Michelina Metelli was born in Pesaro, Italy, to a wealthy Italian family. She married into the noble Malatesta family at the age of 12 and was widowed by age 20. She led a lifestyle of parties and luxury but, after the death of her only son, she experienced a vision of him in heaven, and decided to become a Franciscan penitent.
She proceeded to give away all her belongings and property, and founded the Confraternity of the Annunciation to care for the poor, nurse the sick and bury the dead. Initially her family believed her to be insane and had her locked up. Upon her release from confinement, she made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land as penance for her sins. It is believed that she received the Stigmata in the course of this journey.
Michelina died at her home in Pesaro on 19 June 1356 of natural causes.