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Asbaje, Juan Ines de

Born: 1651 AD
Died: 1695 AD
Nationality: Mexican
Categories: Evangelists, Nuns, Poets

1651 – Born on November 12th in San Miguel, Viceroyalty of New Spain. A poet, dramatist, scholar, and nun, an outstanding writer of the Latin American colonial period and of the Hispanic Baroque.

1664 – Presented to the court when the new Viceroy and his wife arrived, the pretty, witty, intelligent, educated, teen-aged Juana quickly became a lady-in-waiting, as well as, a court favorite.

1667 – Wishing to live alone to continue her studies, Juana entered the convent of the Carmelitas Descalzas (the barefoot Carmelites), a very strict order, for several months when she was 19.

1672 – The Viceroy was replaced by a priest and we know little about Sor Juana’s life during his tenure.

1680 – The priest was replaced by another Viceroy and Sor Juana again became the darling of the court.

1689 – She wrote poetry collections "Flood from the Muses’ Springs" (also "Inundacion castalida"), "Second Volume of the Works of Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz", "Fame and Posthumous Works of the Mexican Phoenix and Tenth Muse", poem "Foolish Men Who Accuse", letter "Reply to Sister Philotea" (defense of education for women).

1690 – Juana strictly avoided theology until she criticized a Jesuit priest in a private letter. During a power struggle between the Bishop of Pedula, her supporter, and the Archbishop of Mexico, the Bishop published her letter (without her permission), possibly hoping to damage one of the Archbishops supporters.

1691 – Sor Juana wrote for the cathedral of Oaxaca some exquisite carols to St. Catherine of Alexandria that sing the praises of this learned woman and martyr.

1694 – Sor Juana had succumbed in some measure to external or internal pressures. She curtailed her literary pursuits. Her library and collections were sold for alms. She returned to her previous confessor, renewed her religious vows, and signed various penitential documents.

1695 – Died on April 17th in Mexico City. Sor Juana died while nursing her sister nuns during an epidemic.