The Story of the Nun Ensign is an autobiography of Catalina de Erauso, who lived a fascinating and adventurous life in the Spanish colonial era.
The Ensign Nun was a really exciting character and worthy of an epic novel. Born in 1592 in San Sebastian, Spain, her life was full of surprising twists and daring adventures that led her to defy the norms of her time and become a legendary figure.
From a very young age, Catherine showed a restless and rebellious personality, which led her to escape from the convent where she was educated to become a nun.
The Ensign Nun in America
Disguised as a man and adopting the name Alonso Díaz Ramírez de Guzmán, she began a journey through unknown lands.
Her journey took her to South and Central America, where she participated in different military conflicts and acquired skills in fighting and handling weapons.
Despite living in a time when women had a socially limited role, Catherine excelled and rose through the ranks of ensign, which was an impressive feat for a woman.
Duels and challenges
Throughout her experiences, Catherine faced dangers, duels and challenges, demonstrating unparalleled bravery and determination. Her life was a constant struggle to survive in a hostile world, but it was also a search for freedom and authenticity, claiming her identity and challenging expectations of gender and society.
Catalina was arrested in Peru and sentenced to death after another of her usual brawls. Then it was known that she was a virgin and the bishop of the region forgave her.
On her return to Spain she was received by King Philip IV, who respected her military rank and authorized her to use a male name.
The nun ensign: between habits and swords
The Pope also allowed him to dress as a man. After these adventures he returned to America, this time to Mexico, opened a business and lived as a man until his death.
There are numerous versions of this autobiography including those of Juan Pérez de Montalbán and Juan Antonio Mateos, both published in Linkgua. The history of the ensign nun is a reference text in feminist studies and on the historical condition of women.
The ensign nun became a legend in her time and her story has endured over the centuries. Her life has been the subject of various literary, theatrical and cinematographic works that portray her indomitable spirit and her struggle to be free and to be herself.