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.

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

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