- Bartholomaea Bagnesi
- Maria Bartolomea Bagnesi
- Marietta Bagnesi
- Mary-Bartholomew Bagnesi
A happy, beautiful, under-sized, frequently neglected child, her mother often left her to the care of others, including a sister who was a Dominican nun. Marietta grew up and had her best times in her sister’s convent, and four of her sisters eventually entered religious life.
When her father arranged a marriage for Maria, she actually fainted in horror. The thought of marriage made her so sick that she eventually became unable to walk, and was bed-ridden. Her father, a man easily swayed by quacks, crack-pots and con men, put her through 34 years of flummery and what passed for medical treatment in the 16th century.
Being bed-ridden, Maria was not able to follow her sisters into the convent, but she did become a Dominican tertiary in 1544. She made her formal profession in 1545, and was soon able to get out of bed for brief periods. However, a combination of pleurisy, asthma, kidney disease, and the non-stop “treatments” she received from assorted quacks and cranks immobilized her again. She began to have visions, and to converse with angels, devils and saints. Her neighbors thought she was possessed, but a local priest became her spiritual advisor, and reassured the locals that Marietta was not in league with the devil or being attacked by him.
With the priest‘s assurances, Marietta’s room became a place for area pilgrims who came to her for wisdom and peace, and for area animals, especially cats. Cats had a special affection for her, many stayed in her room, slept on her bed, guarded her pet songbirds, and at least once fetched her some cheese when she became hungry.
Maria developed a deep devotion to Saint Bartholomew the Apostle, and added his name to hers. As her visions and ecstacies continued and became more constant, she became more mystical in her conversation, became focused on the glorious and sorrowful mysteries, and was seen to levitate. She came to know Saint Mary Magdalen of Pazzi, and shared her visions with her.
- “Blessed Maria Bagnesi“. CatholicSaints.Info. 22 May 2015. Web. 5 July 2015. <>