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About Agreda

Sor Maria de Jesus de Agreda (1602 - 1665; also known as Mary of Agreda) survived the Spanish Inquisition, advised the King of Spain, appeared supernaturally in the American Southwest, most notably New Mexico and Texas where she is revered as the legendary "Lady in Blue"--all the while never leaving her convent in 17th century Spain. (continued below)

Photographic Detail of 17th Century Portrait of Sor Maria

She chronicled the life of Mary and wrote of her own spiritual ecstasies in Mystical City of God. This self-taught aesthetic was interrogated by the Inquisition and exonerated, time after time. Pope after Pope reviewed and pronounced her as heretical or virtuous, depending upon the politics of the time. Century after century her name and works bounced from the Roman Catholic Church's "Index of Forbidden Books" to its chronicle of prospective saints.

Hailed by Television Espanola as one of the nine most influential women in Spanish history, Sor Maria has yet to be canonized a saint, though there has been increasing groundswell to do so since the 400th anniversary of her birth in 2002.

Marilyn Fedewa

September 6, 2002

The Beatification of Sor Maria Goes to Rome

Mariology Society endorses beatification petition during week-long Marian Conference

The Spanish Mariolsgy Society will petition the hierarchy of Rome to show that there is no disadvantage in moving forward the beatification process for the venerable Maria de Jesus de Agreda, according to society president, Enrique Llamas Martinez, during the 54th annual Marian Studies Week. "The process has slowed down since the 17th century," according to Llamas Martinez, "but we will activate the request and include a report by the end of this year, regarding our studies and the principles behind them."

From the mariological point of view Sor Maria de Agreda "is one of the most outstanding figures of the 17th century, during which time we also had great theologians," explains Padre Llamas. "They say that this woman, although not a professional theologian, could be the first to write on the life of Mary in a theological sense." According to Llamas, the Venerable Sor Maria writes with great "theological intuition" in her book, Mystical City of God. Enrique Llamas considers the structure of her work as "a demonstration of Sor Maria's theological understanding and the extent of her studies."

The Week of Marian Studies concludes today with final conferences followed by visits to the villa where the Venerable One was born.

Diario de Soria, Spain, 6 September 2002
Translation (c) by Marilyn H. Fedewa

**Later Update**

In August 2008, Sor Maria's convent in Agreda welcomed an important visitor -- the Vatican's Prefect for the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, Archbishop Angelo Amato.  He had been appointed just a month earlier by Pope Benedict XVI.  When he realized that one of his speaking engagements in Spain brought him within an hour's drive of Agreda, he made plans to visit her remains there, and to celebrate Mass in the convent church.  The implications of his visit -- and a thorough update on Sor Maria's cause for sainthood -- are covered in my book, Maria of Agreda: Mystical Lady in Blue, available now at the University of New Mexico Press.


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