Biography • Southwest • Religion and Women
María of Ágreda: Mystical Lady in Blue
Winner of the 2010 Fr. Paul J. Foik Award from the Texas Catholic Historical Society
News of María of Ágreda's exceptional attributes spread from her cloistered convent in seventeenth-century Ågreda (Spain) to the court in Madrid and beyond. Without leaving her village, the abbess impacted the kingdom, her church, and the New World; Spanish Hapsburg king Felipe IV sought her spiritual and political counsel for over twenty-two years. Based upon her transcendent visionary experiences, Sor María chronicled the life of Mary, mother of Jesus of Nazareth, in Mystical City of God, a work the Spanish Inquisition temporarily condemned. In America, reports emerged that she had miraculously appeared to Jumano Native Americans - a feat corroborated by witnesses in Spain, Texas, and New Mexico, where she is honored today as the legendary "Lady in Blue." Lauded in Spain as one of the most influential women in its history, and in the United States as an inspiring pioneer, Sor María's story will appeal to cultural historians and to women who have struggled for equanimity against all odds.
Marilyn Fedewa's biography of this fascinating woman integrates voluminous autobiographical, historical, and literary sources published by and about María of Ágreda. With liberal access to Sor María's papal delegate in Spain and convent archives in Ágreda, Fedewa skillfully reconstructs a historical and spiritual backdrop against which Sor María's voice may be heard.
"Marilyn Fedewa has written a stirring portrait of María of Ágreda, a brilliant . . . remarkable player in major spiritual and secular events of [her] age." - Kenneth A. Briggs, former religion editor for the New York Times
"A fascinating biography of an extraordinary woman told from the perspective of her 17th-century Spanish religious culture." - Clark A. Colahan, author of Visions of Sor María de Ágreda: Writing Knowledge and Power
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
Marilyn H. Fedewa has served as vice president of Olivet College, Michigan, and at the director level within Michigan State University's development office. Her publications include numerous articles about María of Ãgreda and coauthorship of Man in Motion, Emil Lockwood's biography.
"This well-written book is recommended to the general reader and the professional interested in a unique facet of New Mexico's early history."--
Colonial Latin American Historical Review
"Any readers curious about mystical phenomena will find much to interest them in Marilyn Fedewa's engaging biography of María of Ãgreda....Fedewa deserves credit for having brought the story of this once famous nun back to light."--
"...a startlingly intimate portrayal of the life and struggles of one of the most influential women of the seventeenth century."--
"...Fedewa's book is a welcome addition to the literature on mystics in the early modern world."--
The Journal of Arizona History
"Beyond any doubt, this book by Dr. Fedewa is an outstanding contribution to the researching of the Catholic heritage of the American Southwest, especially that of Texas and New Mexico. This work is one that should bring the author many accolades."--
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
"Scholars from diverse fields will find in this eminently readable and meticulously researched biography ample material to continue the study of one of Spain's most important--but for many, the least well known--Catholic mystics of the Counter Reformation."--
6 x 9 in. 360 pages 37 halftones, 2 maps, 1 charts