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Riassunto: The Mystical City of God is a monumental four-volume history of the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as revealed by Our Lady to Venerable Mother Mary of Jesus of Agreda (1602-1665), a 17th century Spanish nun. María Fernández Coronel y Arana, Abbess of Ágreda (2 April 1602 ? 24 May 1665) was a Catholic Franciscan nun and author known for reports of bilocation between Spain and New Mexico and West Texas in the 17th century. In religious life, she was known Sor (Sister) María de Jesús de Ágreda. Popular culture since the 17th century has also dubbed her as the Lady in Blue and the Blue Nun. She wrote a series of books about the life of Blessed Virgin Mary. Throughout her life, María de Ágreda was inclined to the "internal prayer" or "quiet prayer". Like her countrywoman St. Teresa of Avila a generation earlier, these prayerful experiences led religious ecstasies, including reported accounts of levitation. María de Ágreda is known for writing the Mystical City of God (Spanish: Mistica Ciudad de Dios, Vida de la Virgen María), consisting of 8 books (6 volumes). De Ágreda reported that she received a lengthy revelation, about the terrestrial and heavenly life of Blessed Mary. That revelation was received directly from the Blessed Virgin Mary. The revelation also included information about the Blessed Virgin's relationship with the Triune God as well as the doings and Mysteries performed by Jesus as God-Man in flesh and in Spirit. The information was revealed with extensive detail in a narrative that covers the New Testament time line. The narrative was also accompanied by doctrines given by the Holy Mother on how to acquire true sanctity. It is that narrative that comprises the Mystical City of God. She attributed her writings to visions and dictations (word by word) from the Virgin Mary. Written in elegant Spanish, they contain both terrestrial and spiritual detail. Those details were either not known or not totally accepted at the time. These included the way the earth looks from the space (contained in her unpublished 17th Century "Tratado de rendondez de la Tierra"), the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary, the Assumption of Mary, the duties of Michael the Archangel and Gabriel the Archangel, and meticulous detail on the childhood of Jesus. Other detail that Sor Maria provided included the Christ's Passion, Resurrection and Ascension. Sor María's importance in religion, Spanish history, and the history of the American Southwest, is based on three grounds: She was a prolific author, with fourteen books to her credit. Her signature work, Mystical City of God, the biography of Mary, (mother of Jesus), is now frequently studied in college and university programs of Spanish language and culture, for its contribution to Baroque literature. At the request of King Philip IV of Spain, she served as his spiritual (and sometimes political) advisor for over twenty-two years, as documented in over 600 letters between them during that period. Accounts of her mystical apparitions in the American Southwest, as well as inspiring passages in Mystical City of God, so stirred 17th and 18th century missionaries that they credit her in their own life's work, making her an integral part of the colonial history of the United States. Less than ten years after her death, María de Jesús de Ágreda was declared as Venerable by Pope Clement X, in honor of her "heroic life of virtue." Although the process of beatification was opened in 1673, it has not as yet been completed.
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