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She was born on the eastern side of Italy to a
farming family, but increased poverty forced the family to move to the western side of the country when she was
only six. Her father died when she was nine, and the family had to share a house with another family, the
Serenellis. One afternoon, Alessandro, the son of the Serenelli family, made sexual advances to her, but when
she refused to submit to him because that would be a mortal sin, he stabbed her multiple times. She was taken to
hospital, but died after forgiving him. He was promptly arrested, convicted and jailed. After three years he
repented, and when eventually released from prison, he visited her mother begging forgiveness, which she readily
granted. He later became a lay brother in a monastery, eventually dying peacefully in 1970. Maria was beatified in
1947, and canonized in 1950. Her mother attended both ceremonies.