A brief note about the life of Catalina de Erauso, the “lieutenant nun.”. Lieutenant Nun: Memoir of a Basque Transvestite in the New World is Catalina de Erauso’s memoir about her experiences during the early s in Spain and. Lieutenant Nun is an autobiography that was written by Catalina de Erauso list of the characters in Lieutenant Nun and in-depth analyses of and Catalina.

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During his confession and final Mass, he spat the communion into his hand and then appealed for sanctuary. Ferrer published the autobiography in Paris in At the same time, however, her life as a man seems also to correspond to other needs and desires as well. In she settled in the New Spainprobably in the city of Orizaba in the state of Veracruz, where she established a business as a mule skinner between Mexico City and Veracruz.

Catalina de Erauso, the Lieutenant Nun – HeadStuff

Perhaps in order to escape from this pursuit, Catalina decided to come clean with the churchman. In Madrid, now probably 33 years old, Erauso gained an audience with King Philip IV, who was so impressed by her adventures that in August she was awarded a lifelong military pension in honor of her services.

On the front lines in Chile, De Erauso reached the rank of lieutenant and became famed for her sword-fighting skills, however she fell into disfavour for killing an enemy leader who her superiors wanted captured alive.

Take the next step To the priest, Erauso declared that she had cayalina felt “a special inclination to take up arms in defense of the Catholic faith, and to be employed in his majesty’s service.

An Early Modern Autobiography. In another story, after threatening the mayor of a small town in a card game, she fled to La Paz, where she challenged a local official and reportedly killed him in a duel.

It is also worth noting dr many details of the life of Catalina de Erauso mirror the picaresque tradition so important in Spanish literature. Other times I went there without him. Of course in the deeply conservative Spanish society of the time, such a thing was unthinkable.


Catalina de Erauso, c. Catalina fell in love with the girl she was transporting, and almost challenged the prospective husband catallna a duel, but she was convinced not to do so Once she arrived she used her pension to set up a business as a mule driver, transporting cargo between Veracruz and Mexico City.

Catalina de Erauso

Back in Concepcion his boredom and residual battle trauma led him to drink and gamble to excess, and on one of these debauchs he got into a fight and almost killed a man in a brawl. In English, the memoir is available through the Early Americas Digital Archive ; the translation, by Dan Harvey Pedrick, can be accessed by clicking here.

I cut off my hair and threw it away. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. The stories of the nun-ensign fit both aspects of the literary tradition.

Her father asked for information to find her, describing her physical appearance and the way she escaped from the convent. Here as elsewhere, she was a solitary soul, as well as a fierce patriot and soldier, and during this period she was seemingly quite happy.

This article has multiple issues. He gave his last confession catqlina a local priest, telling the entire story of his life from San Sebastien to Cuczo.

As the soldier “Francisco,” Erauso traveled the length of South America, gaining a reputation both for fe and skill in battle. This frustration led to a period devoted to vandalizing, killing as many people as she met on the road, causing extensive damage and burning entire crops.

Her autobiography claims that this was due to an exemption granted by the Pope himself after she was presented to him and told him her story. Ciaran lives in Belfast, where he programs professionally and writes compulsively. Her confession probably saved her life. Although there is no solid evidence to support it, some postulate that Bishop Juan de Palafox tried to move her remains to the city of Puebla, home to the bishopric, but failed.


She worked in the Peruvian town of Trujillo in a store, but had to leave after injuring a relative of her employer in a duel. He was married to her mother’s cousin.

Meet Catalina De Erauso, The Cross-Dressing Warrior Nun Of 17th-Century Spain

Her autobiography says that she was born inbut records of her baptism give a date of But he lived her own life as his own true self, and never compromised on that identity. In what Catalina assumed was a deathbed confession, Catalina revealed her gender for the first time. From this point on, all trace of Catalina de Erauso vanished from official Spanish records.

In the port of Manta now Ecuadora strong wind destroyed the ship and she had to swim to save herself cayalina her master. Back to top of page Back to Top. The manuscript resurfaced in in the official state chronicles of the Spanish Indies, and in it came to the attention of the historian and politician Joaquin Maria de Ferrer. Disguised as a man, Catalina de Erauso, the legendary “nun-ensign,” knifed rivals, killed soldiers, and swashbuckled her way towards acceptance and even popularity in the intolerant Spanish society of the s.

Other scholars, such as Matthew Goldmark, also argue for Erauso’s sexual orientation and identity. It was the land of opportunity, and it was the perfect place for Catalina to make his mark.

Retrieved 11 July Because of her explosive character and the difficulty the nuns eraiso to control her, she was transferred to the Convent of San Bartolome de San Sebastian until she was 15, where the rules were much stricter.