1520: Sent to study law at the University of Salamanca.
1541: Joined the Order of Saint Augustine.
1558: Awarded a Master of Theology degree.
1559: Received a Chair at the University of Salamanca.
1561: Professor of Theology at the University.
1572-1577: Sent to prison by the Spanish Inquisition.
1577: Cleared by Inquisition, and begins teaching again.
1580: Professor of Scripture at the University.
1582-1584: Re-called by Inquisition, and admonished.
1591: Elected Provincial of the Augustinian Order.
1591: In retirement, dies in community at Avila, Spain.
A Golden Age for literature
The draconian Inquisition notwithstanding, the sixteenth century was a golden age for Spanish poetry.
In the 16th century, Boscan and Garcilaso de la Veda adapted Italian lyrical poetry to the Castilian language.
It then found its maximum expression in the mystical poetry of Luis de Leon and Saint John of the Cross, and in the prose of Saint Teresa of Avila.
During this Golden Age, the mystical poems of Luis de Leon prompted the excellent Spanish poet and author of Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), to proclaim Luis de Leon as "a person of great intellect who astounds the world and who, in ecstasy, might rob us of our senses."
The statue of Luis de León O.S.A. has pride of place, facing the carved stone facade of Salamanca University, Spain.
Fray Luis de León left many works, the best compendium of which was published in six volumes in Madrid between 1806 and 1816 - over three hundred years after his death.
The first five of these volumes contained his writings on theology, of which the most important are Biblical commentaries superior to any others of his time (on the Old Testament books of Abdias, Job, and Song of Songs, and the Epistle to the Galatians in the New Testament).
(Continued on the next page.)