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Her father, Ettore Vernazza, was a patrician, founder of several hospitals for the sick poor in Genoa, Rome, and Naples. Her godmother was Catherine Fieschi-Adorno, known as Catherine of Genoa. At the early age of 13, Tommasina entered the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie, and became a canoness regular, taking the name of Battistina. She filled at various times the office of treasurer, novice-mistress, and prioress.
She wrote, among other things, a commentary on the Pater Noster; "The Union of the soul with God"; "Of the knowledge of God"; "Of prayer"; "Of the heavenly joys and of the means of attaining them"; "Of those who have risen with Christ"; meditations, spiritual canticles, and letters to eminent men of her time. Possevin speaks of her writings as inspired. Her works were published at Venice in 3 vols. in 1588. They have been published many times since.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Tommasina Vernazza". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. The entry cites:
- Vernazza, Opere Spirituali (Venice, 1588; Genoa, 1785);
- Rossini, Lyceum Lateranense Cesenae (1622);
- Serra, Storia letteraria (Genoa, 1832);
- Semeria, Storia ecclesiastica di Genova (Turin, 1838);
- Ronco, Sonetti inediti (Genoa, 1819);
- Boeri, Una Gloria di Genova (1906)
- Giuditta Podestà, Battistina Vernazza, Mistica aristocratica nella Genova rinascimentale,
in "Le chiavi dello scrigno", Ceislo, Olginate (Lecco) 1990.
- Giuseppe Leone (a cura di), "L'ottimismo della conchiglia. Il pensiero e l'opera di Giuditta Podestà fra comparatismo e europeismo", Franco Angeli, Milano 2011.