Finadei Ciardi was born in San Gimignano on 1238. Daughter of Cambio Ciardi and Imperiera, a declined noble family, she lived all her existence in a humble house located in the historic centre of the famous “city of beautiful towers” (today the small road on which her house stands takes her name). There is little record of the first ten years of her life, and what information we have comes from legends narrated after her death. Some documents say that she was very devoted to the Virgin and she went out only to attend mass. She was said to be extraordinarily kind.
In 1248 Fina’s life was changed by a serious illness, which began, progressively, to paralyse her (probably a form of tuberculosis like osteomyelitis or colitis). Her deep faith relieved her pain. She refused a bed and chose instead to lie down on an oak table. During her long sickness her wound-riddled body became attached to the wood of the table, and worms and rats fed on her rotting flesh. During her illness, she lost her father and later her mother died after a fall. In spite of this bad luck and her poverty she thanked God and expressed a desire that her soul might separate from the body in order to meet Jesus Christ.
This immense devotion was an example to all the citizens of San Gimignano, who frequently visited Fina. Visitors were surprised to receive words of encouragement from a... Read More