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From Mujercilla to Conquistadora: St. Teresa of Ávila’s missionary identity in mexican colonial art

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines a key aspect of Teresa's posthumous reputation, which contributed to her popularity and helped shape the contemporary reception of her image. She was regarded as a patron of the Church's missionary effort. The missionary attitude, so apparent in Teresa and early members of her reform, resulted in literary portrayals of the saint as a powerful commander in the Church’s campaign for the conversion of souls. The chapter highlights the perception that Teresa’s mission continued, on an enlarged scale, even after her death that from her place in heaven she would persevere in the work of converting souls. Teresa’s sense of mission elevated her to a position far beyond that of a mujercilla confined within the walls of a tiny Spanish convent. Instead, she became a heavenly patron of the missionary Church, her image among the most favored in Spanish America.

Keywords: Church's missionary effort; mujercilla; Spanish America; Terasa's mission

10.1163/ej.9789004153929.i-451.94
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