By Stephen Haliczer

At some point in 1599, within the Spanish village of Saria, seven-year-old Maria Angela Astorch fell sick and died after gorging herself on unripened almonds. Maria's sister Isabel, a nun, got here to view the physique along with her mom enhanced, an ecstatic mystic and visionary named Maria Angela Serafina. triumph over by way of the sight of the useless girl's blameless face, Serafina started to pray fervently for the go back of the kid's soul to her physique. coming into a trance, she had a imaginative and prescient within which the Virgin Mary gave her an indication. instantly little Maria Angela began to express indicators of lifestyles. A second later she scrambled to the floor and was once quickly restored to ideal overall healthiness. in the course of the Counter-Reformation, the Church was once faced via a unprecedented upsurge of female non secular enthusiasm like that of Serafina. encouraged by way of new translations of the lives of the saints, religious ladies all over the place Catholic Europe sought to mimic those ''athletes of Christ'' via extremes of self-abnegation, actual mortification, and devotion. As within the center a while, such women's piety usually took the shape of ecstatic visions, revelations, voices and stigmata. Stephen Haliczer deals a entire portrait of women's mysticism in Golden Age Spain, the place this enthusiasm used to be approximately a mass stream. The Church's reaction, he indicates, was once welcoming yet cautious, and the Inquisition took at the activity of winnowing out frauds and imposters. Haliczer attracts on fifteen situations introduced by way of the Inquisition opposed to ladies accused of ''feigned sanctity,'' and on greater than dozen biographies and autobiographies. the major to attractiveness, he unearths, lay within the orthodoxy of the woman's visions and revelations. He concludes that mysticism provided ladies how to go beyond, even though to not disrupt, the regulate of the male-dominated Church.

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She became fluent in Latin and wrote spiritual works, treatises, and explanations of spiritual texts in both Latin and German. Her vernacular works are unfortunately lost, and what remains are two Latin works, the Legatus divinae pietatis, commonly translated as Herald of God’s Loving Kindness, and The Exercises. The latter work is a series of exercises dealing with the best way to lead a Christian life, the responsibilities of persons leading a life consecrated to God, and the way in which a Christian should prepare for death.

María de Cervellon (1230–90) was dedicated to the present Duke of Montalto and Bibona D. Fernando de Aragón Moncada Luna y Cardona, who was a descendant. 45 The cult in the larger towns incorporated to a far greater degree national and international saintly figures and advocations as well as local ones. It was nurtured by the printing industry, which profited from the publication of hundreds of works designed to communicate with a literate and cultivated audience that had other means of entertainment at its disposal.

88 In the spring of 1643, the king decided, much against his will, to go personally to the Aragonese front to encourage his flagging armies and animate the resistance of the Aragonese. But Philip IV had another important reason for hurrying to Zaragoza. For several months after the fall of Olivares, he had been seeking divine guidance for his government with the aid of several well-known visionaries. Now, with the strong encouragement of Queen Isabella of Bourbon and the support of the newly powerful Don Juan Chumacero, who had just been appointed president of the Council of Castile, the king had convened a veritable congress of mystics in Zaragoza.

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Between Exaltation and Infamy: Female Mystics in the Golden by Stephen Haliczer
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