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Alone at the AltarSingle Women and Devotion in Guatemala, 1670-1870$
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Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781503603684

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503603684.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 27 May 2022

The Controversial Ecstasy of Sor María Teresa Aycinena

The Controversial Ecstasy of Sor María Teresa Aycinena

(p.134) Chapter Five The Controversial Ecstasy of Sor María Teresa Aycinena
Alone at the Altar

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara

Stanford University Press

Chapter 5 explores the devotion and controversy surrounding Sor María Teresa Aycinena, a Carmelite nun, who in 1816 in the midst of the Independence wars, reportedly began to experience the stigmata, visions, mystical crucifixions, and miraculous images formed with the blood of her wounds. The powerful archbishop, priests, and lay devotees, many of them women, supported the Carmelite nun as a holy woman, but her divine revelations fueled controversy and political conflicts. Modern scholars treat the case only in passing, accepting the liberal nineteenth-century view that Sor María Teresa and her lay devotees were conservative political pawns. This case certainly highlights the early politicization of networks between priests and laywomen, but it also reveals how religious motivations significantly shaped clerical support of the mystic nun, while the Church’s weakened position created openings for assertive female claims to spiritual authority and a renewal of devotions long popular with laywomen.

Keywords:   María Teresa Aycinena, stigmata, visions, Independence, Guatemala, nun, politics, Catholic Church, mystic, convent

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