Baltasar and Blimunda

Who is Sebastiana Maria de Jesus from Baltasar and Blimunda and what is their importance?

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Sebastiana Maria de Jesus is Blimunda's mother, a visionary and a heretic who plays a role primarily at the beginning of the novel but also occasionally throughout as one of other character's reflect upon her.
Sebastiana is burned at an auto-da-fe by the Holy Inquisition for being a prophetess, (but also we suspect merely for being Jewish), who preaches a mystical unity with God (a view that the Padre later adopts before he flees Portugal). Sebastiana's last words to her daughter were to ask the man next to her his name, who turns out to Baltasar and thus sets into motion the love affair and all of the events of the book that follow.