institutions remained important spiritual centres in Lima for the remainder of the colonial period.
The beaterío of JesUs y María y Jose illustrates the spirituality involved in its creation, as well as the breadth of its acceptance by non-Hispanics. In 1672 María Jacinta and Nicolas gathered seven unmarried women in a residence where they lived according to the ascetic models of Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint Ignatius, while working as volunteer nurses in the Hospital of La Caridad and performing other charity. Their reputation for sanctity grew and in 1685, as a result of patronage from the viceroy, the Archbishop of Lima raised the house to the status of an officially approved cloistered beaterío. Alms from wealthy residents of Lima allowed Maria Jacinta and Nicolas to construct a new building for their cloister.
Their model for cloistered life in the beateríos was similar to that pursued by nuns in the regular convents, but it also differed in significant ways. First, beateríos were subject to direct episcopal authority and established with little endowment. The bishop assigned priests to supervise them closely. Moreover, these institutions supported themselves with alms or fees for workperformed, and both their poverty and their rules prevented them from taking in servants. The members performed all labour for themselves and gave little attention to the contemplative life or to the liturgy (one of the rationale for having servants in the regular convents). This lack of servants made them particularly unattractive to the elites. Although many beateríos acquired endowments over time, and although some were even raised to the status of convents, most remained obscure, important primarily to the local communities in which they served.
A number of indications suggest a resurgence of piety and religious zeal in the course of the eighteenth century. Despite the rhetoric of the Bourbon administrators and their general disdain for conventual life, local elites supported the foundation of a number of new convents in their communities. In Mexico, numerous houses of Capuchins, Poor Clares, and Discalced Carmelites were established. These foundations suggest that personal asceticism and the most rigorous form of cloistered life were considered important to provincial communities, whatever the views of the Enlightened elites. There was also support for new female establishments with different objectives, including the Institute de la Enseñanza founded in Mexico in 1752. Its purpose was to establish schools to provide rigorous academic training for women and it continued to expand until the end of the colonial period.
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