By Mother Anne of St. Bartholomew; Donahue, Darcy; Mother Anne of St. Bartholomew
Her autobiography, in actual fact inseparable from her non secular vocation, expresses the tensions and conflicts that frequently observed the lives of ladies whose dating to the divine endowed them with an expert at odds with the transitority powers of church and kingdom. final translated into English in 1916, Ana’s writings provide glossy readers attention-grabbing insights into the character of monastic existence in the course of the hugely charged non secular and political weather of late-sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century Spain.
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Extra resources for Autobiography and other writings
Writing became a necessary element of Ana’s life and an intrinsic part of her selfconcept. It also elevated her to a level of literacy and knowledge that was uncommon for a woman of her humble origins. Ana began her extensive writing career by taking dictation from Teresa to assist in answering her abundant correspondence. ”15 The relationship between the two women was one of mutual dependence and great affection. There do not appear to have been any ruptures or disagreements such as those that occurred between Teresa and some of her prioresses, perhaps because Ana never occupied a position of authority during Teresa’s lifetime.
In addition to autobiographical texts and letters, women religious documented their own experiences in varied convent writings (chronicles, biographies of spiritual sisters, poems, plays, and songs, among others). These works were authored by individuals and also collectively, often with several members of a community signing. For the most part, such writing was voluntary and revealed a desire by these authors to recognize the achievements and holiness of their communities and of certain individuals within them.
The family lived an extremely pious existence, with both parents providing examples of Christian charity and devotion to their children. By her own account, Ana became aware of a special inclination toward the spiritual dimension of life at an early age and was predisposed to visions of supernatural origin before she could talk. As a young girl, she formed a close friendship with a cousin, Francisca Cano, later the Discalced nun Francisca de Jesús. Both girls exhibited early signs of the religious vocation that would become their later life, at one point planning to escape together from their homes in order to live a life of asceticism in the desert.