Maria Valtorta was born on March 14, 1897 in Caserta, where her parents, originally from Lombardy, were temporarily living. She was the only daughter of a Cavalry Marshal, a good and submissive man, and of a French teacher, a shrewish and severe woman. After having risked dying when she was born, the little girl was entrusted to a nanny with bad habits, who went so far as to leave her for hours unassisted among the furrows of wheat in the sunny countryside.