God (founder of hospitals for the poor, sick, and mentally ill), St. Francis Borgia (a good friend and advisor of St. Ignatius; after his wife, he helped Ignatius found the Jesuits; he left both his high position (as duke) and wealth; he established missions, monasteries, colleges, charitable institutions, and a Gregorian University), and St. Peter of Alcantara (Discalced Franciscan and good friend to St. Teresa of Avila; he helped reform the Franciscans; wrote the Treatise on Prayer and Meditation).
He also helped organize the University of Granada.
He promoted the growth of the Jesuits, although he never could become one himself; they had just started in rather recently with St. Ignatius of Loyola.
He also wrote Audi Filia to help a nun work on Christian perfection, along with many other spiritual letters.
He died when he was 70.
see “Authentic Masculinity, Lived” for references