Sr. Maria was born in Cortegno Golgi (Brescia) on February 16, 1883.She grew up happy and hardworking in her numerous family, dividing her time between the farm and caring for her little brothers and sisters, in the warm and loving atmosphere created by her exemplary parents. She regularly attended catechism in her parish, where as an adolescent Maria developed a deep Christian spirit and opened her heart to the values of a religious vocation.
In obedience to her parish priest, however, she waited till she reached adulthood before asking to be admitted to the Institute of the Salesian Sisters.She made her first profession in 1908 at Nizza Monferrato.
During the First World War (1915-18) Sr. Maria took a course in health care in Varazze and worked as a Red Cross nurse in the military hospital. This experience was to prove very valuable in the course of her long missionary life in the Amazon forests of Ecuador.
She left for Ecuador in 1922 and was sent to work among the Shuar people where, together with two other Sisters, she began the difficult work of evangelisation. They faced dangers of every kind, including those caused by the beasts of the forest and by fast flowing rivers that had to be waded through or crossed on fragile “bridges” made from creepers or on the shoulders of the Indians.
Macas, Sevillia Don Bosco, Sucúa are some of the “miracles” of Sr. Maria Troncatti’s work that still flourish. She was nurse, surgeon, orthopaedist, dentist, anaesthetist. But, above all, she was catechist and evangeliser, rich in the wonderful resources of her faith, patience and fraternal love.
Her work for the promotion of the Shuar woman bore fruit in hundreds of new Christian families formed, for the first time, on a free personal choice on the part of the young couple.
Sr. Maria died in a tragic air crash at Sucúa on August 25, 1969. Her remains lie at Macas, in the Province of Morona (Ecuador). The Servant of God Sr. Maria Troncatti was declared Venerable by the Decress of November 8th, 2008.c