The Life And Times Of Mystic, Wife & Mother Blessed Anna Maria Taigi. 

The Life And Times Of Mystic, Wife & Mother Blessed Anna Maria Taigi. 


​Early life

Blessed Anna Maria Taigi was born into a poor, working class family of Luigi Giannetti and Maria Masi on May 29, 1769 in Siena, Italy. Anna was of Italian and Tuscan blood. She was Baptised Anna Maria Antonia Gesualda on the day after her birth. After the collapse of her fathers business, when she was 6 years old she moved with her parents to Rome, where she remained the rest of her life. In Rome, Anna Maria (she was nicknamed “Annette”) attended the   parochial school of the Filippini Sisters the “good Mistresses” (as they were called), for 2 years. During her school years, she worked as a household maid and several other non-skilled occupations in an effort to help with the family finances.

Throughout her childhood and teenage years, she seemed to be of average piety and spirituality. At age 20, on January 7, 1790, she married Domenico Taigi, who was a poor porter or “servant” of the chef for Prince Chigi. Domenico’s morals and piety were very good, but he had a terrible temper. Or, as the decree for Anna’s Beatification puts it “his [Domenico] manners were rough and uncultured and his temperament undesirable.” His brusque and turbulent manner and quick temper caused Anna much suffering, but it also caused her to exercise her virtue of patience, meekness, humility and forgiveness. She learned that a smile and silence often appeased his wrath. He never was physically abusive to her, but he certainly was a tyrant at times. Nevertheless, he loved her deeply, as one can easily detect the frank and sincere testimonies that he gave during the official process of her Beatification. As the years progressed, Anna bore seven children, three of whom died in childhood. The remaining two boys and two girls grew to maturity with her ever attentive concern for both their religious and moral upbringing, along with their secular education.
God’s Call
One source describes Anna’s deep conversation describing her life as a young wife “Chaste in morals, attached to her wifely duties, Anna-Maria yet lived more for the world than for God.” However, an increasing sense of spiritual disturbance began to mingle with Anna’s frivolities and worldliness. One day she went to the Basilica of St. Peter’s. There was a great throng. She was leaning on the arm of her husband, all radiant and decked with her prettiest necklaces. They were in the piazza, surrounded by Bernini’s colonnade. The jostling of the crowd threw her against one Father Angelo, a Servite. He had never seen the young woman before, but he heard an interior voice say: “Notice that woman, for I will one day confide her to your care and you will work for her transformation. She shall sanctify herself, for I have chosen her to become a saint. “Eventually Anna Maria made up her mind to leave her worldliness aside and to make a good confession, so she went to a neighboring church, thereby con­fessing the solution to her unsettled consciousness. She chose a confessional surrounded by numerous penitents, but on entering it in her turn tears overcame her, and she cries: “Father, you have at your feet a great sinner.” The priest wondered for a moment who the unknown might be, and then said brusquely: “Go away; you are not one of my penitent.” However, he consented to hear a hasty recital. Yet discovering nothing to justify her passionate outburst, he gave her absolution and curtly slammed back the slide, leaving the unfortunate woman more troubled than ever. There followed a period of discouragement. In a soul of poorer caliber the matter might have had a tragic ending; in truth it had an ending as fortunate as that of St. Teresa of Avila, so misunderstood and mishandled by one confessor after another. After having savored this humiliation, Anna returned to pray in the church of St. Marcellus, where she had been married. Entering one of the confessionals in trepidation, she found herself in the presence of the curate, a religious of the Servite Order, Father Angelo Verandi. It was he who in the piazza in front of St. Peter‘s had heard the Lords voice say to him: “Take notice of that woman …. I am calling her to sanctity.” Now, our Lord enabled him to recognise her: “So you have come at last my daughter,” he said. “Our Lord loves you and wants you to be wholly His” and he told her of the message he had received before at St. Peter’s. Anna had spent three years in vain worldly trifling, and now a new life was to begin. Concerning Anna’s spiritual direction, Father Angelo needed it to undertake a task so infinitely delicate. For Anna Taigi was neither a Carmelite Nun nor a devout widow, but the young wife of Domenico, by whom she was to have seven children in a dozen years. There lay her essential duty. Everything else: penances, prayers, miracles, ecstasies, could play their part only in so far as the obligations of her state would allow. Consequently it was no good for Father Angelo just to re-read St. Teresa; he had to have, together with mystical learning, a robust common sense and a profound humility to guide this young mother and wife.
The first demand of the Master was purification: to that end God immediately gave Anna a keen conscience of her own weaknesses and misery. St. Catherine of Genoa describes these terrible enlightenments given by God concerning our sins by saying: “He finds fault with everything.” This spirit of penance, so far as the Beata was concerned, dated from the moment of her confession at St. Marcellus, and was never to leave her. Upon returning home, she prostrated herself before the new little altar that she had made in her room, gave herself a pitiless scourging and beat her head severely many times on the floor till the blood came. Father Angelo soon had to check this thirst for penance and austerities and to remind her she was a wife and mother and that such extraordinary penances were not her duty—her duty must lie in the holy fulfillment of her state in life. The ever-present difficulty was that her husband Domenico was no St. Joseph. The first of Anna’s miracles was to get him to consent to forgo all those luxuries in which he led the way and sought her participation. Wonderful to say, he surprisingly became resigned to the holy will of his wife.” About a year after our marriage,” he says in his official deposition, “the Servant of God, while yet in the flower of her youth, gave up for the love of God, all the jewelry she used to wear–rings, ear-rings, necklaces, and so on, and took to wearing the plainest possible clothing. She asked my permission for this, and I gave it to her with all my heart, for I saw she was entirely given to the love of God. This miracle of grace moves one more than the cure of incurables, of which we are yet to recount. “I have chosen her …. I call her to sanctity.” -Such was the message of our Lord as heard by Father Angelo. God had decreed that this woman of twenty-one years, who was suckling a new-born baby, was to be a Saint and a great help for the Church. 
Anna begins to hear an inner Voice 
Our Lord pointed out the first step in her ascent to Him – The enormous value of simplicity and charity towards others Not long after her fervent coming to God –  
“Remember that you must be prudent in everything. The devil, My daughter, is a spirit of contradiction. He who is under the devil’s influence cannot rest either day or night. My Spirit, on the other hand, is a Spirit of love and peace, full of condescension for everything that is not sin. Who possesses My peace, possesses all things: Many souls do severe penance in order to reach this great good. None can reach the peace of my elect unless strives to become as simple as a child and to acquire from the start true charity. Who possesses charity, My daughter, possesses patience. Charity works with zeal and love. It speaks evil of no one, for it fears to lose the precious pearl of My friendship. It understands all, sees all notices all, but it covers all with Its mantle. It excuses the faults of its neighbors, and sympathizes with his sorrows and says to itself:”
‘Truly, I would be even worse, if You did not come to rescue me.’ “You must know,” said Jesus to her, 
“that when I speak to you I produce in you tenderness, peace, compunction for your sins and above all, humility. Know well, my daughter, that no matter how much he desires to love me, if a man enter not the straight path of humility he will keep on stumbling. Man has within himself a dust that settles round his heart; it is called self-love ….Man is full of pride, and I have nothing to do with the proud. Only the humble find favor in My sight. He who wishes to taste My delights must despise the world, and expect to be despised by it in turn. I make My abode in humble souls that are full of simplicity. The more lowly and uncultured they are, the more I take pleasure in them. As to these wise and learned professors whose heads are full of the fumes of pride, I put them down from their seats, and you yourself shall soon learn where I send them. Thus ends their false wisdom and self-advertisement. Oh My daughter, I exalt those who humble themselves. They merit My Kingdom, and to these I unfold all My secrets. Love then to meet with contempt, for love of contempt is a true foundation of virtue.”
The Blessed Virgin Mary was also her guide and helped prepare her for the mission that God had called her to: 
“Know well, My dear daughter, that here below you will have for every one. Good day a hundred bad ones, because you must be like My Son Jesus. You must be devoted above all to doing His will and submitting your own constantly to His in the state of life to which it has pleased Him to call you; there ­in lies your special vocation. Later on, when people come to examine your conduct closely, every individual must be able to convince himself that it is possible to serve God in all states and conditions of life without the performance of great exterior penances, provided only one fights vigorously against one’s passions and conforms oneself in all things to the holy will of God. Remember it is far more meritorious to renounce one’s own will and submit oneself entirely to the will of God than to perform the greatest bodily mortifications.”

~To be Continued

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