Dark Eyes, Lady Blue (Texas Tech University Press/May 2020) tells the story of Sister María of Ágreda’s remarkable life. María was born in Ágreda, Spain, in 1602, and vowed there as a nun at age seventeen. From birth to her death in 1665, she never left the small town. Yet her accomplishments had a lasting impact in Spain and as far away as the American Southwest, where she is celebrated to this day.
Although cloistered in Ágreda’s Monastery of the Immaculate Conception, María grew to be a renowned mystic, a widely read author, and an advisor to the King of Spain. She experienced religious ecstasy that inspired her visionary writings and―quite remarkably―communications with the Jumano Indians of what would later become the states of Texas and New Mexico. When Spanish missionaries met the Jumano Indians, their chief expressed a desire to be baptized because of the supernatural visits from the mystical “lady in blue.”