Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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Illustrations

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pp. vi-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-x

Spain’s empire in the Americas was not built solely on the shoulders of bureaucrats, bishops, military commanders, and successful miners and merchants. The cultural edifice of Hispanic society rested upon a broad base of people who lacked exalted rank or position. A great many of these, particularly in New Spain, were residents of those quintessentially Hispanic communities: ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

I can safely and without pretension say that this book would never have been written without the help of several generous people. This applies most literally to Fray José Luis Soto Peréz, O.F.M., archivist of the Franciscan convent in Celaya. I first knocked on his door as a PhD student searching for information on the Santa Clara convent in Querétaro. Padre Soto not only allowed me access ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

In 1632, the pious Pisan academic Galileo Galilei, friend to popes and cardinals, faced a Roman tribunal of infuriated Inquisitors for maintaining that the sun was at the center of the universe. These scholastic defenders of the faith had in their hands none other than Holy Scripture to contradict him. Among the many groups that threw themselves into the fray was the recently ...

Part 1. Baroque Querétaro

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1. The Emerging City

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pp. 17-29

Francisca de los Ángeles was born in 1674 in the city of Querétaro in the region of the Bajío, an intermediary zone between central Mexico and the great arid plains of the north.1 It is dryer than the more temperate valleys of the center, but its soil is a fertile mixture of the alluvial mud and volcanic ash that settled and intermingled when the zone was a great lake lined by ...

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2. Women in Baroque Querétaro

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pp. 30-48

By the latter half of the seventeenth century, cultural life in Querétaro presented a broad spectrum of female spirituality, from the rich nuns of the convent of Santa Clara de Jesús to a curious mixture of pious beatas, curanderas, witches, and heretics. It included women of all stations and ethnic mixtures, many of whom acquired a local reputation. At the apogee of this ...

Part 2. The Holy Woman

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3. Heresy: The Inquisition Case

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pp. 51-74

Francisca’s case was based on the testimony of a resident of the capital, Francisco Borda de Coronado. Judging from his declaration, her fame as a holy woman had begun to spread beyond the boundaries of the city by 1690. Corresponding with a friend in Querétaro, a Franciscan friar of the Colegio de Santa Cruz, he had learned that Francisca, who confessed with another friar ...

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4, The Evangelist: The Critic

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pp. 75-100

The arrival of the Propaganda Fide friars in Querétaro probably opened a path for Francisca that otherwise would have remained closed to her. We know of the other religious orders’ disdain for the friars’ dramatic excesses in the pulpit, and in particular for their role in the demoniac scandal. Deprived of her mentors, Francisca might not have found a sympathetic ear, one disposed ...

Part 3. The Foundress

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5. Francisca and Margil

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pp. 103-138

One day around the turn of the eighteenth century, Fray Antonio Margil de Jesús, guardian of the Santa Cruz convent of Querétaro, visited Francisca de los AÁngeles at the recently established beaterio of Santa Rosa de Viterbo.1 He came to help her install a sun watch in her garden, a skill for which he was well known. Upon completing his labor, the two sat down in the community’s ...

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6. The Beaterio of Santa Rosa, 1699–1712

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pp. 139-172

In October 1700, Fray Antonio Margil de Jesús extended his spiritual partnership with Francisca de los ángeles into the reformist realm in the tradition of “paired sanctity,” the longstanding cooperation between holy men and women in conventual foundation.1 He brought two orphaned girls, Antonia, seventeen years old, and María, fifteen, to live with Francisca, her mother, and ...

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7. Mid-Life, 1711–1712

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pp. 173-184

At the end of 1710, Francisca’s sister Gertrudis fell ill and deteriorated rapidly. At one point, Francisca thought she had expired without receiving the sacraments, but thankfully divine intervention assured her a few more days to reconcile herself. Christmas celebrations at the beaterio were overshadowed by Gertrudis’s illness. As her sister drew nearer death Francisca’s heart“ seemed ,,,

Part 4. Old Age

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8. Foundation

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pp. 187-208

With the scandal behind her and the uninitiated Fray Ángel at her side, Francisca felt invigorated. She began to make ambitious plans for her spiritual endeavors, temporarily at least forgetting her complaints about old age and mental paralysis. Díez seemed depressed after their separation, but she brushed away feelings of guilt. She even resolved not to see him when he ...

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9. Eclipse

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pp. 209-218

During the first months of 1729, the townspeople of Querétaro found themselves engulfed in a vicious quarrel between the secular and religious priesthood. The Franciscan Order and the city’s ecclesiastical judge, Juan Fernández de los Ríos, prefect of the Congregation of Guadalupe, were at loggerheads over the question of who possessed jurisdiction over the beaterio of Santa ...

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10. Bourbon Querétaro

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pp. 219-228

The beginning of the Wars of Independence in 1810 marked perhaps less of a watershed in Querétaro than in many other regions. In spite of initial turmoil the city remained stable, its peninsular elite well entrenched among Creole families. Nevertheless, the event presents a turning point in the history of its religious institutions for women. After that date, the entry rates of new ...

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Epilogue

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pp. 229-234

Posthumously, the reputations of Francisca de los Ángeles and her mentor, Fray Antonio Margil de Jesús, were granted different fates. After their deaths, evidence was gathered regarding the miracles attributed to them, and biographies were written. But while Margil’s biography, written by Fray Isidro Félix de Espinosa, became a classic and was followed by at least ten other works, ...

Notes

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pp. 235-278

Glossary

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pp. 279-282

Bibliography

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pp. 283-298

Index

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pp. 299-305

In the Engendering Latin America series

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pp. 306-306