Operation Mato Grosso was founded by the Italian Salesian priest Ugo De Censi. The organization trains young people to work for the poorest of the poor who are given technical and vocational training.
The teachers who lived with De Munari told the Diario de Chimbote that the night of April 20 they all went to sleep at 9:30 p.m according to the institution's regulations so they could wake up for prayer at 6:30 a.m.
When they noticed that De Munari had not gotten up, some of the teachers went to her room and found her unconscious in a pool of blood with several head injuries.
According to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, another woman, Lisbet Ramírez Cruz, was also attacked.
The missionary was taken to the Eleazar Guzmán Barrón regional hospital, where the attending physician said that the woman had fractures to her jaw, forearm, and neck, as well as several cuts to her head and face.
She was later transferred to a clinic in Lima, where she died April 24.
The motive for the murder is unknown and Peru’s National Police are investigating the case.
The news of Nadia's death has also impacted the town of Schio in Vicenza province in Italy where she was born.
"Nadia is a martyr," her mother told Corriere della Sera.
"These words could not be more true because Nadia has made a gift of her life, she has shed her blood," Fr. Gaetagno Santagiuliano, a parish priest of Schio, told the Italian media Adnkronos.
Bishop Beniamino Pizziol of Vicenza expressed his sorrow for the death of the lay missionary.
"The bishop, the entire Diocese of Vicenza and all the men and women missionaries of Vicenza in the world join in the grief of the De Munari family, the friends of OMG and the Christian community of Giavenale in Schio, for the loss of the beloved Nadia, lay missionary and volunteer of Operation Mato Grosso in Peru for almost 30 years,” a statement from the diocese said.
(Story cotinues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.