Joanna de Angelis
Joanna de Angelis is not a newcomer to cultural activities. While there is no record of important writings by her during her previous reincarnation as a Brazilian nun, she built herself a solid reputation as an authoress at the time she lived in the 17th century, also as a nun.
She was then known as Juana Ines de la Cruz, bom Irtes de Asbaje in 1648, in San Miguel Nepantla, a small Mexican 'pueblo'. At seventeen, living at the court of the Marquis of Mancera, the Viceroy in Mexico City, she decided to become a nun and to retire to monastic life. She died thirty years later, on April 17, 1695.
Most of her writing is poetry, which she used with great talent to convey many shades of thought, from delicate lyric verses, to substantial philosophical and religious essays, fiction and theater. You can see her beautiful face on a recent bill of 1,000 Mexican pesos, a well deserved historical tribute to a brilliant woman of her time.
On December 11, 1761 she was reborn in Brazil. Again she was baptized as Joanna and again she opted for the religious life as a nun, under the name of Joanna Angelica de Jesus. (Her signature shows the word Jesus always in capitals). She died on February 20, 1822. Brazilians were at the time fighting for the independence of their country from Portugal. When soldiers attempted to invade her convent in Salvador --- she was the Abbess --- Soror Joanna Angelica barred the entrance with her frail body. She was killed on the spot, by a soldier's bayonet.
By the middle of this century, Divaldo P. Franco began to notice Joanna's presence, now a spirit, guiding, instructing and consoling him at difficult moments, but also admonishing him whenever she felt it necessary, like a loving responsible mother would do. Soon she began to write with his hand the first messages that would in time spread throughout Brazil in leaflets, magazines, newspapers and books, originally in Portuguese and later translated into other languages for circulation abroad.
Written by Hermin io Miranda at the foreword of the book After the Storm by Joanna de Angelis (spirit) and Divaldo P. Franco (medium).