Ágreda, Spain:
Unraveling the Mystery of the
Mystical "Lady in Blue"

Photographs and Text by John Todd, Jr.

"A Mysterious Lady Appeared to us as a Blue Light"
María de Ágreda with Indians of America
"Exploring a Perplexing Legend..."
Texas historian Donald Chipman called it "one of the most perplexing and intriguing legends in Texas History..." and since I was in Spain, I wanted to see for myself.

This is the captivating story about a nun from a small town in Spain who in early days of Spanish colonization of America, in the 1620's, appeared before the Indians of Texas and New Mexico.

What makes the well documented story even stranger is that she never left her convent in the little village of Ágreda, Spain!

A few months earlier I had read the Chipman story, and this was the beginning of a new adventure, as well as a series of unexpected logistic miracles.

It's the fascinating story of the first conversions of the Indians of Texas and New Mexico to Christianity by the mysterious apparition of the "Lady in Blue".

It is also the story of how the Texas Bluebonnets came to Texas.
Bluebonnets: The State Flower of Texas
First Conversions of American Indians
It was a brief 5 page story in a book called "Notable Men and Women in Spanish Texas" by Donald E. Chipman and Harriett Denise Joseph.

The Story of the Texas Bluebonnets
It is also said that she left the bluebonnet flowers as a sign of her visits to the Indians. The Bluebonnet is the State Flower of Texas.

Still the story of María de Ágreda is mostly unknown and forgotten.

Frustration after Frustration
The Franciscan missionaries of New Mexico had faced frustration after frustration during their first 30 years of efforts and it is said that they didn´t made one single conversion.
A Mysterious Letter from Spain
The Arrival of a Mysterious Letter
One day in 1629, Alfonso de Benavides, the superior at the mission in Isleta, New Mexico received a letter from his bishop in Mexico City.

Enclosed was a letter from the father confessor of a nun in Spain.

The letters told about the nun´s deep trances during prayers and spiritual exercises, and how she confessed the strange story that she had been performing missionary work with the Indians of America.

An Indian with One Eye
Among these Indians was a chief who had only one eye.

A short while later a group of about 50 Indians, led by a one eyed chief, arrived at the Franciscan mission in Isleta, New Mexico.

They were wearing crosses, and asked to be baptized by the surprised missionaries.
The Letter Continues
The Indians told the astonished priests that the "Lady in Blue" had sent them.

Unable to Perform Baptisms
During her final appearance, she told the Indians that she had reached the limits of her remote missionary abilities, and that now was the time for them to be baptized by water.

It was something she was unable to do. It could only be done by a priest.

To do this she told them that they would have to go to the Isleta mission to be formally baptized.

A Field of Bluebonnets Left as a Sign
As a final sign of her appearance, the Indians said that during her last visit, she had left a beautiful meadow of beautiful blue flowers.

Today they are called bluebonnets, the State Flower of Texas.

Missionaries Sent to Perform Baptisms
Fr. Benavides then sent two missionaries, fathers Juan Salas and Diego López, to accompany the Indians back to their villages near present day San Angelo, Texas. The Indians were expecting the missionaries and said the Lady in Blue had appeared again to tell them of the arrival of the missionaries.

When the fathers returned to the mission at Isleta, NM, they told Fr. Benavides of the mass baptisms, and that additional missionaries would be needed.

Fr. Benavides was convinced and made the long trip to Mexico City to make his request for more people. However, he was told that none could be spared, and that perhaps he should go to Spain and to make his request there.

A Trip to Spain
In August of 1630, Fr. Benavides reached Spain, and met with Fray Bernardino de Siena, head of the Franciscan Order. Fr. Benavides showed him the letters, and told him of his experiences with the one eye Indian chief. Fray Bernardino was familiar with the mysterious nun María de Jesús of Ágreda, and her reported activities, but didn´t have any missionaries available to send to New Mexico.

Fray Bernardino suggested that Fr. Benavides meet personally with Sor María in the village of Ágreda in northeastern Spain. She was now Mother Superior of the convent there.

A Trip to Ágreda to Meet with María de Jesús
Later Fr. Benavides made the trip to talk to Sor María, and was surprised to find that she recognized him!

"Yes, I remember seeing you when you baptized the Pima Indians," she told him. She also described perfectly one of the priests accompanying Benavides in New Mexico as very old, but had no gray hair. She told him that she had made appearances from the years 1620 to the present year of 1631.

Fr. Benavides was astonished at her knowledge of his work, and especially the contours of the ground in West Texas and New Mexico. When they concluded the meeting, he asked her to verify in writing a complete story of her experiences in America, and she agreed.

Other Accomplishments of María de Jesús
More importantly though, was her friendship with King Philip IV who made a visit to María de Jesús at her convent in Ágreda in 1643. They became lifelong friends, and through their correspondence of more than 500 letters, she gave him counsel with his personal problems during the difficult times that Spain faced not only with a long war with the French but with the economic crises that Spain faced in those days. When Sor María died in May of 1665, Philip IV also died a few months later.

In Spain, María de Jesús is better known as the author of The Mystical City of God, and her writings about the life of Mary. It is said that her books were divinely inspired.

Her Body had not Decayed
When María de Jesús died in 1665, her coffin was placed in the basement next to the other nuns who had died. Then, in 1909, her body was exhumed and it was found that it was incorrupt! Instead of turning to dust, the body was mummified, and it was considered a miracle! The body was later clothed in her habit, and a mask was placed over the face, and placed on display in the chapel of the convent in Ágreda. It is still on display today.

To See It For Myself
These stories of the supernatural are fascinating especially when they are related to important events in the history of places you know in Texas. The story was of the Lady in Blue were well documented, and after all, I had a few more days left before going back to the States.

Somehow if it were possible I wanted to see the convent in Ágreda. It was worth a try to get off the well beaten path that most tourists take and see what life was like in a small town in Northern Spain.

Next: From Sevilla to Madrid
Where is Ágreda?
But, first I had to get there. Now I was in Sevilla in Southwestern Spain.

It looked like the closest takeoff point to Ágreda might be Zaragoza, then from there take a bus.

So, for now the next stop would be Madrid, spend the night, then take one of the frequent trains to Zaragoza.

It sounded easy. But, then you never know.

The Logistic Headaches Begin
On Wednesday, I started making plans.

Get a hotel reservation in Madrid for Thursday night, and maybe Friday, then leave for Zaragoza on Saturday and catch a bus to Ágreda.

The hotel people in Madrid replied that they were full on the weekend, and they only had room for Thursday!
Next: From Sevilla to Madrid
First Things First
Then for Friday, I´d have to find another place to sleep.

But, first things first. So, I bought a train ticket to Madrid for Thursday.

Next step was to find a hotel in Zaragoza for Friday night. I found one on the internet and made reservations for Friday.

Then I looked at the bus schedule and found one bus line and their schedule.

Then the problems began.

The bus wouldn´t arrive in Zaragoza in time to catch the Saturday bus to Ágreda, and there was only one scheduled.

So, I was out of time.

But, first things first. Get to Madrid.
High Speed Train to Zaragoza
According to Plan
The quick trip on the high speed train to Madrid on Thursday was uneventful.

At the Atocha station in Madrid, I bought a ticket for midmorning the next day to Zaragoza and to return to Madrid on Sunday at 11:30AM.

The hotel in Madrid confirmed that I could only stay one night.

No problem. I was leaving the next day anyway for Zaragoza.
From Madrid to Zaragoza
Forced into a New Plan
Next on the internet, I found a hotel in Zaragoza, but it would be for one night only because of a weekend Congreso that started on Saturday.

Stuck again, and Saturday I would somehow have to get to Ágreda.

I didn´t know how, but somehow I would make it.

It looked like I´ll have to spend the night in Ágreda and from information on the internet, the ONLY hotel in town was the small Doña Juana.

I hoped they´d have room for me!

Instead of sending an email, I called the Hotel Doña Juan, and made a reservation. They had room for me!
The Home Stretch: Zaragoza to Ágreda
Next Problem
But, on with the plan, and the most immediate problem was how to get from Zaragoza to Ágreda.

On the map Ágreda didn´t look far. But, when you don´t have a car, it´s another matter.

A Leap of Faith
But, with hotel reservations for Zaragoza for Friday, and Ágreda for Saturday, and round trip train tickets in hand for Friday to Zaragoza and to return to Madrid on Sunday, there was no turning back now.

Once I got to Zaragoza, I´d probably find a way to get to Ágreda.

I had the money, but I guess I just didn´t like spending it!
Confortable Train
Train to Zaragoza
Up early on Friday morning, and took a taxi to the Atocha Station.

I quickly found my seat on the high speed train, and soon we pulled out of the station.

The scenery of plains, olive orchards, and occasional castles went by quickly at 300 kph.

It was a pleasant trip to Zaragoza, but nagging in the back of my mind, was how to get to Ágreda the next day?
Fast, Too!
Abandoned Castles Along the Way
Castles Near Towns
Things will Work Out
It would all work out somehow.

After all life is just for today, and to think about the future is to suffer needlessly!

Once I got to Zaragoza, I´d worry about the next problem along the way.

For now, I´d just enjoy the scenery. Besides, it was a beautiful day in late October and the fall weather was great!

Zaragoza and a Miracle!
Well, maybe it wasn´t exactly a miracle, but it felt like my steps were guided.

The bus station is part of the depot, but the only bus line to Ágreda was closed for lunch!

I didn´t know where my hotel was, so I caught a taxi.

During the trip downtown, I explained my problem to the driver. I also told him about the intriguing legend of the Lady in Blue that I wanted to see in Ágreda.

Much to my surprise, he told me that most of his family was from nearby Soria, and that they had moved to Zaragoza.

He´d never heard the legend of María de Jesús, but he said that there are many legends in Spain.

But, he knew exactly where Ágreda was and said it wasn´t far away! Maybe an hour and half or so.

A Solution to my Problem!
I asked him how much his taxi company charged for a trip to Ágreda.

It sounded like a very high price for my budget, because it would involve dropping me off in Ágreda on Saturday then come back to pick me up on Sunday for the return trip to Zaragoza.

I paused for a moment to take a breath. It was beyond what I wanted to spend.

The driver, José Luis, sensed my indecision, but said,

"Tomorrow is my day off, and I can take you in my personal car for about 30% less."

Wow! I knew gas prices were high in Spain, but it sounded like the best deal!

"OK, I´ll pick you up at your hotel tomorrow morning at 8AM. Besides, I have to be back early because I promised to take my daughter to the circus at noon Then I´ll drive back to Ágreda and pick you up and get you back to Zaragoza in time for your train at 11:30AM."

"I think you´ll like Zaragoza. Go see the Cathedral and the Roman ruins. They are just down the street from your hotel."

"OK, José Luis, see you tomorrow at 8AM!", I said as I gave a sigh of relief.

As I checked into the hotel, I realized the problem was solved for now, and now I could relax and enjoy exploring Zaragoza!

The Old Roman Ruins
Exploring Zaragoza
Zaragoza is a very large city, yet, just down the street from my hotel near the river was a lot to see.

The architecture of the old buildings looks a lot like the pictures you see of Italy.

On the way to the main plaza are the ruins of an old Roman Wall and aqueduct which are now being restored.

Then onto the main plaza which is huge!
A Glacier
The Huge Plaza of Zaragoza
The Cathedral will Take your Breath Away
The Cathedral in Zaragoza is Spectacular!
The Cathedral of Zaragoza is big and well restored.

To take a stroll through the Cathedral and look at all the details simply takes your breath away!

It was a Friday evening there was a wedding in the main part of the church.

Further down the huge aisle a mass was being conducted one of the side chapels and I stopped for awhile and listened.
Prices are NOT US Dollars
It was getting dark, and was time to start walking back to the hotel.

Time to Eat
Browsing the plaza on the way back to the hotel, I realized it was time to find something to eat.

In Spain, there's always something to eat, however it's not cheap.

Finally, I settled on a sandwich and a coke at one of the friendly restaurants.

I needed to go easy on my budget for the next day.

But, at the same time, I realized that Zaragoza is spectacular and I want to go back and continue exploring this fascinating city!
Sun up in Spain in October is around 8:30AM
Up Early on Saturday Morning
In Spain in early October, the sun comes up around 8:30AM, and José Luis was at the hotel at 8AM sharp.

There wasn´t much traffic on the highway to Ágreda, and as the sun came up, the wide dry plains spread out before us.

Pretty soon, as the sun came up we approached the beautiful town of Tarazona and saw a sign that said we were getting close to Ágreda.
The Plains Spread Out
Ágreda 19 kms
The Hotel Doña Juana!
Breakfast in Ágreda
Soon we arrived in the little village of Ágreda and the Hotel Doña Juana. And it was a lot nicer than I´d expected!

By this time I was famished. José Luis was too, so we went to the restaurant attached to the hotel.

In Spain, I was tired of continental breakfasts and wanted some real bacon and eggs for a change.

José Luis, said breakfasts in the country towns of Soria are hearty, and the bacon here is especially good.

It was one of the best breakfasts, I´d ever had!
José Luis and Our English Breakfast
My Breakfast
Thick Bacon
A Great Breakfast!
After breakfast, it was time for José Luis to leave for Zaragoza. "Hasta mañana and good luck", he said. "See you tomorrow at 8AM".

We shook hands, and I saw him off from the parking lot. Across the street was a sign for the Convent.

The helpful lady at the hotel called ahead to the convent and said somebody from the tourism department would be waiting for me out front. She said it wasn´t far.

I didn't see any taxis or buses, so I headed out on foot.
The Convent Wouldn´t be Hard to Find
Cool October Weather
The cool October weather was great for walking.

The streets of Ágreda were clean and virtually empty of other people walking reflecting on how I got to this small village in Spain.

Maybe it was a whim that started when I read a story in an old history book, then the difficulties in arranging transportation.

Still though I wondered why I was walking these old streets so far away from civilization.
Walking the Quiet Streets of Ágreda
A Castle and Narrow Streets
The Convent
Arrival at the Convent!
In about 20 minutes, I was in front of the iron gates of the quiet stone convent.

It was hard to believe that it has been there since the early 1600´s. It had been a long pilgrimage, and at last I was here!

Maybe I'd find some answers to the legend of the mysterious Lady in Blue in America!

The Purpose of Convents
Pausing for a moment looking at the poster outside the convent, I remembered about the reason for convents like this one.
The Convent
The Convent
Protection from the Outside World
Nowadays Almost Forgotten
Nowadays it's almost been forgotten, but for many centuries before ours, behind bars like these, protected from the outside world of noise, problems, and wars, was the convent of contemplative nuns who lived lives of prayer for those in need.

One of the important services provided by a local convent was to pray for people in the village who had problems without solution, illnesses, or needed special miracles.

Or it might also be thanksgiving for miracles that had happened.

The sisters would include these prayer requests as part of their normal prayers and devotionals which many times started around 2AM or 3AM in the morning.
Sor María de Ágreda
Prayers that Worked
People would present their prayer requests in writing through a turntable window, and let the sister's prayers and spiritual exercises take it from there.

All the larger communities in Spain and Mexico had a convent who performed this service.

People believed in the sisters and their prayers because they worked, and kept their towns safe from harm.

It was during these times of intense prayer that Sor María experienced her inspiration to visit the Indians of America and to write prolifically.

Débora, the Lady from Tourism
Débora Soriano from the local tourism department had been waiting for me, and I began to pepper her with questions.
Sor María de Ágreda
She patiently listened, and essentially confirmed what I´d read and heard about María de Ágreda.

"Now, let´s go inside the chapel," she said. "I think you´ll begin to find the answers to some of your questions."

Three Doors
In the old churches in Spain, there are 3 entrances to the churches.

A word of caution, you should never enter the main front door. It's usually locked anyway.

You'll need to take one of the side doors, or sometimes curtains, to the right or left of the main door.

But, here we were, now in the small foyer getting ready to enter the holy place where this almost supernatural lady spent her whole life.
The Convent Gates
The Gate was Open
The Altar and Fresh Flowers
The Smells of old Incense and Candles
As we went through the curtains, I took a deep breath, and felt simply surprised that I was finally here.

In the very old churches in Spain, there is a slight smell of incense, candles, and old wood, and you seem to enter into another world that has been here for centuries.

And soon, you begin to feel a peacefulness and forget about the outside world.

Then you begin to think of the many events that had happened at this very place.

This chapel at this small convent is a very special place where both important kings and commoners have come to pray since the early 1600's.

People still come here today to ask for miracles and leave fresh flowers each day.

The Altar
In comparison to other churches in Spain, the Altar is still spectacular in its intricate simplicity.

The flowers on the altar steps were fresh and Débora told me they are placed there each day.
La Venerable
In One Corner Rests Sor María de Ágreda
Although she died in 1665, when her body was exhumed in 1909 they found it did not decay, and had mummified naturally.

The people consider this a miracle from God.

The Mystics in Spain
Almost 100 years earlier, there had been were other mystical writers in Spain.

The most famous ones are: San Juan de la Cruz, Santa Teresa de Ávila, and Fray Luis de León.

And Sor María de Ágreda seemed to follow in their tradition by practicing long periods of prayers, and the discipline of spiritual exercises.

The Importance of Sor María in America
Sor María is important in the history of the first European settlements in America.

Her documented appearances as the "Dama en Azul" among the Indians of Texas and New Mexico is important, and has been mostly unrecognized or ignored by historians in the US.

It is also well documented that she never left this small convent in Ágreda, Spain.
The Mystical City of God
Her Importance in Spain
However, as Débora explained to me Sor María, or "La Venerable" (which is the title for the final step before sainthood), was also very important in Spain, and it´s for two things:

The Mystical City of God
First are her writings.

Among them is her sometimes controversial book called The Mystical City of God. They are revelations about the life of Mary, Mother of Jesus, visions she received, and her thoughts on spirituality.

Over the centuries, the book was banned at times by different ecclesiastical authorities because of its controversial nature of those days. From what I´ve seen, it´s no longer on their controversial list.

Friendship with King Felipe IV
The other was that in 1640 King Felipe IV made a visit to Ágreda on his way to the front at Zaragoza during the 30 years war with France.

Felipe IV was so impressed with Sor María that they began a correspondence of over 500 letters which comforted him during his many personal and professional difficulties as King of Spain.

Their friendship continued until her death, and the King died four months later.
Sor María de Ágreda
The Upstairs Museum
Débora then showed me a large key that looked centuries old.

"Let´s go upstairs, and you can see more about the life of Sor María and the way she lived", she said.

Upstairs was the windowless room where Sor María lived which included her desk, bed, some of her writings, and many devotional items.

"This is where Sor María lived her life of prayer and writing," Débora said.
Sor María de Ágreda at her Final Resting Place
After our visit to the museum, we went back downstairs, and stopped for a moment at the coffin monument to Sor María de Ágreda.

Now She Rests Among the Angels
She is clothed in the colors of the Concepcionista Order, and a mask was placed over her face.

And now she rests surrounded by cherubs, saints, and angels.

It was a visit I will never forget.
Protective Visitation Window
A Visit with the Mother Superior!
After our visit to the museum, Débora told me unexpectedly that the Mother Superior of the convent wanted to meet me!

When we entered the chapel, I had noticed the ancient spiked visitation window, and expected a meeting behind such a window.

Débora must has sensed my concern, and said with a laugh, "The nuns of Ágreda don´t live like that any more!"

Still I didn´t know what to expect.
The Turntable Window
Access to the Community
Access by the Turntable Window
We went next door to the book store, and next to a door was a small window which beyond a little door looked like a triangular turntable where you could place a message, a prayer request, or maybe some groceries.

The person on the convent side could move the turntable inside the window to receive the object, and still not be in contact with anyone from the outside world.

I had never been in a convent before, and had only read about these inventions to protect the nuns from the outside world. Back in the very old days, the nuns were kept in complete seclusion in order to fully concentrate on their lives of service and prayer.
A Poster Advertising Ágreda
Meeting the Mother Superior
Next to the turntable window was a white speaker box with two buttons, and Deborah pressed both buttons at the same time.

A voice answered and the door unlocked electronically, and we went into the convent.

We entered into a pleasant visitation room with a counter. Behind the counter was the Mother Superior.

She was an older woman who looked like a handsome nun in an old Dutch portrait.

At first, I was a little speechless because of the unexpected privilege of being invited into an protected area that is forbidden to most people.

But, I thanked her for the opportunity to meet with her, and told her the purpose of my visit and how I had gotten here.

With her were two other nuns. One was from Mexico and the other was from Venezuela, and I immediately felt at home.

They were interested in hearing my reasons for coming to visit the convent, and I began to tell them the story and my reasons for coming to Ágreda .
Quiet Street Outside the Convent
Time to Go
The time passed quickly, and after about an hour I realized it was late, and I didn´t want to overstay my welcome.

At the end of our conversation, I thanked the Mother Superior and the nuns, and told them how much I appreciated the opportunity to meet them. And, that I wanted to return soon.

Once we were outside, I thanked also Débora so much for her time.

It was a Saturday, a person´s day off is important. I really appreciated her help in getting into areas of the convent that weren´t normally open to most people who just walk in.

I can´t thank her enough for spending her free time with me that day!
Back to the Real World
Back to the Real World
On the stroll through the clean quiet streets of Ágreda back to the Hotel Doña Juana, I stopped by the beautiful Cathedral de los Milagros, a very special place.

This had been a heartwarming trip, almost my own pilgrimage of miracles. Now my next project would be to look for the old convent in Isleta, New Mexico where the story began.

But tomorrow, José Luis would be here at 8AM, and we would gas up for the trip back to Zaragoza to catch the train back to Madrid.

I hope to return again one day to visit the Convent of María de Ágreda. I think there´s a lot more here to explore and discover!

A Footnotes: More Research Before a Trip to New Mexico
After returning to the States, the urge was still there to continue investigating the interesting story about Sor María de Ágreda, and what was needed was a more balanced picture of the whole story.

I had seen the end, and now I wanted to see the beginning, at least of the American part of the story. And that meant a trip to New Mexico. I wanted to see what might be left of the Franciscan convent in Isleta, New Mexico.

After that maybe I could at last get some rest from this captivating story.

First things, First!
At the suggestion of the nuns during the visit to the convent in Ágreda, I found the book "The Mystical Lady In Blue" by Marilyn Fedewa.

The book is good and is a real help to those who are interested in reading a balanced and well documented story about Sor María.

Below are my own comments about her splendid book!

Sor María de Ágreda
My Own Review of María Of Ágreda:
"The Mystical Lady In Blue"

by Marilyn Fedewa

A Nun Who Never Left Spain
What made the story even stranger is that the "Dama en Azul" was actually a mystical Concepcionista nun who had never left the village where she was born in Spain.

And what separates this from simply being an interesting legend is that the events are well documented and corroborated by many other people who lived in those interesting times.

However, it is not a story that is widely covered in most history books in English, and yet I found it so captivating that I made my own trip to Spain to the small village of Ágreda, Soria where the nun, María de Jesús was born, lived, and died.

In fact, I´d heard that her preserved body was resting in the chapel of the convent where she spent her life.

My Own Trip to Spain and New Questions
And now I had time and money at the same time, and I wanted to see it for myself!

Later during my visit to the quiet little town of Ágreda, Spain, and visited the convent where María de Jesús had lived, later I found much more. Sor María had been the author of "The Mystical City of God" which later became an inspirational and sometimes controversial best seller in Europe.

Sor María had also been confidante of the King of Spain. Most of their letters still survive today and offer a stunning glimpse into the serious issues of those days. The King's letters about both his personal problems as well as those with the kingdom, and her replies show an anguish that made them both seem personable. I discovered other unexpected stories and events, as well as a wealth of local literature about the story of this remarkable person who lived so long ago.

María Of Ágreda: "Mystical Lady In Blue" by Marilyn Fedewa
After returning home after the trip to Spain, there were still many questions. Then I found Marilyn Fedewa´s book, "Maria of Ágreda: Mystical Lady in Blue". It had many of the answers, and yet much more.

Because of her extensive research of the documentation and easy writing style, her book is both entertaining and factual. It is written in a style that makes the book hard to put down. Her excellent photos of the same places I had visited brought to life my own trip to the little village of Ágreda.

To read Marilyn Fedewa's book is to go back when times were very different. They were times of great spirituality, mysticism, and miraculous events.

Ms. Fedewa confirms the story about María de Jesús, a remarkable Concepcionista nun who lived in the 1600's who is said to have mystical powers, especially during her time of prayer when it is said that she was mysteriously transported to America to teach the message of Christianity to the Indians of the Southwest.

She also explains the details of her problems with her father confessors some of whom gave her orders to stop the appearances, and even her writings.

Back in those days, the Spanish Inquisition was in full force, and Sor María had to be careful. Eventually she came under formal investigation. Ms. Fedewa´s explanation of these tense events makes her book exciting to read.

What is interesting is that in spite of the enormous distances in those days, her story is well documented. And, there is no easy explanation of some of the events in Sor María´s life.

The story is also about the times and the complicated politics during the era of mysticism in Spain. The author's extensive knowledge and explanations of Church history and the personages of the times give an added depth to the importance of María de Jesus´ contribution to the richness of the history of the times.

The way the Ms. Fedewa tells the story makes it a fascinating reading of discovery because she not only did the research of documents in English and Spanish, but actually made the trip to the little village of Ágreda, Spain to the convent of María de Jesus. It was there that she spent time talking to the people in the village, the nuns at the convent, and taking photos which are included in the book. She knows her subject well.

Marilyn also visited the small former Franciscan mission in Isleta, New Mexico, and did the legwork through West Texas to San Angelo, TX, and talked to the descendents of the Jumano Indians.

I highly recommend Marilyn Fedewa´s book to anyone who might be interested in the early Spanish explorations of Texas and New Mexico and the times of mysticism of the 17th century in Spain.

It was such a delight to read Marilyn Fedewa's book. So clear and interesting! Sometimes you don't recognize a really good book until you read one about the same subject but written by another author.

Recently I read another book on Sor Maria by a different author, and I remembered how good Fedewa's style is, and how interesting her presentation is. "Maria of Ágreda: Mystical Lady in Blue" is a must-read for anyone who is seriously interested in the history of New Mexico, and Texas.

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