Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The mystery of gender-queer ... Venerable Juana de la Cruz Vázquez y Gutiérrez

Spanish nun Juana Vázquez Gutiérrez, 
known as Venerable Juana de la Cruz

Transgender Saints.
Juana was born to farmers in the Spanish village of Azaña (today: Numancia de la Sagra) in Spain on May 3, 1481. She would later tell her community that God had been originally fashioning her as a male in the womb of her mother, but upon the intervention of the Blessed Virgin, she was changed into a female. As proof of this miracle, Juana pointed to her Adam’s Apple (in Spanish “nuez … en la garganta,” literally “nut in the throat”), as evidence of divine intervention. By the time she was 15, her family had identified a man to espouse her, but Juana would have nothing of this plan. Instead, she dressed in men’s clothing and fled her family home, walking to a community of women religious to begin a new life for herself. Each March, Christians continue to recreate her journey annually, pilgrimaging to Cubas de la Sagra (near Madrid) to visit the convent of “Santa Juana” -- officially known as the Convent of Santa María de la Cruz. - Source

Shocking, huh?

I posted about a 'trans' saint on my Tumblr blog - just because I was writing about the subject yesterday here.

I spent too much time on the subject, but I came across this story on Venerable Juana de la Cruz.  I found it on a gay blog - I think the information is reliable - but I'm not sure about the interpretation of Juana's writings are accurate.  Nevertheless, I wanted to add this to the transgender posts I've done from time to time.  As a man I can understand a woman wanting to be a man - but I cannot understand why a man would want to be a woman.  Not that there is anything wrong with women.  (I'm digging a hole here, aren't I.)

More on Madre Juana
In 1497 Juana professed as a member of the Franciscan sisters there in Cubas, Spain. By 1509, Juana was elected as Abbess of the community and became “Mother Juana.” Her community was unique in that it maintained a parish church and appointed its priest. Juana prudently appointed her own brother. Even more unique was Juana’s role in preaching lengthy locutions, giving detailed elaborations of Bible events and Jesus’ and Mary’s lives. These sermons were eventually collected in the book, El Libro del Conorte. It speaks to Juana’s personal charisma and vision, that in the midst of the Inquisition, she was both preaching and exercising oversight of a parish. To her credit, she sagely named God as the source and inspiration of her sermons, thereby placing the inquisitors in the position whereby if they questioned her, they were questioning God as well. 

In one of Juana’s sermons, Jesus says: “And all those who seek in me a father, will find in me a father. And those who seek in me a mother, will find in me a mother. And those who seek in me a husband, will find in me a husband. And those who seek in me a bride, will find in me a bride. And those who seek in me a brother, or a friend, or a neighbor, or a companion, likewise will find in me everything they desire…”
[“E todos los que me quisieredes en padre, en padre me fallares. E los que me quisieredes en madre, en madre me falleres. E los que me quisieren en esposo, en esposo me fallaran. E los que me quisieren en esposa, en esposa me fallaran. E los que me quisieren en hermano o en amigo o en proximo o en conpanero, por semejante me fallaran para todo lo quisieren...”- Kevin Elphick


I think, no, I know we will hear more about Madre Juana.  What is most interesting to me is that evidently she was allowed to preach and offer spiritual direction, if correct, that is an incredible concession to a woman religious in Spain at that time - in fact, it would be today as well.  It's an interesting read, as I said, and I'm sure it will inform the development of gay-spirituality today.

As always, I just want to say that LGBTQ concepts are peculiar to modern times, and were not at all known, much less understood in the same way in the past.  But I digress.


  1. Strange story indeed.

    Did you read in the news that two parish priests from Mexico were found murdered? Reports are that they were kidnapped from some town in northern Veracruz only to have their bodies found later in some random field. It is believed the narcos are behind it.

    Prayers for the Mexican Church.

    1. I did read that - it is very dangerous in Mexico again - it is a big warning I think.

      This story about Madre Juana is a bias interpretation of her mysticism and self identity, I am very sure. I posted it to document how advocates of gender ideology will interpret the spiritual idiosyncracies of venerables and saints. They apply 20th-21st century thinking to 16th century mystical experience. They never, ever even considered these matters in the same manner people do today. The word homosexuality was never even heard of at the time, much less the idea of gender dysphoria. They claim these types would have populated monasteries and convents only works if they even knew they could fit a classification of gender identity or sexual attraction. There was no such classification other than 'sodomite' or some other type of label attached to sexual sin - Onanism, voluptuousness are just a few which come to mind.

      The history presented is either a misinterpretation or revisionist to conform to gender theory.

    2. I thought along those lines but you explain it better and it makes more sense now. It just did not sit right with me when I was reading about how our Lady supposedly intervened when "She would later tell her community that God had been originally fashioning her as a male in the womb of her mother, but upon the intervention of the Blessed Virgin, she was changed into a female"

      That was weird to read. Since when does our Lady intervene in such a manner? I have never heard of such a thing. Is this acknowledged by the Church? And if so, what's the official statement on such an intervention if in fact it took place. I can't wrap my head around it ... too weird.

      Anyway, back to my usual pondering of the current state of affairs and praying about them. ^^

    3. Yeah - that sounds very strange to me as well. I suspect something is off in the translation? I don't know - but that is why we can't trust some of the more bizarre things mystics either have recounted, or what others have interpreted for them. If it sounds too bizarre, it probably is.

      I think of OL of Quito - how Tradition in Action records the revelations - which turn out to be so specific to our times. Something doesn't sit right with their interpretations - plus - they are the only ones promoting them.

      Private revelations need careful discernment.

  2. Not sure what to make of this story. Upon reflection however I can believe that religious communities have long attracted member, both male and female with gender issues. How this played out in individual cases probably varies considerably. Certainly we all have known masculine appearing nuns and feminine appearing monks or priests. Were they struggling with gender conflicts? Did they somehow act them out within the confines od their community? Interesting stuff. Could a trasexual be admitted to a community today? Were they in the past? It is mind boggling. Perhaps what we think is new is really quite old just more "out." I for one do not expect an answer in this life but do think it will be answered in the next.


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