Maria Grazia Tarallo was born on 23 September 1866 in Barra, Naples, Italy, to Leopoldo Tarallo and Concetta Borriello. She was baptized the following day in the Ave Gratia Plena Parish in Barra. Growing up, she received a solid Christian and human formation in her family.
A child “called” by God while still young, Maria Grazia made a private vow of virginity at age five in front of a statue of the Blessed Mother.
When she was just 7 she made her First Communion, and at the age of 10 she received the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Maria Grazia’s life was especially directed toward Christian perfection and total consecration to God.
When she was 22 she wished to enter the convent, but her father opposed her desire as he wanted her to marry. However, the young man who proposed to her died before they could marry, thus leaving her free to enter the convent.
On 1 June 1891 she entered the Monastery of the Sisters Crucified Adorers of the Eucharist, in Barra, founded by the Servant of God Maria Pia Notari who was a witness to the virtuous and holy life of Maria Grazia and to whom she gave the name “Sr Maria of the Passion”.
Sr Maria lived her vocation of love for Christ’s Passion, the Eucharist and Our Lady of Sorrows to the full. She was known to say: “My name is Sr Maria of the Passion and I must resemble the Master”.
As a nun, she was given different responsibilities, from that of Novice Mistress and as spiritual guide of her Sisters, to that of kitchen and laundry service and porter.
She was always exemplary and edifying in her life of charity and prayer and was admired by everyone in her community.
Sr Maria’s desire to be a victim soul for sinners was summed up by her in this way: “I want to be holy, loving Jesus in the Eucharist, suffering with Christ Crucified and seeing Christ in my brothers and sisters”.
Sr Maria of the Passion died on 27 July 1912 in Barra, leaving to her Sisters the following testimony: “I exhort you to holy perseverance according to the Rule, readiness in obedience and especially daily Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Love Jesus in the Eucharist, never leave him alone, do not anger him, do not disappoint him”.