Nuns Navigating the Spanish Empire
Sarah E. Owens
Nuns Navigating the Spanish Empire tells the remarkable story of a group of nuns who traveled halfway around the globe in the seventeenth century to establish the first female Franciscan convent in the Far East.
In 1620 Sor Jerónima de la Asunción (1556–1630) and her cofounders left their cloistered convent in Toledo, Spain, journeying to Mexico to board a Manila galleon on their way to the Philippines. Sor Jerónima is familiar to art historians for her portrait by Velázquez that hangs in the Prado Museum in Madrid. What most people do not know is that one of her travel companions, Sor Ana de Cristo (1565–1636), wrote a long biographical account of Sor Jerónima and their fifteen-month odyssey. Drawing from Sor Ana’s manuscript, other archival sources, and rare books, Owens’s study offers a fascinating view of travel, evangelization, and empire.
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
Sarah E. Owens is a professor of Spanish at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. She is the editor and translator of Journey of Five Capuchin Nuns and the coeditor of Women of the Iberian Atlantic.