Normally, ghost stories are scary.  People legitimately fear them. Ghost stories make for great Halloween lore.  The story of San Angelo's Lady in Blue is a different kind of ghost story.

This is a "holy" ghost story.

This miraculous ghost story takes place in San Angelo, long before white settlers arrived in the area. Jumano Indians reported more than 500 visions of "The Lady In Blue" from 1620 until 1631. There are many native artworks produced during that time that endured on rocks in the area that depict the Lady in Blue.

One of the pictographs, including one at Paint Rock east of San Angelo, depict the blue clad nun. Likewise, Maria sewed tapestries in her convent that reflect West Texas scenes including Live Oak trees, concho pearls and bluebonnets.

There are stories of Jumanos walking to Isleta, New Mexico in the mid 1620's to locate priests that Maria had promised to be there.

When the first Franciscan missionaries arrived in the area, they were fascinated when groups of Jumanos came up to them carrying crosses asking for baptism and additional religious instruction, claiming that a woman had come to them preaching the gospel in their own language.

Photo: City of San Angelo
Photo: City of San Angelo
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The Vatican spent a lot of time and effort trying to solve the mystery of who WAS the Lady in Blue.  Eventually, they came to the conclusion that she was a humble Franciscan nun who lived in Spain. Maria Agreda resided in a Franciscan convent in the province of Soria. She never set food outside her convent.

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Yet. the nun had visions of how she was transported to another land and could describe the new world where the Jumano Indians lived. The Vatican says she had the gift of "bilocation" with God using her as the Lady in Blue to bring the message of his love, compassion and hope to the Jumanos.

It is certainly a divine mystery.

Today, there is a statue and other commemorative items on the Concho depicting where the first Mass was celebrated with missionaries and the Jumano. The story of the Lady In Blue has also been told in a popular documentary "The Needle and the Thread". There is hope that eventually the Lady in Blue will be made a saint in the church.

This story is proof that not all ghost stories should inspire fear.  This one inspires hope, faith and miracles. Perhaps in times of crisis, it is nice to know that the essence of the Lady in Blue remains nearby.

 

 

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