Pius VII’s mother, Giovanna Coronata, was born on the 10th November 1713. She was the daughter of the Marquess Barnaba Eufrasio Ghini and Isabella de’conti Aguselli and came from one of the most important families in Cesena. Very pretty, she married young, at the age of 17, on the 23rd December 1730. As dowry, she brought twelve hectares of land which managed to raise, quite significantly, the relatively lowly income of her husband. Their eleven children (unfortunately not all survived to adulthood) were born in quick succession.
Giovanna was widowed in 1750 and was forced to find a solution for her large family. On the 19th April 1761 she renounced all inheritances in favour of her children. Her eldest son, Giacinto, became a Jesuit and so her second son, Tommaso, took over as head of the family. Olimpia Braschi, a friend and relative (via the Ghini family), and a nun in the Celibate di Rimini, took Giovanna’s daughter Ottavia Maria Teresa under her wing. Barnaba joined, in 1756 at the age of 14, the Benedictines of Santa Maria del Monte. And finally, also in 1756 the baby of the family, Gregorio Ludovico, joined the Collegio dei Nobili in Ravenna
Giovanna, having ensured the welfare of her children, could finally realise her long-held ambition: to become a nun in the order of the Carmelitane Scalze, where she adopted the name Suor Teresa Diletta di Gesù e Maria. She joined the Convent of Fano 1762 but never stopped keeping abreast of the education of her children.
After having led a long and exemplary life, she died on the 22nd November 1777.
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