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Castillo y Guevara, Francisca Josefa del (1671–1742)

Castillo y Guevara, Francisca Josefa del (1671–1742)

Colombian abbess, mystic, and spiritual writer. Name variations: Madre Maria Francisca Josefa del Castillo y Guevara; Mother Francisca Josefa of the Conception; La Madre Castillo. Born Maria Francisca Josefa del Castillo y Guevara, Oct 1671, in Tunja, Colombia; died 1742 in Tunja; dau. of Ventura Castillo (Spanish merchant) and Maria Guevara (Colombian noblewoman and descendant of the marqueses of Poza).

Forbidden to marry her cousin, became a nun at 20, after entering the monastery of Santa Clara de Tunja (1689); regarded as great mystic, her writings often compared to St Teresa de Jesús; wrote religious poetry and prose, published posthumously; works include autobiography Vida de la Venerable Madre Francisca de la Concepción escrita por ella (1817) and prose manuscript Sentimientos espirituales (2 vols, 1843).

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