According to certain theories and testimonies, Sister Ana de los Ángeles is thought to have been born on July 26, 1604, although there is no way of knowing the exact date, given that her baptismal certificate was lost in a fire that broke out in the sacristy of the Great Church of Arequipa, the predecessor to the city’s first cathedral, in 1620. Ana was the fourth of eight children born to Sebastián de Monteagudo and Francisca de León: Francisco, Mariana, Catalina, (Ana), Juana, Inés, Andrea, and Sebastián. We know that Francisco was a priest; Mariana married Gabriel López de Pastrana; Catalina married Gonzalo Tamayo; and Inés married Bernardino de Meneses. Nothing is known of the other siblings, who are presumed to have died from one of the plagues that ravaged the city in those days. Sister Ana was handed over to the Catherinian nuns at the age of 3 for her education and instruction, which, at that time, primarily involved moral and religious formation.
MIRACLES AND PREDICTIONS
Sister Ana de los Ángeles de Monteagudo’s close ties to souls in Purgatory played a decisive role in her predictions, which generally had to do with death. On several occasions, she predicted the illness of those close to her; for some, she foresaw a recovery, while for others, she predicted their inevitable passing. These omens were often received with repudiation, mistrust, and incredulity by those who were, in one way or another, affected. Aside from her predictions, Sister Ana de los Ángeles also had a hand in a series of extraordinary events during her lifetime. Those who knew her personally counted a total of sixty-eight predictions—all of which came true—made by the venerable nun.
The venerable Catherinian nun spent her final years in the shadows of blindness. She experienced great difficulty in walking, but she never complained or felt her fate to be unlucky. Despite the fact that there was no remedy able to sooth her terrible aches and pains, she humbly accepted everything that the Lord had in store for her, acting as a model of unfailing dedication and complete trust in God. Before Sister Ana was buried, a painter captured her features in a portrait, which is the sole and true visual testimony of her face that has remained for posterity’s sake, since she avoided such earthly pomp in life. The painter came to the convent in spite of the severe pain he had been suffering in recent days. He had even experienced bloating throughout his body. After he finished painting his portrait of the venerable nun on a small canvas, he started to leave. Before he had even made it to the door, he was completely and immediately cured of the illness that had affected him. Sister Ana de los Ángeles died on January 10, 1686. After Sister Ana’s death, it was not necessary to embalm her body, given the pleasant odor that it gave off. She was buried in the earthen floor of the convent’s church choir.a