The predecessor of Pope Benedict XVI during his pontificate was visited five times in Sicily. Still in the memory of many Sicilians visit on May 9, 1993, when he thundered from the hills of Agrigento with the index finger against the Mafia: "Mafiosi repent, the day of the Judgement of God This land wants life!" And the mob told him in the summer with car bombs in the Roman church of St. John and St. George in Velabro. Launching its accusation against the sowers of death, Wojtyla had applied to a large cross that had been brought from a church destroyed by the earthquake of Belize: "In the name of this Christ, this Christ died and rose again, I say to the leaders: Repent. " Then Wojtyla had embraced the parents of Judge Rosario Livatino boy killed by the Mafia: "I can not remember the children killed in Sicily in order to affirm the ideals of justice and legality" The day before had been to Trapani and Erice, where he had visited the center Scientific Ettore Maiorana by Prof. Zichichi.
The first of the five visits of Pope Wojtyla was November 21, 1982 in Palermo and in Belize. Palermo was a troubled, marred by great crimes, had been killed regional president Piersanti Mattarella in January '80 and September '82, just a month before the visit of the Pope, the mafia had killed the prefect-general Carlo Alberto Dalla Church. The Cardinal of Palermo, Salvatore Pappalardo, had delivered his famous speech on "Sagunto captured" before the coffin of the general. During the visit had glioperai Encounters of the shipyards, the faculty of the University of Palermo, dell'ospedaleCivico the sick, and the greek community-ordodossa of Piana.
The second trip took place on June 11, 1988 in Messina: the Pope landed at Reggio Calabria and came away mare.nella city of the strait. He met thousands of disabled and did not fail to see the neighborhoods destroyed by the earthquake of 1908. "Courage, Sicily," he said before going to pray before the Black Madonna Tindari. The third visit was on 8 and 9 May 1993 by tapping on the first day Trapani, Erice, Mazara del Vallo, in the second and Agrigento and Caltanissetta where he went among the prisoners in the prison between Malaspina and the employees of the company Averna in the industrial area. The fourth stage on 4-5 November 1994 in Catania and Siracusa. Catania gathered to state Cibalia (now Massimino), in the esplanade at Via Vincenzo Giuffrida and under the arches of the Navy before the Archbishop said: "Be happy, Catania, birthplace of St. Agatha. Be happy despite all the difficulties that you have to bring in those days. Catania, arise. " And at Syracuse the blessed sanctuary of the Madonna of the tears: "Tears of pain for those who reject the word of God, prayer, tears, tears of hope." The fifth was a brief visit to Palermo on 23 novembre'95 Conference eclesiale .. At the end of the Mass that was to statd concelabrata della Favorita, the Pope, addressing the faithful, he said: Thank Sicily, Palermo, thanks, thanks for the your hospitality. I say this in the name of all those who participated in the Holy Eucharist. Here are represented the Italian diocese through these crosses. I say this in the name of all the pastors who concelebrated Mass with the Pope this I say thanks. Sicily, thanks! "
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