By Stephen Haliczer
In the future in 1599, within the Spanish village of Saria, seven-year-old Maria Angela Astorch fell ailing and died after gorging herself on unripened almonds. Maria's sister Isabel, a nun, got here to view the physique together with her mom stronger, an ecstatic mystic and visionary named Maria Angela Serafina. conquer through the sight of the lifeless 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 during which the Virgin Mary gave her an indication. right now little Maria Angela began to exhibit symptoms of existence. A second later she scrambled to the floor and used to be quickly restored to ideal wellbeing and fitness. throughout the Counter-Reformation, the Church was once faced by means of a rare upsurge of female spiritual enthusiasm like that of Serafina. encouraged through new translations of the lives of the saints, religious girls everywhere Catholic Europe sought to mimic those ''athletes of Christ'' via extremes of self-abnegation, actual mortification, and devotion. As within the heart a while, such women's piety usually took the shape of ecstatic visions, revelations, voices and stigmata. Stephen Haliczer deals a complete portrait of women's mysticism in Golden Age Spain, the place this enthusiasm was once approximately a mass circulation. The Church's reaction, he exhibits, was once welcoming yet cautious, and the Inquisition took at the activity of winnowing out frauds and imposters. Haliczer attracts on fifteen instances introduced by means of the Inquisition opposed to girls accused of ''feigned sanctity,'' and on greater than dozen biographies and autobiographies. the most important to attractiveness, he reveals, lay within the orthodoxy of the woman's visions and revelations. He concludes that mysticism provided ladies the way to go beyond, even though to not disrupt, the keep watch over of the male-dominated Church.
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Extra resources for Between Exaltation and Infamy: Female Mystics in the Golden Age of Spain
During her time with the family, Brianda became very close to the two Miranda daughters, Aldonça and Tecla. 52 Later on in life, when Brianda entered the Carmelite order, she not only took the name of the order’s saintly foundress but also loved to read and listen to the lives of the saints. 53 Given the relatively high rates of literacy that can be assumed for aristocratic and upper-middle-class women and the fact that they had a certain amount of discretionary income available to purchase books, it is not surprising that saint cults took ﬁrm root among them.
The king himself never really took Lucrecia seriously and was galvanized into action only when the escape of his former secretary Antonio Pérez from a Madrid jail made any kind of opposition seem doubly dangerous. 69 It would take a larger, more serious, and more protracted crisis to open the way for political prophecy to penetrate Spain’s ruling circles and gain the willing ear of the king himself. The reign of Philip IV (1621–65) opened on an optimistic note with a new and energetic chief minister in the person of Gaspar de Guzmán, the Conde Duque de Olivares, who came into oﬃce with sweeping plans for reform.
In his memorial, Galindo emphasized the long tradition of prophets at the service of good government. ” His revelations, therefore, should be considered a national resource, and Galindo drafted his memorial in the hopes that they would not be ignored because of fears that they may have come from the devil. Galindo told his readers that this was highly unlikely since Chiriboya was a model of saintly virtue, pious, charitable, and living a life of the utmost austerity. 84 As the culture of mysticism became a more and more decisive element in an urban middle-class society deprived of any legitimate means of political expression, prophecy was transformed into virtually the only way of indict- 26 BETWEEN EXALTATION AND INFAMY ing royal policies.