In the village “San Lorenzo” located not far
from Ovada, in a humble countryhouse which was then called
“alberghino”, Maria Teresa was born on 8 October
1818 to Angelo Camera and Caterina Merialdi, peasants of
very poor fortune, but rich in piety and in faith. They
called her Marietta and she was the third among eight children
(1). Her family was truly a nursery of peace. After a day
of intense work in the fields under the scorching sun, the
pious parents at twilight, after having poorly refreshed
their tired bodies and given food to their numerous brood,
closed the day on their knees with the recitation of the
holy rosary and with the evening prayers.
Marietta, preceded by the Spirit of the Lord, distinguished
herself for her piety and for her modest composure; she
was a true little angel who, while she attracted the attention
of the numerous family, was also an admonition to all, a
stimulus for all to pray with faith and fervor.
A true little angel of goodness, she fled from childish
plays and, although small, she helped her family as she
knew best with the work in the fields and in the house chores,
under the direction of her good mother.
How she was avidly learning the things of God! She enjoyed
listening to the glorious deeds of the Saints; she wanted
to imitate them in their love for God and in their virtues;
every day she studied more and more how to remain good and
invited her little brothers and the children of the village
to always flee from sin, to be obedient. She was always
careful to do her own duty at the cost of whatever sacrifice.
The parents were moved by her; the neighborhood was edified
by her. The mother was heard to exclaim not only once: my
Marietta has never given me the least displeasure, and many
of the neighborhood, turning to the mother went on to say:
Your Marietta is an angel of Paradise more than a human
Marietta must have been truly an angel is affirmed by her
resolutions: to die first rather than commit a fault and
offend Jesus! And she was very faithful to her resolution.
From the cradle to the grave she kept herself pure, never
contaminated by mortal sin.