Castillo y Guevara, Francisca Josefa del

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CASTILLO Y GUEVARA, FRANCISCA JOSEFA DEL

Nun and author; b. Tunja, Colombia, 1671; d. there, 1742. She came from a distinguished Christian family and entered the convent of the Poor Clares of Tunja at 18. She held several positions as sexton, doorkeeper, and mistress of novices and was abbess in three different periods. Very spiritual, she was favored with visions and ecstasies, was able to foresee future events, and endured many mortifications. At the order of her confessors, she wrote several books: Autobiografía (Philadelphia 1817); Sentimientos espirituales (v.1, Bogotá 1843; v.2, Bogotá 1942). In her writings one can perceive the influence of her reading of the works of St. Teresa of Jesus. Her own work shows soundness of doctrine, a knowledge of the Bible, and an ardent love of God. She has been considered one of the best writers of the 18th century in Colombia. Even centuries later her exemplary life and her writings remain a source of pride, since they depict an exceptionally high moral level in a period of the history of New Granada.

Bibliography: j. m. vergara y vergara, Historia de la literatura en Nueva Granada, ed. a. gÓmez restrepo and g. otero muÑoz, 3 v. (Bogotá 1958). r. m. carrasquilla, "Francisca Jose-fa del Castillo,"Obras completas, ed. j. e. ricaurte, 5 v. in 6 (Bogotá 195661) 2:257277.

[j. restrepo posada]