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The ‘Mother of Missions:’ The Duchess of Aveiro’s Global Correspondence on China and Japan, 1674-1694.
Laberinto (2016)

Women not content with societal pressures sought to model themselves after women who were “breaking the mold” by exercising power and influence in the politics of European cities, as well as in the Americas and other colonial enterprises. An avid reader and participant in intellectual discourse in the Mexican vice-regal court, sor Juana Inez de la Cruz listed many women that she admired in her writings.  In the “La respuesta a sor Filotea,” (1691; “Response to Sister Filotea”) sor Juana cited Maria Guadalupe de Lencastre along with Queen Christina Alexandra of Sweden and the Countess of Villaumbrosa of Spain as three contemporary women whom she admired.  While sor Juana has come to be significantly more well known than these women she lauded, an investigation into the reasons for the inclusion of Maria Guadalupe de Lencastre, the Duchess of Aveiro y Arcos, illuminates the life and work of a fascinating and powerful woman who was making decisions and negotiating international transactions during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The duchess encouraged and sustained the work of the Jesuits in the Americas and campaigned for the success of those who were committed to missionary success in the Pacific.  This study examines the details of how the Duchess supported Jesuit pursuits in the Far East.
  • Duchess of Aveiro,
  • Maria Guadalupe de Lencastre,
  • Jesuit missionaries,
  • Guam,
  • Mariana Islands
Publication Date
Citation Information
JEANNE GILLESPIE. "The ‘Mother of Missions:’ The Duchess of Aveiro’s Global Correspondence on China and Japan, 1674-1694." Laberinto Vol. 9 Iss. 2016 (2016) p. 128 - 134 ISSN: 1090-8714
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