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Taigi, Anna Maria, Bl.


Trinitarian tertiary and mystic; b. Siena, May 29, 1769; d. Rome, June 9, 1837. She was the daughter of a spendthrift apothecary, Giannetti, who went to Rome when she was six years old and later sent her to work as a maid in the house of a woman of doubtful morals. In 1790 she married Domenico Taigi, a man much older than herself, who was a valet at the Palazzo Chigi and encouraged her love of pretty clothes and amusements. We are told that one day a Servite priest who met her in the street heard an interior voice informing him that she would be entrusted to his direction and become a saint and that this prophecy was fulfilled when, after the birth of her first child, she went to the same priest for confession. From that time, she was favored with many extraordinary graces. The Blessed Virgin told her that it was her special vocation to show that holiness could be attained in every walk of life.

Added to her many penances undertaken voluntarily for the conversion of sinners and the needs of the church was the patient endurance of much affliction, including aridity and darkness of spirit. She served her hottempered husband as if he were Christ; she bore with her foolish mother, whom she nursed through a repulsive illness; and she brought up her own three boys and four girls in an overcrowded house, keeping the peace in a large family of very different temperaments. Despite these seemingly uncongenial surroundings, she was frequently in ecstasy and had prophetic gifts; she saw in front of her a "mystic sun," a luminous globe surrounded by a crown of thorns in which she read the future and saw distant events, but she used this extraordinary gift only when charity demanded it. She was frequently consulted by Leo XII and Gregory XVI as well as by Napoleon's mother and his uncle, Cardinal Fesch. During the process of her beatification, her own husband and a daughter-in-law gave evidence of her outstanding virtue. She was beatified May 30, 1920.

Feast: June 9.

Bibliography: a. bessiÈres, La Bienheureuse Anna-Maria Taïigi, mère de famille 17691837 (Paris 1937); Wife, Mother, and Mystic, tr. s. rigby (Westminster MD 1952) c. salotti, La beata Anna Maria Taigi, secondo la storia e la critica (Rome 1922).

[h. graef]

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