As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
I was looking through my late grandmothers photo collection a while back, and in amongst the postcards and pictures of us my mother had sent back home I found this prayer card.
The large text translates as "Souvenir of the celebration of the national day of emigration."
The smaller text translates as "The family of Nazareth, Jesus Mary and Joseph, emigrants in Egypt, are the model, the example and the support of all the emigrants"
We all know the Christmas story, but I had never paid much attention to this particular aspect of it before. Perhaps you other emigrants out there might like to share in this thought at this time of year.
While at a Funeral Home this afternoon, an elderly Italian priest came in to say the "Rosario". At one point he paused ... and started talking about the sacrifices immigrants made by leaving Italy. He then included a prayer for all the immigrants.... something I had never heard before -ever. It was quite nice to hear.