Birthday of Juana Inés de la Cruz in Mexico Date in the current year: November 12, 2024

Birthday of Juana Inés de la Cruz in Mexico The birthday of Juana Inés de la Cruz is an unofficial observance celebrated by some people in Mexico. It honors a Hieronymite nun of New Spain who made a name for herself as a self-taught scholar, philosopher, composer, and poet.

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was born Juana Inés de Asbaje y Ramírez de Santillana on November 12, 1648. She was the illegitimate child of Pedro Manuel de Asbaje, a Spanish Captain, and Isabel Ramírez, a Criolla woman. Because of her illegitimacy, the baptismal rolls described her as “daughter of the Church”.

Juana grew up in her maternal grandfather’s hacienda (estate), which had an extensive library. Reading her grandfather’s books, she learned basic Latin at the age of three, could do accounts by the age of five, and had learned Nahuatl (the Aztec language) by adolescence.

When Juana’s mother forbade her to enter the university disguised as a male student, she continued her studies privately. Ultimately she decided to became a nun so that nothing would curtail her freedom to study. She originally entered a community of the Discalced Carmelite nuns, but the rules were too strict there. In 1669, Juana entered the monastery of the Hieronymite nuns.

Sor Juana’s legacy includes poems, plays (both dramas and comedies) and Baroque music, as well as essays on religion and philosophy. She wasn’t afraid to deal with topics such as feminism and to criticize misogyny and male hypocrisy. Because of her outspoken opinion, Sor Juana was referred to as “The Tenth Muse”, “The Phoenix of America”, and the “Mexican Phoenix”.

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