The Incarnation was a monastery of "sanctimoniales" that is, true nuns, inasmuch as they recited the Divine Office. However, enclosure was not observed. There were about 200 people in the monastery- nuns, relatives and servants. Contrary to general understanding, life in the Incarnation was austere, with fasting, abstinence, silence, together with a quite splendid celebration of the Divine Office. No time for mental prayer was included. The religious instruction of the novices was about the Carmelite Order, its eremitical tradition, devotion to the Blessed Mother and the Prophet Elijah. Teresa's introduction to recollection and prayer came through a Franciscan book "The Third Spiritual Alphabet".
After a two year novitiate Teresa made her Profession, but shortly after her health gave out. It is not impossible to define the reason for this poor health. The primitive remedies that were administered weaken her and then general condition of her health was permanently undermined. At this time she was an invalid and bedfast. Teresa then invoked the help of St. Joseph and for the remainder of her life she attributed to his intercession her progress in prayer and her restoration to health. Later almost all of her new Monasteries would be dedicated to St. Joseph. In this way St. Teresa is largely responsible for the growth of devotion to St. Joseph in the Western Church.