Detail from the binding of a manuscript codex shows text in Spanish "3. Soledad."
Detail of a weathered manuscript codex shows text in Spanish including the word "chocolate" and "no quedo."
Three manuscript codexes labeled one, two, and three with Spanish text reading "Soledad."

Spiritual autobiography

María de San José

Sister María del Señor San José (1656-1719) entered the Augustinian Recollect convents of Santa Monica (Puebla) and La Soledad (Oaxaca) where she was entrusted with the instruction of novices. At the age of 35, she began writing her life story at the request of her confessor, in order to reconstruct the history and nature of her spiritual life, especially focusing on the consistent occurrences of her mystical experiences. María produced twelve volumes, totaling over 2,000 pages, written over a period of about three decades. As her journals were judged to be model examples for religious women, selections were published in a hagiographic biography written by Sebastián de Santander y Torres, Vida de la Venerable Madre María de San Joseph (1723).

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