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Mother Maria Agnes

Tribbioli Agnes was born in the historic center of Florence April 20, 1879 by Ludovico Tribbioli and Clorinda Sorbs, the one from Cortona (Arezzo), the other from San Martino in Freddana (Lucca). The father, who was an invalid, he worked at the Florentine prefecture. For poverty besetting the family, Agnes and Evelina and Maria Francesca sisters, spent a difficult childhood. In 1890 Mr Ludovico died, leaving his wife and daughters in a painful economic situation.
In 1893 Evelina and Agnes entered at the Patronage of St. Joseph, founded in Florence in 1882 by Emma Rosadi, to begin their studies. The Institute had as its main objective to offer, through the festive schools addressed to girls from poor families, an educational project. Agnes, in recent years, along with the school knowledge, gradually learned to appreciate the lives of governesses and to pose the issue on the possibility of religious choice in their lives. As documented an autobiographical manuscript, the Tribbioli felt torn by an inner conflict: on one hand he admired the generous dedication of governesses to the girls entrusted to them, the other harbored some doubts about the pedagogical method they come into being.

In 1897 he was co-opted by Rosadi as a teacher of knitwear. In January 23rd, 1901 made her profession in the Institute of the "Patronage of St Joseph", taking the name Sister Mary Agnes. Rosadi died Sept. 13, 1898, the Institute, with just fourteen members, was directed by Don Vittorio Tanini until 1908. Due to the lack of a charismatic leader, the situation got worse for both poverty and for the lack of culture and innovative ideas, according to the urgency of the times. August 1917 Sister Marie-Agnes and Sister, Sister Adriana Frames, abandoned the faint Institute, in the midst of religious incomprehension and some members of the Florentine Curia. From this moment began for the two spills a difficult life, in extreme poverty, rich sunshine of trust in Providence.

Montughi, Grassina, Mascagnolo, San Martino ai Cipressi were the first steps in the diocese of Florence, where alternated reception situations and rejection, without a certainty for the future. Monsignor Tribbioli Paulinus, bishop of Imola, a cousin of Sister Mary Agnes, who followed the vicissitudes of the two sisters, invited them to go in his diocese. The two, granting the request, which they considered providential, went in Romagna August 2, 1919, through successive experiences: St. Patrick's Day, in September 1920, Belvedere, Diocese of Imola in October 1921, Castel del Rio, in October 1922. At the San Patrizio 'experience of Tribbioli was fraught with difficulties and obstacles due to hostile environment, dominated by communists, socialists and anti-clerical. The archpriest, Don Giovanni Piatesi, August 15, 1919, blessed the new religious habit.

All kinds of difficulties, incomprehension, loneliness and hard work laid the foundations of the nascent institute, which enjoyed the confidence and encouragement of the diocesan Bishop. Tribbioli. Gradually the small number of nuns were grown; They opened new working areas : Fiesole (1920), Belvedere (1921), Castel del Rio (1922), which became the Mother House, Pistoia (1928), Sesto Imolese (1928), Foggia (1931), Stornara (1933) . Monsignor Tribbioli, in 1924, proposed the title of "St. Joseph the Worker Pie"; June 29, 1927 the bishop himself instituted and blessed the novitiate. In 1931 the sisters were thirty. The July 16, 1932 Msgr. Pauline Tribbioli erected the pious association in a legal institution with the title of "Pie Workers of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis of Assisi". In the month of  May 8, 1933, after several failed attempts, came a rapprochement with the little sisters of the ancient institute of "Patronage of St Joseph", present and blessing Monsignor Bonardi, vicar general of Cardinal Elia Dalla Costa.

In 1933 August 15, came the long-awaited merger between the old and the new Institute. The decades that followed marked a progressive expansion of the Institute: it was founded the house of Illorai-Sassari (1937). The second World War  made her feels its consequences even in the houses of the Institute: August 19, 1944 the house of Foggia was destroyed; Castel del Rio in September next was badly damaged. After the war and in the following decades were opened houses of San Giovanni Rotondo, Monopoli (Bari), Florence, Galen (Florence), Focette (Pisa), Staffoli (Pisa), San Martino in Farneto (Florence), Valiano (Siena), Montepulciano (Siena), Cerbaia (Florence), Dozza (Imola), Gaiba (Rovigo), Pirabello (Imola), Montecastelli (Perugia), Nughedu San Nicolò (Sassari).

The last twenty years of the life of the Foundress saw the Institute gradually expand, mainly in central Italy. In 1951 they were celebrated solemnly the fiftieth anniversary of religious profession of Tribbioli. On 24 January 1952 the Institute had the riconosci¬ chin diocesan; January 31, 1962 the papal; January 14, 1963, finally, the civil by the Italian Government. Maria Agnese Tribbioli, consumed by fatigue, died in Florence on February 27, 1965. Buried in the cemetery of Trespiano (Florence), was exhumed and placed in the General House chapel at n. 113 Via de 'Serragli 3 May 2000; then, June 5, 2008, translated in the chapel of Casa Betania , no. 127 Via de 'Serragli, where it still rests. It is being the cause of beatification.

In 1979 he was opened the first house in Brazil; in 1994 in India; in 2003 in Romania.

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