Virgin martyr and miracle worker in death. She was stabbed to
death on July 6 while resisting the advances of the son of her father's business partner. Maria was
born in Corinaldo, Italy, the daughter of a farmer who moved the family to Ferriere di Conca, near
Anzio. There Alexander Serenelli, a youth who lived in the same house, tried to seduce the young
Maria. When she refused him, Alexander stabbed her repeatedly. Arrested for the murder, he was
imprisoned and experienced a vision of Maria. Her cuase was opened becuase she was credited with
some forty miracles after her death. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII (r. 1939-1958) in 1950, as a
model of purity. Alexander attended her canonization.
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