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Virginia Galilei (sister Maria Celeste)


Virginia Galilei, Galileo's oldest child, was born on August 12, 1600.

At her birth Galileo personally wrote her horoscope, in which he stated her main character traits and the influxes of the planets that would determine its development.

Her zeal, sensitivity and devotion to God, all predicted by Galileo, actually did reveal themselves in Virginia's personality, as can be seen in the 124 letters to her father that have come down to us.

Virginia Galilei entered the convent at a very young age, taking the name of Sister Maria Celeste.

From 1623 to 1634, the year of her death, Virginia kept up a steady correspondence with her father, which was a source of comfort for them both.

Galileo formed strong ties with both his daughters, but he had a special empathy with Virginia and often confided in her.

Virginia stood by her father affectionately during the dramatic events of his trial and subsequent condemnation. Her death in 1634 was a harsh blow for Galileo. He himself wrote of her: "[Virgina was] a woman of an exquisite nature and unique goodness and was very close to me. […] she died over the course of six days, at the age of thirty-three, and left me in a state of extreme desolation".