In June 1872, Jose was sent to Manila to study in Ateneo, previously called Escuela Pia. Students attend mass every morning. During Rizal’s first day, he heard mass at the college chapel and prayed for guidance and success.
Then he went to his class which was composed of Spaniards, Insular, mestizos, and natives. Rizal’s first professor in Ateneo was F.r. Jose Bech.
During his second year he devoted himself in reading novels, and one of these is Dumas’ (Father) The Count of Monte Cristo.
When Rizal was in his junior year in Ateneo, his dear mother was released from prison. However, Rizal was not happy because he only won one medal in Latin, although his grades in the academic subjects were excellent.
During his 4th year in Ateneo he received 5 medals and graduated as sobresaliente.
April 1887, Rizal enrolled at University of Sto. Tomas, taking the course on Philosophy and Letters. It is because his father liked it and because Don Francisco advised it to him.