|His Majesty King Francesco II of the Two Sicilies in his later years.|
The opening for the case of the beatification of King Francesco II of the Two Sicilies, the last monarch of that kingdom, is to take place in the coming week. The announcement was made on 11 December by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, the Archbishop of Naples from 2006 until 12 December 2020, in a public session of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
|King Francesco II of the Two Sicilies and his wife Queen Maria Sophia.|
"In the next meeting," Cardinal Sepe stated, "the Bishops of Campania will present two new candidates for sainthood, among them there is a king, Francesco II." The meeting of the Campania Bishops' Conference is scheduled for 16 December. Monsignor Antonio Salvatore Paone, of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, explained "The Conference must issue the nulla osta for the opening of the investigation into the 'heroic virtues' for the Servant of God Francesco II of the Two Sicilies. Immediately afterward, the Congregation will start the investigation, with the interrogation of witnesses." The final king of the Two Sicilies will be proclaimed Servant of God, which is the first step on the path towards sainthood. The last stage will require the verification of any miracles. "This is a separate investigation," added Mgr. Paone, "on scientifically inexplicable facts, but which can take place in parallel with that on heroic virtues."
|The last King and Queen of the Two Sicilies at Gaeta.|
The news of the opening of the beatification process for the king was greeted by the Fondazione Francesco II delle Due Sicilie, which collaborated in the collection and procurement of documents and testimonies on the life of the last Bourbon king of Naples. "He [Francesco II] is a figure who can teach us a lot about the relationship with suffering and poverty," said Don Luciano Rotolo, one of the co-founders of the Fondazione Francesco II delle Due Sicilie. Marina Carrese, of the Fondazione il Giglio, said that "the opening of the cause of beatification is a post-mortem compensation to a king slandered by official historiography, and it gives hope to those who fight to restore the South to its historical memory." Gennaro De Crescenzo, the president of the Movimento Neoborbonico, stated: "A solemn Mass for King Francesco II will also be held this year in Naples, on 27 December. The king was distinguished by his profound religiosity, for the many charitable actions that he undertook, for his love for the people of the Two Sicilies, as witnessed to the very end in the heroic defence of Gaeta."