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Michele PEZZA a/k/a Fra Diavolo
Posted by: Rebecca Drummond (ID *****5759) Date: February 09, 2005 at 18:07:01
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While on an Italian genealogy site, I gave our family's nickname for our Belcastro name: Lucifer. I was embarrassed for obvious reasons; however, a man in our ancestral town in Calabria, San Giovanni in Fiore, wrote back to say that our family was descended from Michele PEZZA: "He was a local hero but an enemy of Napoleon. He was born in Itri in 1771 and was hanged in 1806/7. There was a battle and the Italians were defeated. Michele and a few survivors went into hiding at the capuccini monastery in San Giovanni in Fiore. He dressed the habit but he was not a monk. He didn't have the vow of chastity and fell in love with a beautiful girl. Back then, to see a monk living with a girl as his wife meant at the very least he was a devil and here is where the nickname came in." That explanation was comforting as opposed to whatever other reason we had that nickname. I'm in contact with a direct descendant of Michele PEZZA who lives in Rhode Island. Are there any others out there who are familiar with Fra Diavolo and can you shed some light on any BELCASTRO-PEZZA familial relationship?


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