Casoria, a lovely town North of Naples, holds a singular record that the whole of Europe envies: in actual fact, it is a land of saints and blesseds.
Let’s start with San Mauro (Rome, c. 512 – Angers, c. 584), the city’s patron, to whom the very foundation of Casoria is linked. It is said to be the territory his father brought as a gift to Saint Benedict, whose disciple he was.
Then we continue with Father Ludovico da Casoria (1814-1885), born Arcangelo Palmentieri, a Franciscan priest of the Order of Friars Minor, beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1993 and proclaimed a saint by Pope Francis on 23 November 2014. He founded more than 200 institutes throughout Italy, was a missionary in Africa, a promoter of lay commitment through the revival of the Franciscan Third Order and a point of reference in the crucial years of the revolutions of 1848 and Italian unification.
On the other hand, Santa Maria Cristina Brando (1856-1906) founded the General House of the Sisters Expiatory Victims of Jesus in Casoria. In 2003 she was proclaimed blessed by Pope John Paul II and a saint by Pope Francis on 17 May 2015 in St Peter’s Square. Maria Cristina, born Adelaide Brando, from a wealthy family, embraced the monastic life at a very young age, which she was forced to leave for health reasons, so she moved to Casoria in 1884, where she founded her Institute.
Santa Giulia Salzano (1846-1929) founded the Catechist Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Casoria, where she was an elementary school teacher. In 2003 she was proclaimed Blessed by Pope John Paul II, and then Saint by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.
Mother Maria Luigia Velotti (1826-1886) was proclaimed Blessed on 26 September 2020 in Naples Cathedral by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe at the behest of the Pope. The holy nun, as she was called for her virtues of humility, poverty and charity, spent a life of prayer and penance. In 1868, together with other young women, she started the Adorers of the Holy Cross, and in 1884 the community found a home in Casoria.
The only place in Italy that has hosted so many saints and blesseds, the city could become an outstanding destination for religious tourism.
Three murals, dedicated to the figure of Ludovico da Casoria, the first two by Mirko Di Pierno, and Assunta Improta, the third, the largest portraying San Ludovico in Italy, by the Spanish artist Leticia Mandragora, will be unveiled on the external façade of the municipal headquarters in Piazza Cirillo.
The scheduled opening ceremony, which was to be held today, 15 June, at 5 pm, has been postponed to Monday, 19 June, at the same time, due to bad weather conditions.