See also:Sister) Maria de Jesus (1602—1665), was the daughter of Don Francisco Coronel and of his wife Catalina de Arana . She was
See also:born at Agreda, on the
See also:borders of
See also:Navarre and
See also:Aragon, on the 2nd of
See also:April 1602 . All her
See also:family were power-fully influenced by the ecstatic piety of Spain in that age . Her biographer, Samaniego, records that even as an
See also:infant in arms she was filled with divine knowledge . Her stupidity as a
See also:child is piously accounted for by extreme humility . From childhood she was favoured by ecstasies and visions . When she was fifteen the whole family entered religion . The
See also:father, now an old man, and the two sons entered the Franciscan
See also:house of
See also:San Antonio de Nalda . Maria, her
See also:mother and sister established a Franciscan nunnery in the family house at Agreda, which, when Maria's reputation had extended, was replaced by the existing
See also:building . She began it with one
See also:hundred reals (one pound sterling)
See also:lent her by a devotee, and it was completed in fourteen years by voluntary gifts . Much against her own wish, we are told, she was appointed abbess at the age of twenty-five . In 1668, four years after her
See also:death, the
See also:Franciscans published a
See also:story that at the age of twenty-two she had been miraculously conveyed to Mexico, to convert a native
See also:people, and had made five hundred journeys through the air for that purpose in one
See also:year .
See also:rule required the abbess to be changed every three years, Maria remained the effective ruler of Agreda till her death . The Virgin was declared abbess, and Maria acted as her locum tenens . In her later years she inclined to the "
See also:internal prayer," and neglect of the outward offices of the
See also:church, which was usual with the " alumbrados " or Quietists . The Inquisition took
See also:notice of her, but she was not proceeded against with severity . Maria's importance in religion and
See also:history is based on two grounds . In the earlier
See also:part of her
See also:life, while the Franciscan, Francisco
See also:Andres de la Torre, was her
See also:confessor, she wrote an Introduction to the History of the Most Blessed Virgin . It was destroyed by the direction of another confessor . Later on, by the
See also:order of her superiors, and under the guidance of her Franciscan confessor, Andres de Fuen Mayor, she wrote The Mystic City of
See also:God . It is an extraordinary
See also:book, full of apocryphal history, II visions and
See also:scholasticism, which professes to have been written by divine inspiration, and is devoted to praise of the Virgin . In 1642 she sent to
See also:Philip IV. an account of a vision she had had, of a council of the infernal
See also:powers for the destruction of Catholicism and Spain . The
See also:king visited her when on his way to Aragon to suppress the
See also:rebellion of
See also:Catalonia . A long
See also:correspondence, which lasted till her death on the 29th of
See also:March 1665, was begun .
The king folded a
See also:sheet of paper down the
See also:middle and wrote on the one side of the division . The answers were to be written on the other and the sheet returned . By a pious
See also:fraud copies were kept at Agreda . How far Maria was only the mouthpiece of the Franciscans must of course be a
See also:matter of doubt . Her correspondence was apparently suspended whenever her confessor was absent . She must, however, have co-operated at least, and it is certain that the Franciscans, who were very unfortunate in some of their pious
See also:women, owed not a little to her . The letters are in excellent Spanish, are curious
See also:reading, and are invaluable as illustrations for the second part of the reign of Philip IV . The correspondence of Sor Maria with the king has been published in full by Don F . Siluela, Cartas de la
See also:Venerable Madre Sor Maria de Agreda y del Senor Rey Don Filipe IV . (
See also:Madrid, 1885) . The Mystic City of God is one of the most characteristic monuments of Mariolatry, and has continued to be much in favour with supporters of the
See also:dogma of the Immaculate Conception . It appeared in Madrid in 1668, with a
See also:biographical introduction by Samaniego, has been often reprinted, and was translated into French and
See also:Italian .
It was for a
See also:time reserved by the
See also:Index, both Spanish and Papal, but was taken off by the influence'of the Franciscans and of Spain, the chief supporters of the Immaculate Conception . An account of Maria de Agreda will be found in the Tracts of Michael
See also:Geddes (
See also:London, 17o6), vol. iii., written by a competent critic and
See also:Anglican divine of the 18th century who detested "
See also:enthusiasm." (D .
AGRARIAN LAWS (Lat. ager, land)
AGRICOLA (originally SCHNEIDER, then SCHNITTER), JO...
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