Ursula Suarez: Mujer heroica, mujer de Dios
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Some of the evidence of the plight of women of past centuries is found in the literary texts of the lives of nuns. As many critics have already stated, many of these women had to learn to write in ways that escaped the consciousness of their confessors and other church authorities. This study shows that Úrsula Suárez was one of those women who risked her life and reputation in order to express her views (some would say disagreements) through writing. Úrsula's Relación autobiográfica reveals the memoirs of her life experience as well as of the Chilean culture and customs of the seventeenth century. As in all patriarchal cultures, women were oppressed and considered second-class citizens, a fact that seemed to be very much on the mind of our nun. This dissertation brings to light the subversive message of this great woman who was able to resist established conventions despite the great sufferings she had to endure. Her ability to codify her message allowed her the freedom to reveal her deep feelings, to show her ability to subvert power positions, to express her own theological beliefs and to establish her own model of sainthood through her prophetic voice.