Saint Mariana was born Mariana de Paredes y Flores on October 31, 1618 at Quito, Ecuador (then part of Peru), of noble Spanish parents and called herself Mariana de Jesus. She was orphaned as a child and raised by her elder sister and her husband.
Early in her life, Mariana was attracted to religious things and became a hermit in her sister's home under the direction of a Jesuit confessor. Mariana practiced the greatest austerities, ate hardly anything, slept for only three hours a night for years, had the gift of prophesy, and reputedly performed miracles. When an earthquake followed by an epidemic shook Quito in 1645, she offered herself publicly as a victim for the sins of the people. When the epidemic began to abate, she was stricken and died on May 26,1645.