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Amarcord 70s
The Decade that shaped us

1975
(Published 10 and 11 August 2020)

'75 was a year of big changes for Moschiano and the Sanctuary. Various initiatives were undertaken by the new administration of the lawyer Mimi' Moschiano and by the two parish priests.  Mayor Mimi' encouraged us young people to take an active part in community life. He pushed us to follow the work of the administration, to participate in the municipal councils during which he often invited us to express our opinions and sometimes nominated us for the various "commissions".

In the two Parishes the groups continued with their work.  Further steps forward were made at the Sanctuary that year. For years the few electric light bulbs inside the Church and especially the crown of the Madonna had been powered via an electric cable that started from the sacristy of the Church in the Square of Moschiano and up the Mount to the Charity. This connection was made in an "unofficial" form, so to speak, in the sense that it was not the responsibility of the electricity company but of the Parish Priest and the various people who helped him (the "Commissions"). Naturally, in addition to a large dispersion of power, there were also all the faults that such a long and often improvised power line entailed.  To overcome this deficiency, the entrepreneur Gabriele Borrasi came to the rescue and, in memory of his mother, bought and installed a diesel electric generator which was initially placed where the oven was in the former hermits'  kitchen and then, for reasons of stability, transferred to a specially built farmhouse in the courtyard on the right side of the Church. There is nothing left of all this, except the farmhouse, but you can still see the plaque near the switch that turned it on. Finally there was enough electricity.  So what was the next step? Modernize the Church's electrical system  and the electrification of bells. They had been recast and repositioned in the early sixties (see photo) and had always been one of the most sought-after pastimes, especially by young men who went to the Sanctuary on Monday in Albis or Pentecost, or even just passing through, perhaps returning from work. in the fields and they often competed to make the largest bell turn on itself (the so-called “scampaniata”).

In that year there was also a donation from the lawyer. Gaetano Dalia, owner of the land right in front of the Church, who allowed the creation of a large open space just under the stairs so that it could be used as a lookout and parking lot at the same time.

The open space was available to the Sanctuary and the people of Moschiano and Vallo, but it had to be fixed or at least made more useful. Pentecost was upon us and many people would arrive along the road. Once again it was a question of money. How could it be done? The Moschianesi had already contributed a lot for the Sanctuary. While discussing it in the parish group we came up with an idea. Why not do a "Collection Camp" for Moschiamo? Harvest camps were very fashionable in those years and were often held by youth groups for charity. We could have gone to all the houses in Moschiano to collect glass, paper and various metals (iron, aluminium, etc) that were superfluous and then resell them as recyclable material. We liked the idea and put it into practice. We practically cleaned up Moschiano. From the sale of those materials we made enough money that allowed us to hire a company from Quindici to clean up and fix the open space and make it a temporary car parking lot.

Don Salvatore's original idea for that space, however, was different and perhaps few people know or remember it. Once he had the donation Don Salvatore had in mind to create a sculpture and an outdoor altar on one of the terraces of the square. There was also a project donated by the architect who had designed the hall. But once again the costs dampened our enthusiasm. For years that project was on display on the walls of the room adjacent to the sacristy in the square in Moschiano (the so-called "headquarters"). Who knows if it is still preserved in the parish archives. Not being able to carry out that project, in the following years it was decided to embellish the open space and make it more stable by making terraces and stone walls and building areas to park cars, trying to preserve the landscape aspect and the view down. up to Naples and Vesuvius in the best way with many trees and flowers. A plaque still commemorates that donation and works today.

The First Torch of Faith

Easter 1975 had passed and more and more people were coming to the Charity, but we wanted to extend the cult of the Madonna beyond Moschiano and make it a thing for all the citizens of Vallo di Lauro and beyond and, more importantly, involving all the community and the young people of the wall.

The idea promoted by Don Salvatore of a torchlight procession began to circulate. Doing it from Moschiano to the Sanctuary in the evening with all the people would have been suggestive but impractical. So why not propose one along the lines of the Olympic torch relay perhaps on the afternoon of Whit Monday? We would have started from another Sanctuary or Parish of Vallo and with a relay we would have carried the torch from that Church to Charity. Naturally this was not intended to be just a gymnastic exercise but a symbol of dedication of the Vallo and beyond to the Madonna. It was proposed to start from Liveri. We began to contact the parish priest and the Father Guardian of the Convent of Santa Maria a Parete in Liveri so that we could organize this event. The idea was also presented to the other parish priests of the wall who shared it with enthusiasm. We began to  involve the young people of all the parishes that we would have passed through to pray and reflect together as well as the entire population with posters in all the countries. There would also have been a week of preparation for the event with religious ceremonies and meditations.

Don Salvatore asked Maria Pacia (aka “Maria 'e Cecilia”), who was then in Rome with her sisters, to procure torches in the Vatican like those used for the Pope's Via Crucis because we thought they were more resistant to agents atmospheric. She brought us some. The police forces and administrators of the municipalities involved were contacted and the relevant permits were granted.

The big day came on May 19, 1975, Whit Monday. In the morning there were Masses at the Sanctuary with many people. In the afternoon we all went to the Sanctuary of Maria SS a Parete in Liveri. Along the way we could already see the young people from the other Parishes preparing along the route. After a simple ceremony and prayers at the Liveri Sanctuary we left with the first torchbearer. The panther and some motorcyclist officers from the Lauro Police are ahead to act as trailblazers and guarantee the safety of the procession. Then the Torch, Don Salvatore's car with the other torches to use along the way and then many other cars to collect the various young people who had completed their journey or simply pilgrims to follow her up to the Sanctuary. Along the route, people lined the sides of the road with the Carabinieri of Marzano, Lauro and Quindici and the traffic police of the individual towns to ensure everyone's safety. Professor Moschiano's article (see photo) describes the event very well.

There were no hitches. Since we were walking at a fast pace, the torches were consumed more quickly by trotting. In the last kilometer or so we no longer had any and we resorted to candles.  The last torchbearers did somersaults (literally) to avoid getting burned and to ensure that the torch did not go out. Despite everything we arrived at the Sanctuary. The brazier was there in front of the Church. The bells (now electrified) were ringing in celebration. We expected all the people to arrive and get off the cars and join those already present. There was a lot of it with cars parked everywhere. The Torch (now a candle) was passed to  Bishop His Exc. Guerino Grimaldi in the churchyard of the Sanctuary who lit the brazier there.  Then everyone went into the Church for the Holy Mass of thanksgiving.  The Torch of Faith was born.

Note: In the photo of the bishop lighting the torch you cannot see Don Salvatore because he was in the back of the Sanctuary. While he was waiting for all the people to get out of the car, suddenly the bells stopped ringing. The generator had stopped. Don Salvatore left the Bishop in the churchyard and ran into the courtyard. What had happened? The undersigned (who was in charge of operating the generator), overcome by euphoria, had forgotten to check if there was enough fuel. I won't tell you what Don Salvatore didn't tell me

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1975 Moschiano si muove

1975 Moschiano si muove

1975 Nuova Strada a Moschiano

1975 Nuova Strada a Moschiano

1975 Problema idrico

1975 Problema idrico

1975 Placca generatore

1975 Placca generatore

1962 Campane 1

1962 Campane 1

1962 Campane 3

1962 Campane 3

Targa avv dalia

Targa avv dalia

1975 Vescovo Grimaldi fiaccola della fede

1975 Vescovo Grimaldi fiaccola della fede

1975 Prima Fiaccola della Fede

1975 Prima Fiaccola della Fede

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