Like Avila, Loyola or Lisieux, Ágreda is a geographical point, famous all over the world due to a person with an extraordinary destiny that made it immortal. That exceptional figure is the Venerable Sister Mary of Jesus known, precisely in Agreda, by her birthplace as Mary of Agreda or simply Mother Agreda.
She was born in Ágreda on April 2, 1602, in Agustinas street. Her parents were Francisco Coronel and Catalina Arana. They conceived 11 children, but only fourth of them were alive: Francis, Joseph, Mary and Geronima.
Different origins are mixed in her family tree. Her mother, Mrs. Catalina of Arana was of Basque descent, with nobility documents that are preserved so far in the convent of the Immaculate Conception archives in Agreda, she came from a town called Izurza, in Vizcaya. Her father, Mr. Francisco Coronel was from Agreda.
Mary of Jesus brothers, Francis and Joseph, both of them were Franciscan monks. Her sister, Geronima, like herself, entered in the convent of the Immaculate Conception in Agreda.
Gifted with exceptional virtues, in her childhood she showed herself more like a timid woman and full of complexes that nobody knew how to explain. The mystery of all that was that very early God started to work on her with interior illumination phenomena that revealed her nothingness, the vanity of all the created things and the sin that reigned in the world. She did learn to read in a little while. Because of this she got her parents and brothers respect.
At the age of 4 years old, she was confirmed by the famous bishop Yepes, who was the biographer of Saint Teresa de Avila. When she was 6 years old she got the First Holy Communion and when she was 8 years old she took secretly the chastity vow.
When she was 12 years old, she already had liking to religious life; she intended to enter in the Discalced Carmelite from Tarazona. However, her own was the Franciscan Conceptionists, maybe influenced by the Franciscans of the St. Julian convent, located outside of the town . When she was 13 years old her two brothers entered Franciscans.