On October 14, 1758, the Sicilian nobleman, Baron Croce Felice Petroso, bequeathed his lands for the establishment of the College of Mary, an institution intended to educate the young people of Enna, a city in the center of Sicily.
Based on Baron Petroso’s will, the College of Mary was managed by the Sisters called Collegine. This lasted until the outbreak of the First World War, when the College of Mary was requisitioned by the government and transformed into a barracks for soldiers.
After the war was over, the College of Mary was entrusted to the Canossian nuns who carried out their educational task until a few years ago.
Now the College of Mary has closed its doors forever.
What about the dreams of benefactor Baron Croce Felice Petroso? Nothing is left but the yellowed sheet of paper containing his will.
Since time immemorial, Enna has been a city devoted to religiosity. When the Roman orator Cicero stayed in the city to gather evidence against the Roman governor Verres, he had the feeling that the inhabitants of Enna were omnes sacerdotes (all priests).
Until the central government requisitioned churches and convents even for military uses, in the small city of Enna there were sixty-four churches, seven monasteries and seven convents.
Today, also due to the lack of vocations to the priesthood, there is only one convent and two monasteries. As for the churches, they are less than a third of the previous ones. Some were demolished to widen the roads, others collapsed due to lack of maintenance.
The churches still kept in good condition are those that house a confraternity.
One of the oldest confraternities is that of the Most Holy Savior, which dates back to the Middle Ages. It is said that the Knights Templar founded it. The brethren wear a white tunic with a yellow cloak, and their emblem is a Templar cross.
The confraternity maintain the church quite well and recently has inaugurated a few exhibition rooms for ancient paintings and sacred objects.
Einstein’s Formula by Joseph Cacibauda fully deserves a five-star review.
It is a short novel, but you do not need to write many words to give rise to a masterpiece.
In Italy, there was a great poet, Giacomo Leopardi, who wrote a very short poem entitled L’infinito (The Infinite). It is a beautiful immortal poem. Few poets have been able to equal it.
Joseph Cacibauda’s novel is not only compelling and easy to read; it is also a journey into the innermost recesses of the human soul. It describes what his idea of life on earth is. Life is born from thought, or rather from the energy of thought. On the other hand, the Buddhists maintain that life is an expression of the mind. Your mind creates life and the world around you. If you turn off your mind, in that moment the world disappears.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for something enjoyable, special, and enlightening.
In the Middle Ages, during the Investiture Conflict, a very powerful Italian woman, Matilda of Canossa, dared to challenge Emperor Henry IV, and she succeeded.
At the time, Pope Gregory VII took refuge in the castle of Matilda of Canossa to escape the wrath of Emperor Henry IV. When the emperor arrived at the castle of Canossa for having lifted the excommunication, Matilda did not let him in immediately. She made him stay out of the castle for three days and three nights, amidst the raging snowstorms.
Love for the Catholic Church was an archetype in the Canossa family. Many centuries later, at the time of Napoleon Bonaparte, another woman, Magdalene of Canossa, challenged her family to give birth to the Canossian Monastic Order, and she succeeded too. The Canossian nuns were cultured and good as speech therapists.
They came to my city of Enna (Sicily) from Brescia, a city in Northern Italy, to take care of two children who were born deaf and dumb. Once in Enna, they excelled in teaching music, painting, embroidery and many other cultural activities. Evidently, the love of Matilda and Magdalene of Canossa was still alive in them.
St. Clement was the fourth pope of the Catholic Church. He was preceded by St. Peter, St. Lino, and St. Anacletus. It is said that he was ordained bishop by St. Peter himself.
Although the Catholic Church does not consider him as a martyr, according to legend, St. Clement suffered martyrdom under the emperor Trajan around the year 100. It is said that an anchor was tied around his neck and then he was thrown into the sea.
St. Clement is considered one of the patron saints of sailors. Perhaps, for this reason he is highly revered in Britain, a country devoted to navigation and exploration from time immemorial.
His feast day is November 23. To honor him, the British make a special cake, called the cake of St. Clement. The main ingredients are flour, butter, sugar, eggs, orange, and lemon.
To make a good St. Clement’s cake, just follow your inspiration. It will guide you in using the right proportions of the ingredients!
In the year 1213, Count Orlando Catani of Chiusi came across Saint Francis of Assisi and was so fascinated by the figure of the saint that he wanted to give him something at any cost. The count wanted to give him money, but St. Francis could not accept because he had made a vow of poverty, so Count Orlando Catani gave him a mountain, an entire mountain! It was Mount Verna. St. Francis often went to meditate and pray in that mountain and it was there that he received the stigmata.
Something similar happened in Enna, Sicily, in 1758, when Baron Croce Felice Petroso bequeathed his entire fiefdom of Ramursura for the establishment of the College of Mary, an institution to be used for the education of the city’s youth. The Canossian Sisters came to the College of Mary, from Brescia, a city in northern Italy. They were highly educated and taught in many areas, including music, embroidery, and care for the deaf and dumb.
Today, the College of Mary is closed. What reminds me of the Canossian Sisters of the College of Mary is two small pictures that were given to my mother by a Sister with a passion for painting.