Today is the feast day/memorial of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi. Ora pro nobis.
Anna Maria Gianetti was born in Siena, Italy. Her parents, Luigi Giannetti and Maria Masi, kept an apothecary shop at Siena, but lost all their fortune and were obliged to go to Rome in search of a livelihood.
She joined her father in Rome when a reversal of fortune obliged him to go and settle there. The little girl went to school only two years, and she scarcely learned how to read. Her parents poured all their bitterness upon their daughter, but the angelic little child redoubled in meekness towards them.
Anna Maria soon began working to help her parents. She grew up a pious, hard-working, coquettish lass who enjoyed dressing herself up. Domenico Taigi, an honest but rough man, quick to anger, who was working as a day laborer in the Chigi Palace, offered to marry her, and Anna Maria accepted his proposal.
Having been educated in all the domestic virtues, she was married in course of time, 7 January, 1789, with whom she lived happily for forty-eight years. Hitherto nothing extraordinary had happened in her life. But one day while she knelt with her husband at the Confessio in St. Peter’s she felt a strong inspiration to renounce such little vanities of the world as she had allowed herself. She began to pay little attention to dress and to listen to the inner voice of grace. Soon afterwards she was received publicly in the Third Order of Trinitarians in the Church of S. Carlo alle Quarto Fontane, and having found holy spiritual directors, she made rapid progress in the way of perfection. All the money she could spare she devoted to the poor and miserable, and though not rich she was very charitable.
The whole family were wont to assemble for prayers in a small private chapel, and here, later on, in a small private chapel, and here, later on, Mass was celebrated by a priest who dwelt with the family. The great virtues of Anna Maria were rewarded by extraordinary gifts of God’s grace. During many years, when praying in her chapel she had ecstasies and frequent visions, in which she foresaw the future. She exercised a peculiar influence over individuals and converted many a sinner to God. During her life she suffered much both corporally and spiritually, and was at times meanly calumniated.
Blessed Anna died peacefully in her home, and the Church declared her “Blessed” in testament to her extraordinary approach to life. Her relics have been translated many times from place to place, each time found to be completely incorrupt. They now are venerated in the Chapel of the Madonna in the Basilica of San Crisogono in Rome, Italy.
Pope Benedict XV beatified Anna Maria Taigi on May 30, 1920.
Image: Particular de un vitral en la Iglesia de Santo Tomás in Formis de Roma. (5)