The “Virgo Fidelis” Patron Saint of the Carabinieri was also celebrated in Catanzaro


By John

This afternoon, in the Minor Basilica of Maria SS. Immaculate, the Carabinieri celebrated the “Virgo Fidelis”, Celestial Patroness of the Carabinieri, and at the same time the “Orphan’s Day”, as well as the commemoration of the “82nd anniversary of the Battle of Culqualber”.
The anniversary was celebrated with a solemn mass officiated by the Military Chaplain, Don Vincenzo Ruggiero, in the presence of the Commander of the Calabria Legion, General of the Division Pietro Salsano, of the Officers of his General Staff, of the Provincial Commander of Catanzaro and of a representation of soldiers in service also of the special departments, of the Basic Council representing the personnel of the entire Legion, of Carabinieri on leave belonging to the National Carabinieri and Carabinieri Associations Forestry workers, as well as the widows and orphans of those killed in service of the Army. Numerous military, civil and religious authorities at regional and provincial level attended the solemn Eucharistic celebration.
The liturgy was accompanied by the voices of the Shemà Israel choir of the Catanzaro Cathedral, directed by the Masters Stefano Scozzafava And Laura Screnci while the Maestro plays the organ Maria Comitàon the flute Lavinia Mancusoon the trumpet Bruno Costanzo and the Maestro on the oboe Enza Pagani.
At the end of the celebration, General Salsano presented a plaque of merit to Elisa Messinadaughter of V. Brig. Messina who died in service, as the new doctor recently obtained a master’s degree in “Nutrition Science”.
The “Virgo Fidelis” became the Patron Saint of the Carabinieri on 11 November 1949, when Pope Pius XII promulgated the Apostolic Brief which, in this sense, welcomed the unanimous vote of the military chaplains and the Military Ordinary for the Italy, then setting its celebration on the 21st of November, the day on which the Presentation of the Virgin Mary also falls. The title of “Virgo Fidelis” was chosen in relation to the heraldic motto of the Army “Nei centuries Fedele”, already granted by Vittorio Emanuele III on 10 November 1933. The prayer hymn “Virgo Fidelis” dedicated by the Carabinieri to their Patron it was written by Archbishop Carlo Alberto Ferrero of Cavallerleone, who in 1949 was Military Ordinary.
Before the conclusion by the military chaplain with the Holy Blessing, General Salsano took the floor, highlighting the importance of the celebration as a moment to consolidate the esprit de corps and the communion of intentions within the Army. The Senior Officer then focused on “Orphan Day”, an important anniversary to never forget the sacrifice of the many fathers, carabinieri fallen in service and the harsh test of life that their families face every day. Finally, General Salsano read out the motivation for the Gold Medal for Military Valor awarded to the Flag of the Army for the feat of arms relating to the “Battle of Culqualber”. The Battle of Culqualber was fought in Gondar, Ethiopia, from 6 August to 21 November 1941 between the Italians and the British. In the fight, the 1st Mobilized Group sacrificed itself almost entirely with such valor that the adversaries paid the honor of arms to the few survivors. (you see: ).

The text of the prayer to the “Virgo Fidelis”

“Sweet and most glorious Mother of God and ours, we Carabinieri of Italy, raise our thoughts reverently, our prayers confidently and our hearts fervent to You!
You, whom our Legions invoke as comforter and protector with the title of “Virgo Fidelis”. You welcome all our intentions for good and make them force and light for our homeland, You accompany our vigilance, You advise our words, You animate our action, You support our sacrifice, You inflame our devotion!
And from one end of Italy to the other it arouses in each of us the enthusiasm to bear witness, faithfully until death, to the love of God and our Italian brothers. And so be it!”.