This is a remarkable story about how a young and beautiful Spanish nun who has never travelled out of her convent, in her country's province of Soria in her entire life but yet was able to spread her missionary work to the Red Indians across Arizona, Mexico and Western Texas. She had also never, since taking her vows in 1619, set physical foot outside the walls of the Poor Clare convent in Agreda.The way she travelled is a phenomenon called "bi-location" or "teleportation".
Teleportation: The Photo above may jog one's memory of teleportation for those who have watched the Movie "The X-Men"? Sister Maria was able to do something even far more capable than the character portrayed in this movie, known as the "Nightcrawler" who performs "teleportation" - The ability to pass through closed doors...
(I'd like to see him pass through the Great Wall of China :)
Her Brief Famly Origin
Sister Maria, the 4th child of Francis & Catherine Coronel was born on 2nd April, 1602 in Her mother used to call her a "special blessing" because the labor and delivery had caused relatively very little suffering. Her parents were Spanish nobles who owned their own castle.
A brief history of her early transformation in Spirituality...
At 2 yrs old - Her parents felt that she might be endowed with some strange gift due to her precocious ability to reason.
By 4 yrs old - Her parents thought that she might be hearing voices from God as she was always seen talking and playing with invisible companions.
6 yrs old - They grew worried due to her pre-occupation with spirituality and her obsessive compassion for the poor.
8yrs old - She took a vow on chastity & told her parents of her desire to enter into sisterhood.
12 yrs old - She got her parents approval of her desire. But as she was about to leave to Sisters of Teresa convent of Saint Ann, her mum heard an instruction when she prayed. She heard a mysterious and powerful voice issue a command for her and her family to convert their castle into a convent for the Franciscan Order's Poor Clares, donate their possessions to the poor, and abandon their noble family life for the Church. She, Maria and her other daughter must enter the convent. Her husband must enter a monastery.
17 yrs old - Maria, has grown into a beautiful young woman. She clothed herself in a simple blue and gray sackcloth habit of a Franciscan nun. She bound it at the waist with a rope with three knots, which symbolized the fundamental Franciscan virtues of the order: poverty, chastity and obedience. She wore the Franciscan Crown rosary, which symbolizes the joys of the Blessed Virgin. She became Sister Maria a Jesus de Agreda.
63 yrs old - On May 24, 1665, she passes away.
The episode of Teleportation....
One day, when Sister Maria (she was 18 then) knelt down for prayer, she began to chant. As she went on, her face began to grow pale and her body began to sway. She appeared to be unconscious. This was witnessed by a beggar who claimed that a brilliant blue light enveloped her and her comatose body levitated high towards several feet above the floor. This is her 1st experience in a total of over 500 bi-locations/teleportation she had experienced in her entire lifetime.
(The photo above depicts Daniel Dunglass Home performing levitation in 1868. Sister Maria's body was also seen levitating by an eye-witness.)
And upon her 1st episode of teleportation, over the years, she has made over 500 such teleportation. In some days she uses to make 2 or 3 bi-location towards the land of the Red Indians within the same day. She instructed them in the fundamentals of the Faith, speaking to them in their own language. Her spirit carried rosaries from her cell to give to her charges. She healed the sick. She won converts. She urged them to contact Franciscan friars at the missions of the Río Grande pueblos and to solicit the construction of new missions for other tribes. If necessary, she would give her life, she said, to save a single Indian soul.
Well, it seems that the visions that went into the books weren’t the only ones Sister Maria had. Between 1620 and 1631, Sister Maria regularly went into what seems to be cataleptic trances, after which she described a strange dream in which she was carried to a strange and wild land, where she taught the gospel to strange and wild people. Between 1621 and 1629 numerous missionaries in east and west Texas and into New Mexico reported encountering Indians who had apparently never before been contacted by Spaniards or Frenchmen, who spoke no Spanish or French, who carried crosses, knew Roman Catholic ritual, maintained recognizable altars in their villages, and knew Catholic liturgy—in their own tongues. When the Spaniards asked how they had learned these things, they described a beautiful young woman in blue who had been coming among them for years, teaching them the new religion in their own languages, who told them to welcome the white skinned Christians who would eventually come to see them.
The probe begins when.....someone inquires directly to Sr Maria
The interview between the two was triggered when someone when to the church to ask the following questions following word of her abilities:
"Does anybody here know anything about a Sister who’s in New Spain teaching Indian Christianity?"
Sister Maria, said "Yes. I’m the one."
"But Mother Superior," they objected, "you’ve never been out of Castile. You haven’t even been outside the walls of your own convent since you took your vows."
"Not in body," she said, "but in spirit."
In the same vein as the reply she gave Father Benavides when he asked her where she learned to speak all the Indian languages. "I didn’t," she said. "I simply spoke to them—and God let us understand one another"
Following the above dialogue, a letter went back to New Spain, to Father Benavides, saying "You better come over her and talk to this woman, because there is decidedly something very strange going on..."
The following people testified...
1. Father Alonzo de Benavides, father-custodian of New Mexico interviews Sr Maria...
She gave him detailed descriptions of the clothing and customs of the tribes she taught—which she, as a cloistered nun, could not have know about because they either had never been written down or had only recently been observed and recorded. She gave him names of tribes and of specific individuals in tribes that he either knew or later found to be accurate.
2. Father Damian has this to say....
Father Damian Massanet, as he writes to Don Carlos de Siguenza y Gongora, a high-ranking Spanish official in Mexico, in 1690.
"While we were at the Tejas village, after we had distributed clothing to the Indians and to the governor of the Tejas, the said governor asked me one evening for a piece of blue baize to make a shroud in which to bury his mother when she died. I told him that cloth would be more suitable, and he answered that he did not want any color other than blue. I then asked him what mystery was attached to the blue color, and he said that they were very fond of that color, especially for burial clothes, because in times past they had been visited frequently by a very beautiful woman, who used to come down from the heights, dressed in blue garments, and that they wished to be like that woman.
On my asking whether this had been a long time since, the governor said it had been before his time, but his mother, who was aged, had seen the woman, as had also the other old people." Father Massanet went on to say that this was certainly the Reverend Mother Maria de Jesus de Agreda, whose story was already well known.