The fifth of eight children in an Italian family, Mary Anna went in 1842 to a boarding school operated by the Sisters of St. Marcellina. She earned a teaching diploma in four years and wanted to join the order, but had to wait because of her mother’s illness and father’s financial reverses. After assisting her family, she entered the congregation in 1848 and professed her vows in 1852. Over a 40-year teaching career in the order’s schools, she was both popular and successful; one of her students was the mother of Pope Paul VI. She died of throat cancer and was beatified in 1980.