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Monsignor Michael Murphy (left) holding book on Sor Maria with author Marilyn Fedewa, in St. Mary's Cathedral, Lansing (MI)

Agreda in America
Maria of Agreda: Mystical Lady in Blue 

Sor Maria of Agreda (also known as the Lady in Blue, Mary of Agreda, and Maria de Agreda) is most well known, of course, in Spain.  Yet this remarkable "Venerable" of the Catholic Church has a fascinating heritage in America, from colonial times to the present.  Her work is studied in college and university level courses on Spanish language, literature, history and culture, and there is a rapidly increasing popular recognition of her significance in our history.  The list that follows is by no means complete. Stay tuned for updates!

Wow, so much to relate! The Afterword in my newest (2020) book, DARK EYES, LADY BLUE: Maria of Agreda includes highlights of the Vatican's visits to Texas in 2017 and 2018 to research Sor Maria's legacy there, as well as on the statuary installed in 2018 in San Angelo (TX) honoring her and the Jumanos, and the first-ever congress on her in Rome in 2015. Meanwhile, the following entries share just a fraction of the interest in her prior to that .  . . . .  In March 2010, Marilyn's paper was presented at the annual meeting of the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It covered the role of the Jumanos and Maria of Agreda in the formation of the first-ever mission in Texas -- in San Angelo in 1632. During the same conference, Marilyn's book, MARIA of AGREDA: Mystical Lady in Blue, received the 2010 Foik award from the Texas Catholic Historical Society for its outstanding contribution to Texas Catholic history. Then in June 2010, San Angelo held the second annual Lady in Blue celebration -- which included an Intertribal Powwow in full regalia, a Jumano ceremony at the Paint Rock pictography site, the delightfully costumed presence of the Santa Angela Renaissance Guild, and a seminar on and by the Jumano-Apaches of West Texas, at Angelo State University.

  The community of San Angelo, Texas celebrated its unique connection with the Lady in Blue and Jumano Native Americans in a two-day series of historic events in June 2009. Fifty Jumano-Apaches of Texas joined standing room only crowds honoring their role in founding the first Texas mission as inspired by Sor Maria. At the invitation of Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer, Marilyn Fedewa gave a keynote address on her book, Maria of Agreda: Mystical Lady in Blue, and Nashville recording artist Cynthia Jordan performed original compositions from her lyrical new CD,"Lady in Blue." 

MSA Logo  In May 2009, Marilyn presented a paper about Sor Maria at the annual meeting of the Mariological Society of America, held in St. Augustine, Florida. The Society is, of course,"all about Mary," mother of Jesus, about whom Sor Maria wrote so devotedly. A variety of theologians and other experts gave presentations on many aspects of Mary's life, and it was quite an honor to be included among them. 

Symposium poster, April 24, 2009, Albuquerque, UNM

   In April 2009, just before the imminent publication of Marilyn's book, the Spanish and Portuguese department of the University of New Mexico held a one-day symposium titled "Lady in Blue, a University of New Mexico Homage." Speakers included Joseph Sanchez, David Rex Galindo, Anna Nogar, Marilyn Fedewa, Clark Colahan, and the day concluded with the creative extravaganza, "Lady Blue's Dreams," by master puppeteers Ron and Laia Dans of Santa Fe.


Front cover of Volume 3 of Grolier Scholastic encyclopedia series on
Influential Hispanic Americans  In October 2006, Grolier Scholastic released its new encyclopedia series on 1,000 Influential Hispanic Americans past and present, featuring Sor Maria alongside Father of Texas missions, Padre Antonio Margil, and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

Prayer card for the sainthood of Sor Maria of Agreda, featuring mural in St. Ann's Church of Beaumont, Texas, of Lady in Blue preaching to Jumanos Native Americans

  English and Spanish versions of prayer cards were released in San Angelo in 2007 promoting Sor Maria's sainthood and bearing the Imprimatur of Bishop Carl F. Mengeling, Diocese of Lansing, Michigan. The image is from a mural of the Lady in Blue preaching to the Jumanos, on display in St. Ann's Church in Beaumont, Texas. The outer border artfully adds designs from an altarcloth personally embroidered by Sor Maria to commemorate her impressions of the American Southwest. Designed by Abby Wieber of Faith Publishing Services.
Custom rosary designed in honor of Sor Maria's inspiring life and works 
  This custom designed rosary (2005) honors the inspiring legacy of the Lady in Blue, and her visionary writings about the Blessed Mother in Mystical City of God. It was designed by a premiere American guild, the Rosary Workshop, the rosary features hand polished beads of turquoise from Arizona, with a crucifix reminiscent of Sor Maria's era. 


October 2006 release of Fr. Enrique Llamas' book   This is the English translation in the U.S. of Venerable Mother Agreda and the Mariology of Vatican II by Fr. Enrique Llamas, OCD, President of the Spanish Mariological Society (2006). In it, Llamas compares point-by-point the compatible Mariologies of Sor Maria and that of the 2nd Vatican Council. Available through the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

Short devotional biography of Sor Maria by James A. Carrico
  Originally published in 1962, and out of print, this collector's item was restored by the Solanus Casey Chapter of the Knights of Columbus in South Bend, Indiana, and reissued in 2002. About 100 pages total, the biographical material is about 80 pages and bears testimony to author James Carrico's tremendous gratitude to Sor Maria for her heroic dedication to Mary.

Small photo of the convent in Agreda, from Fr. Oggie's trip
  The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) was founded by Fr. James Flanagan in 1968, and is headquartered in Corpus Christi, Texas, with missions worldwide. Their spiritual exercises are based on writings of Sor Maria of Agreda from her own spiritual exercises and readings in Mystical City of God.

Please feel welcome to email me at M dot Agreda @ Comcast dot Net to share your thoughts about Sor Maria's life or works. As the American Correspondent for the Task Force on Agreda (headquartered in Spain) I've spent a lot of time researching and analyzing Sor Maria's character, accomplishments and writings, and know with certainty that she led an extraordinary and inspiring life. It was, in fact, a "heroic life of virtue," the designation of which confers the title of "Venerable," and is an individual's the first step toward sainthood in the Catholic Church. Although some may question the validity or value of an official designation as a 'saint', I think it is still a great way to increase awareness of that person's inspiration and example. And in Sor Maria's case, I'm all for it!

With every wish for your spiritual happiness and well-being,
Marilyn H. Fedewa

Photo Credit:
Top photo taken in St. Mary's Cathedral and copyrighted by Stan Fedewa, of Msgr. Michael D. Murphy, Moderator of the Curia of the Diocese of Lansing (Michigan), with author Marilyn Fedewa.


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