Especially after her father’s death due to malaria in 1900, Maria became the precious and irreplaceable support of her mother in household chores that included the education of her sisters and brothers.
Additionally, she attentively and loving cared for children of the neighbouring families when the adults left the house to work in the fields.
Maria grew up loving virtue and with horror toward sin. She persistently asked her mother to make her First Communion which she on June 16, 1901. It was the Eucharist together with daily prayer that gave the young girl the strength to face martyrdom on July 5, 1902.
Not wanting to offend God by sin, he vigorously and willingly opposed the insane sexual demands of Alessandro Serenelli, a young 19-year-old neighbor, who threatened her at knifepoint. With savage fury, Maria was fatally wounded by fourteen stab wounds and was left to die in a pool of blood.
The next day she died in the hospital of the city of Netunno, having forgiven her slayer.