A PARISH priest who is
credited with taming Mount Vesuvius, defying Napoleon's soldiers. and getting himself burnt as a "guy" by the secret political Carbonari movement is to be beatified on Sunday in St. Peter's.
Fie is Vincent Romano, who lived from 1751 to 1831. He was born where he lived and died, at Torre del Greco in the Bay of Naples.
Once ordained he lived at home, set up catechism classes, opened a school for boys aspiring to the priesthood, worked among the poor, and cared for the families of local coral divers, in 1794 the town was all but destroyed when Vesuvius erupted. The fact that the town has not been touched since is credited to the new beatus.
The trust of the people of Torre del Greco dates back to the years when Pope Pius VII was imprisoned by Napoleon and Napoleon's troops ruled the Naples area.
When the Pope was released in 1814, Fr. Romano held a triduurn of thanksgiving and hired an orchestra for the occasion. The
cPit'u a Pope heardh eand asked how h rd aosfkFr. Ronmane&s cosoullid reward him. His prayer was that Torre del Greco be preserved for ever from the wrath of Vesuvius.
Back came the blessing along with a statue of Our Lady which was to be thrown into the crater. With some difficulty the parish priest climbed to the top and threw in the image.
Although Vesuvius has erupted five times since then and other cities have been engulfed, Torre del Greco has remained safe.
Pope Gregory XVI authorised the introduction of the Cause for Beatification only 12 years after Fr. Romano died.