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Page 6 POST-GAZETTE, JANUARY 22, 2010 ITALY'S ECONOMY: The Future is a Challenge by Orazio Buttafuoco As widely reported by the Italian Press, Mario Draghi, the top officer of the Bank of Italy recently expressed some views after thoroughly analyzing the national economic conditions. The present conditions, albeit serious but not severe, do not portent a positive outlook for the future. We all know how Italy's economy goes. It is largely based in the industrialized Northern Regions, but not much elsewhere, especially in the South. We must state that there are actually two-ltaly's with a sharp distinction between the North and the South. In the North, of course, the economy is always going quite well, while in the South there is a lack of an industrial activity on a large scale, as it is in the North while the South can hardly stand on its own ... feetl It is a situation that will never change, unless the North's political-economic solons learn a fundamental economic lesson: let the "other Italy", the South, move forward using their own initiatives and at their own pace. If they were allowed by the North's "bosses", who act in flagrant violation of the very Italian Constitution, to utilize their own resources, especially Sicily which never got nothing of the many billions of euro from the petroleum extraction, and refining, things would be a lot better in the depressed south. No wonder Sicily is the political anomaly in Italy: a land, rich in natural resources, especially petro- leum and potassium salts, which has one of the highest unemployment level not only in Italy but also in Europe. It is nearly impossible to find opportunities, save many menial jobs, where government's support to start a business is almost totally lacking, therefore a largely poor population. Draghi himself recognizes a large lack of public confidence, not surprisingly in the southern regions. He fervently hopes that the government move ahead and do whatever neces- sary to change the general mood of the people by investing in areas where the need is dire and the expectations very high. The future of Italy, whether economic or educational, could be more encouraging, if the "Godfathers" of Italian politics would recognize that all Italians deserve to be treated *equally', especially those that produce the natural resources that Italy needs. Social inequality ought to be a thing of the past. Regretfully it is still the thing of the present. A brief historical note is now necessary. In 1860 a group of enthusiastic youngsters jubilantly proclaimed that Italy was at last united, an astute "northern Italian', Massimo D'Azeglio, responded ominously: "Yes, Italy is now united. Now comes the hard part: to unite the Italians". It was a great dream. As we daily see it is still a dream. The unifica- tion of the "peoples" in the peninsula, and in the islands, it is still a dream. The "power grabbers" of the north have always been, over the last 150 years, the stumbling block to the road to equality. Inequality has made an area of Italy, the north, very rich, but has contributed to perpetuate the miserable conditions of the southern regions. How long will this situation persist? Isn't time to say "basta" and rec- reate the sense of social progress? The present "status quo" is anti-social, anti-economic, and virtually criminal! When- ever people ask for help, the professional political bosses look the other way. And then they start to "muse upon" the Sicilian Mafia, the Neapolitan Camorra, the Calabrese 'Ndrancheta, or Puglia's Sacra Corona. What about the violent "Red Brigades", a pure northern product? Meanwhile, orga- nized crime has now taken a new, "legalized' 'persona": political. G reater Boston's Affordabte Private Cemetery Traditionat Buriat Ptot (for g at $1500 COMMUNITY MAUSOLEUMS GARDENOLUMBARIUMS 617,524.1036 _ 131 www.stmichaelcemetery.com | the Italian community for over 100 years/ POST-GAZETTE EAST BOSTON SATELLITE OFFICE is NOW OPEN MARIE MATARESE 35 Bennington Street, East Boston 617.227.8929 MON. and TUES. 10:00 A.M. - 3.00 P.M. THURS. 11:00 A.M.- 2:00 P.M. ACCEPTING Advertisements I General Advertisements * Sales and Rentals Memorials • Legals ADVERTISING WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE by Saint Sebastian is a charismatic saint of the early Catholic Church. According to his legend, Sebastian was born at Narbonne, Gaul. He en- tered the Roman army un- der Emperor Carinus in 283 in order to defend the confessors and martyrs of his day without drawing attention to himself. St. Sebastian was named a captain of the Praetorian guards by the Roman Em- peror Diocletian who was unaware that Sebastian was a Christian. We do not know how or when St. Sebastian became a Christian, Tradition holds that he converted other soldiers and a governor, during the period that he served as a soldier in Rome. His efforts kept the Saint Sebastian Faith firm of Marcus and Marcellian, two Christian captives, right up to the time of their martyrdom. Eventually, the Emperor came to hear of Saint Sebastian's Chris- tian faith, tradition relates that he was handed over to the Mauretanian archers and ordered to be tied to a post and slain by arrows. Saint Sebastian was left for dead, his body pierced and bleeding, but because of his physical stamina and God's will, he did not die. A widow, Saint Irene, found Sebastian's body and cared for him until he was well. Saint Sebastian used his recovery to publicly rebuke the Emperor for his cruel treatment of Christians. The Emperor, Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari in response, commanded his soldiers to stone St. Sebastian to death on January 20, 287 A.D., which is now his feast day. St. Sebastian's body was buried on the Apian way, and in 367 A.D. a basilica was constructed over his grave the basilica was one of the seven chief churches of Rome. The present church was completed in 1611 by Scipio Cardinal Borghese The building was refur- bished in 1610. Saint Sebastian was ven- erated at Milan as early as the time of St. Ambrose. He is patron of the Swiss Guards, archers, athletes, and soldiers, and is appealed to for protection against plagues. He is patron saint of athletes because of his physical endurance and his energetic way of spreading and defending the Faith. Sebastian is also patron to all soldiers• He was declared patron of plague sufferers because of his reported cures of those afflicted with many diseases. Sebastian was the Middle Ages' saint of choice when praying for deliverance from the dreaded Black Plague. Saint Sebastian's popularity continued through the Renaissance, where his arrow-pierced body was a frequently chosen the subject of paintings• Botticelli, Andrea Mantegna, Perugino, Bernini and El Greco have each painted him, Claude Debussy wrote a musical piece entitled, "The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. CARLO MARATTA CARLO MARATTA (b. 1635- d. 1713) In Italy, if you showed any inclination or aptitude to- wards craftsmanship, sculpt- ing or painting, it was not un- common for a talented young- ster to have a patron that would further their interest and send them to study with the then known masters. And so it was with Car/o Maratta (also known as Maratti) who possessed wonderful and un- usual skills in design and ar- chitecture. Carlo was born in Camerano, Marche, Italy. At the age of 12 he was sent to Rome by his patrons to study under Andrea Sacchi, the leader in classical Roman painting in the mid 17 th cen- tury, who admired and emu- lated Raphael and his work• Along with Sacchi Maratta was also inspired by other artists of the time such as Carracci, Guercino and Lanfranco. His classic tone led him to work alongside Domenico Maria Canuti in painting the Palazzo Altieri. In Rome, the Altieri were one of the prominent families who claimed descendancy from Roman nobility, includ- Master by James Di Prima ing Pope Clement X. The pal- ace is opposite the Church of the Gesu. Today the palace is occupied by a bank but the major works of art can still be seen. On your next visit to Rome stop by to see these marvelous works of art. Maratta's first piece, in 1650, is an adoration of the Shepherds for San Giuseppe Die Falegnami. He went on to establish one of the promi- nent art studios in Rome. His other major pieces are "The mystery of the Trinity Revealed to St. Augustine" (c. 1655), which was painted for the church of Santa Maria Dei Sette Dolori. In the Pitti Palace, Florence, Italy hangs his painting "The Appearance of the Virgin to St. Philip Neri (c. 1675. Due to his number of paintings of the Virgin he was given the nickname "Carluccio Delle Madonne" (Little Carlo of the Madonnas). His portraits captured the lighting and the majesty of the classical baroque style that he managed to instill in his paintings. Maratta had a mistress Francesca Gommi (or Gom- ma), who bore him a daugh- ter, Faustina in 1679 or 1680. His wife died in 1700. He then went on to marry Francesca Palazzo Altleri, Rome, Italy Baroque Painter Madonna with Christ Child by Carlo Maratta. and then legally recognized Faustina as his daughter• His daughter's features were used in many of Maratta's later paintings. His numerous paintings are displayed in Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Brussels, Rome, Florence, St. Peters- burg in the National Gallery, Hampton Court, and Devon- shire House in England and several reside in the Louvre. Carlos' skill as an architect was put to use, for he also de- signed several buildings. In 1650 Pope Alexander VII gave him many commissions including one of his greatest pieces, a painting of Constan- tine destroying the idols for the Baptistry of the Lateran. This painting bestowed on Carlo increased fame and in 1704 he was knighted by Pope Clement XI. Carlo Maratta at the age of 88 died in Rome. His master- pieces will live on forever. During this Christmas season in many Catholic churches the portrait of the Virgin Mary and the Christ child by Carlo Maratta can be seen on the cover of the Miselettte from November until February.