Here is the life of a great Mystic who was given many gifts by our Lord including prophecy (including the end-times), healing, the reading of hearts, and among other gifts the most remarkable was that for a space of forty-seven years she saw a kind of small sun before her, in whose light she saw many things, things from all over the world, past events, future events, and the scrutinising of secrets in hearts and the reading of minds.
The main source for this article is the book “Wife, Mother and Mystic” by Albert Bessieres, S.J., translated from the French by Rev Stephen Rigby, Tan Books, 1970,
The Call of God- Her deep conversion
Describing her life as a young wife [and a mother of 7 children], one source states “”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, she went to pray in the church of St. Marcellus, where she had been married. Entering one of the confessionals, 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 Lord’s 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’s, and now a new life was to begin.
This spirit of penance began 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 fulfilment 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 jewellery 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.”
Anna begins to hear an inner Voice
Not long after her fervent coming to God, our Lord pointed out the first step in her ascent to Him- The enormous value of simplicity and charity towards others:
“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…
The Blessed Virgin Mary also became her guide and helped her to prepare 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; therein 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 mortification.”
Jesus told Anna Maria that by being a simple wife and mother she was to be a sign that holiness and union with God is available to everyone. He further stated “Jesus described her mission: “I destine you to convert sinners, to console people of all sorts and conditions-priests, prelates, My very Vicar himself. All who listen to your words will be granted signs and graces at My hands …. But you will also meet with false and treacherous people; you will be submitted to ridicule, scorn and calumny, but you will endure it all for love of Me.”
Anna Maria is given the extraordinary miracle of a mystic globe-sun
The Decree of the Beatification thus refers to it:
“Among other gifts the most remarkable was that for a space of forty-seven years she saw a kind of sun in whose light she descried things at hand and things afar off foresaw future events, scrutinised the secrets of hearts and the most hidden and most inward impulses.” Suddenly, then, in her humble home, Anna saw a little above her head, as it were a blazing sun crowned by a circle of thorns; two long thorns clasped it round; in the centre was the Eternal Wisdom (presumably), represented by a young woman seated in contemplation. Films of cloud dimmed the dazzling light, but an interior voice told her that the clouds would disappear according to the increasing measure of her purification. In this light she was to see, until her death, not only everything that might conduce her to perfection, but also everything that could help win others for God and allow her to help the Church militant or suffering.
Cardinal Pedicini, who knew Anna Maria for over 30 years, and whose position in the great Roman congregations shows a man little given to credulity or wild assertions speaks at great length in his judicial depositions concerning this prodigious gift:
“For forty-seven years, day and night, at home, at church, in the. street, she saw in this sun, which became increasingly brilliant, all things on this earth both physical and moral; she penetrated to the depths and rose up to heaven, where she saw the eternal lot of the dead. She saw the most secret thoughts of persons nearby or far off; events and personages of bygone days… She had only to think of a thing and it presented itself in a clear and, complete manner …. A mere glance at this mystic sun and she entered at will into the most secret council-rooms of kings.
She saw the people who handled affairs, the places concerned, the opinions that each one held, the sincerity or guile of the ministers; all the back-door diplomacy of our era, and also the decrees of God for the confusion of these mighty ones. She saw the plotting and the dark gatherings of various sects; the members of these societies, their ranks, their ceremonies–all in the minutest detail and in all parts of the world–all as if it were happening in her room… We may say that this gift was one of omniscience for it was the knowing of all things in God so far as the intelligence is capable of such knowledge in this life…. She saw distant sea ships being wrecked and heard the cries of the shipwrecked; she penetrated into the prisons of China and Arabia … where confessors of the faith, slaves and prisoners languished in agony …. In this way did she exercise an unbounded apostalate, won souls to grace in every part of the globe, and prepared the way for missionaries; the entire world was the theatre of her labours …. Nor let anyone think I am exaggerating, for, on the contrary, I find myself incapable of describing the wonders of which I was for thirty years the witness.”
The Cardinal added that if obedience compelled the holy woman to hide nothing from him, she took extreme pains to remain hidden herself from people whom she benefited by means of the lights God gave her. Above all, she was most anxious to receive no gifts from them. Princes of the Church, kings, queens, Popes and saints came to ask this humble woman to teach and enlighten them to the secrets of heaven. She enlightened them to the extent demanded by obedience, putting far from her all spirit of curiosity, not even asking an explanation of those things she failed to understand.
Her ecstasies and her love and devotion to the Holy Eucharist
Along with receiving the extraordinary ongoing vision of the sun, Anna Maria began to be drawn into ecstasies along with hearing the inner Voice. Most often, she was often drawn into ecstasy while receiving Holy Communion, but also even during the most humble tasks of washing clothes or even while eating. Her husband and children did not understand what was happening to her once when Anna fell into ecstasy at the table and came back to her senses he grumbled at her saying: “How can you doze at table? You are stupefied with sleep. You must go to bed earlier.” After the death of his wife he suspected the true nature of things: “I do really believe that my wife was favoured with heavenly gifts. As to ecstasies, I could never discern any. I remember, however, that at night-time, as we said the Rosary, there were times when she did not answer. At table, also, it often happened that she was absent-minded, sometimes with a fork in her hand, sometimes without movement. I spoke to her and she took up again what she had left off, giving me a smile.”
When she thus went to sleep with her eyes towards heaven, her daughter Mariuccia once said tearfully: “Mamma is dead. Mamma is dead.” “No! she is praying.” Sophie would say by way of correction. “Be quiet, she’s asleep,” Domenico would growl. “Let her alone; she had no sleep last night.”
While reciting the daily family Rosary, ecstasy was quite common and at this Domenico was still more shocked. “It is shameful to go to sleep like that during prayers, when one has the whole night for sleeping” (Statement taken during the Process and Summary).
“When I used to go to see her in the morning,” says Cardinal Pedicini, “I often found her in ecstasy, and was obliged to wait patiently till she came to herself. Ecstasy would again seize her in the middle of our conversation. I would wait again. Only obedience had power to call her to herself.”
Her extraordinary Charity
One day in winter, when she came out of the Pieta church with Mgr. Natali, she met in the street a young man who was almost naked; his eyes were haggard; he was crying with cold and hunger, a veritable spectre covered with filth, from whom the passers-by drew aside as from one smitten with the plague. Anna ran to him, took him by the hand, led him to her home, warmed him, washed him dressed him, restored and consoled him, gave him alms, and sent him away with a thousand expressions of regard, so that he wept and could find no word to answer.
Another day she had reached the church of Our Lady of Consolation when. she came upon a poor woman stretched on the road, foaming at the mouth, in a fit of epilepsy. The passers-by shunned her with averted heads. Anna drew near, wiped away the slaver, lifted her up and went to a neighbouring shop to buy her a cordial. Charity is contagious. The crowd stopped, a voluntary collection was organised and given to the poor woman. Once she had restored her, Anna effaced herself and went to the church. There an ecstasy awaited her. Like St. Martin of old, who had just shared his cloak with a poor man of Amiens, she heard Our Saviour say to her: “Thank thee, my daughter, for the care you have given to Me.”
At the hospital of St. John, for Incurables, in the St. James quarter, there were similar incidents. Sophie [her daughter] who accompanied her, saw her mother going from bed to bed, distributing sweetmeats and helping the sick to bring up phlegm. The patient she singled out was a woman whose face was eaten away by a cancer. Her head had been covered by a veil. The moment she heard Annette a murmur of joy came from behind her mask. Anna went to her, caressed her, washed her, and, while rocking her like a baby, spoke to her of heaven.
“At this hospital of St. James” (it is still Sophie referring to the same case) “there was a woman called Santa whose husband had given her a contagious disease that ravaged her face. For that reason her head was covered in a hood. I think, too, she was no longer able to see. Whenever she heard Mamma’s voice, she used to cry: ‘Here is my angel’. My mother would remain a long time with her. I would call and press her to come away, for the stench was very bad. But she would answer: ‘But smell the fragrance of her soul: she will go straight from bed to paradise.’ ”
Anna Maria given the grace to obtain cures
The grace of healing was bestowed upon this humble woman, as it was formerly upon the Apostles in an official manner. Soon after her conversion, when she was gravely ill in her humble home, she was preparing herself for death when our Saviour appeared to her, dressed in a great blue cloak; He took her by the left hand and told her He took her for His spouse and granted to that hand the gift of curing the sick. Then he said:
“You may get up. You are cured.” She cried out aloud and got up.
[After this she performed many cures through the power of God]
Anna Maria Taigi died 4:00am on the morning of June 9, 1837, after having received Viaticum and the Sacrament of the sick given by the local Curate (Parish Priest). Our Lord had promised Anna that the cholera would spare Rome until her death. She had scarcely breathed her last when the scourge broke out amidst scenes of indescribable panic. Her death at first passed unnoticed, but piety recovered quickly and the body was left exposed for two days for the veneration of the faithful in the church of Santa Maria, in Via Lata. On the Sunday evening a devout cortege conducted it to the new cemetery, in the Campo Verano, where, conformably to the instructions of Gregory XVI, it was enclosed in a leaden sepulchre, with seals affixed, near the chapel. Mgr. Natali had caused a mask of the face to be taken before the body was placed in the coffin.
After a few days, in spite of the cholera, the procession of pilgrims began. The fame of her sanctity increased day by day.
On May 30, 1920, Pope Benedict XV ranked Anna-Maria Taigi, mother of a family, amongst the Blessed. A little while later he made her the special protector of mothers of families and the patroness of the Women’s Catholic Union.
Her prophecies of the End Times
“God will send two punishments: one will be in the form of wars, revolutions and other evils; it shall originate on earth. The other will be sent from Heaven. There shall come over the whole earth an intense darkness lasting three days and three nights. Nothing can be seen, and the air will be laden with pestilence which will claim mainly, but not only, the enemies of religion. It will be impossible to use any man-made lighting during this darkness, except blessed candles. He, who out of curiosity, opens his window to look out, or leaves his home, will fall dead on the spot. During these three days, people should remain in their homes, pray the Rosary and beg God for mercy.”
“On this terrible occasion so many of these wicked men, enemies of His Church, and of their God, shall be killed by this divine scourge, that their corpses around Rome will be as numerous as the fishes, which a recent inundation of the Tiber had carried into the city. All the enemies of the Church, secret as well as known, will perish over the whole earth during that universal darkness, with the exception of some few, whom God will soon after convert. The air shall be infested by demons, who will appear under all sorts of hideous forms.
“After the three days of darkness, Saints Peter and Paul, having come down from heaven, will preach throughout the world and designate a new Pope. A great light will flash from their bodies and settle upon the cardinal, the future pontiff. Then Christianity will spread throughout the world. Whole nations will join the Church shortly before the reign of the Antichrist. These conversions will be amazing. Those who survive shall have to conduct themselves well. There shall be innumerable conversions of heretics, who will return to the bosom of the Church; all will note the edifying conduct of their lives, as well as that of other Catholics. Russia, England and China will come into the Church.