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Naples Miscellany 14 (late May, 2008)
—Another Caracciolo. I should have guessed that the Roman Catholic patron saint of cooks would also be one of the saints of Naples! He is St. Francis Caracciolo (1563-1608). He was born in the Abruzzi region of Italy, but studied theology in Naples starting in 1585 and became a priest there. There is an exhibit about his life currently running at the ancient Baslica of Santa Maria Maggiore, where in 1593 he opened the first house of the Congregation of the Minor Clerks Regular, which he helped to found. Caracciolo was beatified in 1769 and canonized in 1807. His feast day is June 4. His remains are in the church of Monteverginella in the historic center of Naples. Interestingly, he is not generally known today in Naples.
—Old statues in Naples and elsewhere look better from a distance than they do up close. Indeed, as you approach the row of famous eight statues on the western facade of the Royal palace, you start to see that bits and pieces have been chipped or broken. Entire fingers are missing, swords are broken off, etc. Some of that can be chalked up to the ravages of time and some of it is no doubt due to vandalism. A commission has been set up to use public subscription to pay for the restoration of the statues, currently underway.