Ven. Maria Jesus de Agreda. 121
VEN. MARIA JESUS DE AGREDA: A CORRECTION.
EDMOND J. P. SCHMITT.
From an article in the first number of the Quarterly I copy the
following sentences: "About 1630, Maria de Agreda, a Spanish
missionary lady, spent some years among the wild tribes of Texas.
None of her writings are known to be in existence, but she is quoted
by Father Mazanet, in 1692, he having seen her report to the
'Father Custodian of New Mexico.' In this quotation there is
mention of the 'Kingdom of the Theas,' showing that the same
tribes then inhabited this country which we found two hundred
years after." *
The writer seems to quote from a letter or report by Father
Mazanet; yet there is evidently a misreading of his authority, as
there are two misstatements in the quotation as given. For the
venerable Sister Maria de Agreda was never in America in body,
unless the story of her ecstatic visitation and conversion of the
Xumanas be true. Nevertheless her works are extant, and some of
them are to be found in the libraries of America.t
Speaking of the Franciscan missions among the Pueblos of New
Mexico, Dr. Shea writes:
"About the year 1622, in the Provincial Chapter of the Fran-
ciscan Order held in Mexico, the missions which had hitherto been
under the care of a Commissary were formed into a Custodia, of
which Father Alonzo de Benavides was appointed the first custos.
The viceroy of New Spain thereupon authorized him to take
twenty-six missionaries to New Mexico, their expenses on the way
and their maintenance being paid by the king. But though the
new custos entered his district with that number, death, sickness,
and hardship soon thinned their ranks, and at the close of the year
1627 the king ordered the viceroy to send thirty Franciscan Fathers
to New Mexico. [Cedula of November 15, 1627.]
* Tribal Society Among Texas Indians. M. M. KENNEY. Quarterly of the
Texas State Historical Association, p. 29, Vol. I, No. 1. Also reprinted
in The Texas Magazine, p. 18, Vol. III, No. 1.
t "La Mistica Ciudad de Dios," at St. John's College, Fordham, N. Y.
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/. Accessed May 6, 2015.