Rosalia Lombardo was born in 1918 in Palermo, Sicily. She died of pneumonia on December 6, 1920. Rosalia's father was sorely grieved upon her death, so he approached Dr. Alfredo Salafia, a noted embalmer, to preserve her. Her body was one of the last corpses to be admitted to the Capuchin catacombs of Palermo in Sicily.
Thanks to Dr. Salafia's embalming techniques, the body has been well-preserved. X-rays of the body show that the organs are remarkably intact. The child appears as if she were only sleeping, hence receiving the name "Sleeping Beauty," though due to the discoloration that has become more pronounced in the years following her preservation, it is quite obvious she is deceased.
Rosalia Lombardo's body is kept in a small chapel at the end of the catacomb's tour and is encased in a glass covered coffin, placed on a marble pedestal.