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Ven. Anna Maria Gesualda Antonia Taigi
(Maiden name Giannetti.)
Venerable Servant of God, born at Siena, Italy, 29 May, 1769; died at Rome, 9 June, 1837. 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. Anna Maria was then five years old. Having been educated in all the domestic virtues, she was married in course of time, 7 January, 1789, to Dominico Taigi, a retainer of the noble family of Chigi, 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. Of the hospitals she regularly visited, the preferred one was S. Giacomo of the Incurables. Despite her love for the poor, she never neglected her own family. Of her children two died young, the others grew up in piety under the surveillance of the mother. But she never availed herself of her connections with persons of good position to take her children out of their humble social environment. 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. But after death her name soon became venerated in Rome. Her body was several times transferred, and rests finally at S. Crisogono in Trastevere. The process of her beatification was begun in 1863, but has not yet been finished.
G. LIVARIUS OLIGER