Escobar, Marina de, ven.

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Mystic and foundress of the Brigittines in Spain; b. Valladolid, Feb. 8, 1554; d. Valladolid, June 9, 1633. Marina's father, Rodrigo, was a man of deep spirituality, a lawyer at the royal chancellery, and a professor at the university. Her mother, Marguerite, was the daughter of the physician attending Charles V. Marina's adolescence was disturbed somewhat by alterations of fervor, dryness, and scruples. She offered herself totally to God during the Lent of 1587. Three Jesuits were successively her directors: Pedro de Leon; Luis de la puente, after Pedro's death in 1603; and Miguel de Oreña, who succeeded La Puente. In 1615 Marina conceived the plan of establishing the Brigittines in Spain. With the help of La Puente she drew up an adaptation of the constitutions of St. Brig-it, which was approved by Urban VIII, Nov. 28, 1628, and permission was granted for the foundation of the first monastery with Spanish religious from other orders. Although Marina did not live to see the opening of the house in Valladolid in 1637, the Spanish Brigittines nevertheless considered her their foundress.

The last 30 years of Marina's life were spent in small, dark, poorly ventilated quarters, where she was bedridden. She was able to assist at Mass, however, for it was celebrated for her daily in an adjacent room. A small circle of devout women attended to her needs and looked upon her as their spiritual mother. During these years her physical afflictions amounted to a kind of protracted martyrdom, but spiritually she seemed to live two livesone in which she conversed with those about her, and the other in which she conversed with God, the angels, and the saints. All this is described in what may be called her autobiography, Vida maravillosa de la Venerable Virgen Doña Marina de Escobar. This work was put together from notes written at the command of her spiritual directors. The first part, carrying up to the year 1624, was prepared and published by La Puente (Madrid 1655); the second part, by Pinto Ramirez, SJ (Madrid 1673). The two parts were published together in 1766. Besides providing an account of Marina's own extraordinary mystical experienceher participation in the mysteries of the humanity of Christ, including the stigmata, her experience of the divine attributes and of the wonderful ways in which God communicates Himself to the soul, her sufferings of purificationthe Vida also throws light on many matters of importance in ascetical and mystical theology. The Vida was subjected to careful scrutiny by the Jesuits. The first part of it caused the halting of La Puente's process of beatification for 40 years, for the Roman censors thought there was illusion in it and a suggestion of quietism. However, the intervention of the promotor fidei, Prospero Lambertini (later Benedict XIV), secured the acceptance of La Puente's text.

Bibliography: c. m. abad, El Venerable Padre Luis de La Puente: Sus libros y su doctrina espiritual (Comillas 1954) 455531; Vida y escritos del V. P. Luis de La Puente (Comillas 1957) 425451, 528550; Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique. Doctrine et histoire, ed. m. viller et al. (Paris 1932) 4.1:108386.

[j. verbillion]