Ana de los Ángeles Monteagudo
A brief biography.
Following some deductions and testimonies Ana de los Ángeles was born on the 26th of July 1604. As her christening certificate was lost in the fire of the Main Church of Arequipa in 1620, before the first cathedral was built, we cannot know the exact date.
Ana was the fourth of eight children, born from Sebastián de Monteagudo and Francisca de León. They were: Francisco, Mariana, Catalina, Ana, Juana, Inés, Andrea and Sebastián. It is known that Francisco became a priest, Mariana married Gabriel López de Pastrana, Catalina married Gonzalo Tamayo and Inés married Bernardino de Meneses. Of the others, nothing is known, but it is possible they died from one of the plagues, which struck Arequipa in those days.
Sor Ana was delivered to the Dominican nuns of the monastery Santa Catalina in Arequipa, when she was three years old, to be educated and instructed; in those days mainly moral and religious teaching. It is believed that her parents took her from the monastery when she was ten or eleven with the intention to marry her when she reached at least fourteen, because in those days the parents made betrothals for their children, even below the fourteen years of age the minimum age for a valid marriage.
While she was at home, she had a vision of Santa Catalina of Siena, showing her the habit of the Domenican nuns. Then she decided to return to the monastery, being led by a small boy called Domingo. When her parents learned the fact, they tried to dissuade her by offering her jewels, but she kept firm her decision. At last her father accepted her decision and supported her, but her mother could not accept it, telling her never to come back home.
She entered the monastery in Arequipa on 30th November 1618. Her brother Francesco, who was a priest, paid the dowry.
Her Mother, even though she was able to cover it, definitely refused to pay it. Ana took her vows, taking the name of "de los Ángeles". From the beginning she practiced what she had vowed, always seeking perfection. She was elected Mother Prioress of the Monastery in 1645,a most important post that she tried to decline, thinking she was not capacitated for the position. Some of the nuns backed her and promised to help her, but others were against her, saying how someone who could not read or write would become a Prioress.
That position caused her many problems with other nuns, who even in three opportunities tried to poison her. They were against the rules of austerity imposed by Sor Ana during her charge, obliging the nuns to wear the habits without gold ornaments.
Many bishops, priests and others consulted her, also after she had become totally blind in 1676. She died 10 January 1686 and was buried in the monastery.
She was beatified by John Paul II during his visit to Arequipa, 2nd February 1985.
Sources: Internet and Perca, O.P., Guillermo Alvarez: Historia de la orden Dominicana en el Peru. Siglos XVI-XVII. Lima 1997, p.248-252.
: and others.
Ana de los Ángeles Monteagudo, born in Arequipa 1604.
She was the prioress of the monastery of Saint Catharine
of Siena at Arequipa from 1646 till her death on 10 January 1686.
She was beatified by John Paul II on 2 February 1985.
Peru 1986, Mi 1335, Sc 893. Maximum card.
Postmark Arequipa 15.9.1985
The beatification of Ana de los Ángeles Monteagudo in Arequipa on 2 February 1985, during the visit of John Paul II in America Latina, Peru, Arequipa.
Vatican City 1985. KimCover, PW 415.
320th anniversary of Ana de los Ángeles Monteagudo's death (1602-1686).
Peru 2006, Mi 2044, Sc On order.
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