St. John of the Cross was closely associated with St. Teresa in her work of founding the reformed Carmel. Both the day and month are uncertain but it was at Fontiveros, Spain in 1542 that John de Yepes was born to Gonzalo de Yepes and Catalina Alvarez. The aristocratic paternal family rejected and disowned Gonzalo for marrying a poor girl, and the young family was left utterly destitute after his death. So dire were their straits that the childhood death of John's brother, Luis, is attributed to malnutrition. Although John's childhood was marked by suffering he knew the security of the genuine selfless love of his mother and elder brother, Francisco.