38. Dona Isabel


To Doña Isabel Ximena, at Segovia.

The Saint confirms this lady in her resolution of becoming a Carmelite, which she eventually did at Salamanca. She became a great servant of God, and was called in religion “Isabel de Jesus.” Date, 1570 or 1573. Carta XL. Spanish ed. vol. i.

JESUS. The Holy Ghost be ever with you, and may he give you grace to know how much you are indebted to our Lord, since being exposed to such great dangers (which arise from your youth, fortune, and the liberty you have), He has inspired you with a desire to withdraw yourself from all these temptations: and while penance, enclosure and poverty quite terrify other souls, He has made you understand the value of the one, and the deceit of the other; and how you might have lost yourself therein, had you allowed yourself to be led away by their allurements. May our Lord be blessed and praised in all things. A proof has now been given me of the goodness of your soul, and this makes me easily believe that you are fit to be a daughter of our Lady, by entering this her sacred Order. May God give you grace so to advance in your holy desires and good works, that I may have no cause to complain of Father Juan de Leon (for I am quite satisfied with the account he has given me of you): I am also so consoled by the hope of seeing you one day become a great saint, that I am perfectly content with you, without making any other inquiries.

May our Lord reward you for the alms which you have resolved to bring to the convent, for it is very considerable. The circumstance ought to give you great comfort, because you thus follow the counsel of our Lord, of giving to the poor, for His sake, both yourself and all that belongs to you. It is true that, considering the favours which you have received from His Majesty, it seems you cannot discharge the obligations you owe him without acting as you do; and since you do all that lies in your power, I assure you, you do a great deal, and on this account you will not fail to receive abundant blessings.

As you have read our rules and constitutions, I have nothing more to say but this, viz., that if you continue in your resolution, you may enter any of our Houses which you like best: for the least favour which I can do for my Father Juan de Leon, is to let you have your choice. It is true, I should like you to take the habit where I am, because I have a great desire to know you. May our Lord order everything as He sees best, for His honour and glory.

Your unworthy Servant,


 Posted by