The Mafia survived in the shadows while holding Sicily in an iron-clad fist for over a century. Its colonisation of Sicilian folklore, such as the legend of the Beati Paoli, and misappropriation of traditional Sicilian values, including the importance of honour and love for the family, made Cosa Nostra appear to be a timeless and inevitable reality of Sicilian life.
A very important part of this strategy was the takeover of Catholic symbols, rituals and performative events that are beloved by Sicilians, branding the Mafia and its members as honourable and devout, while in fact they were quite the opposite.
This book looks at how Cosa Nostra manipulated Sicilian society and the Catholic Church for decades, disappearing into the background while hiding in plain sight. The roots of the Mafia in the island's religious superstition, bigotry and legends were so strong that it took over one hundred years and a massacre for the vows of secrecy to be broken, revealing the true face of the Sicilian Mafia.
Civil society, the Italian State, and the Catholic Church are now engaged in a relentless and ongoing battle with the Mafia for Sicily's soul.
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