The celebrations of the Patroness of the Arma, Maria Virgo Fidelis, began this morning in Rome, in the Historical Museum of Piazza Risorgimento, where the commander general Giovanni Nistri placed a laurel wreath at the Shrine in honor of the fallen carabinieri.
Subsequently, General Nistri went to the Officers Carabinieri School where, in the presence of the representatives of the Italian Post Office, the Poligrafico Institute, the State Mint and the Ministry of Economic Development, the stamp celebrating the Virgo Fidelis, Patroness of the Weapon, was presented to celebrate the 70 anniversary of the proclamation. The vignette, by Maria Carmela Perrini, bounded on the left by two vertical bands in the colors of the Carabinieri, depicts the bas-relief "Virgo Fidelis" by the sculptor and architect Giuliano Leonardi, kept at the Legion of Carabinieri students of Rome, which represents the Virgin in a collected attitude as she reads in a book the prophetic words of the Apocalypse: "Be faithful unto death". The new stamp has been included in a collection that includes all those issued for the Arma dei Carabinieri, from the first, dating back to the 1964, on the occasion of the 150 years of the Weapon, to those for the celebration of the Bicentennial and other anniversaries, up to nowadays, for a total of twenty-two philatelic issues.
At the end of the presentation, if cardinal Angelo Comastri, vicar general of his holiness for the Vatican City, and the military ordinary, if Msgr. Santo Marcianò, celebrated the Holy Mass in which the leaders of the Arma took part, the representatives of the National Carabinieri Association, the National Forestry Association on leave, the National Assistance Work for Orphans of the Military of the Carabinieri (ONAOMAC) and representative bodies, together with the Carabinieri serving in the departments of the capital.
Mass was followed by the celebration of the "Orphan's Day", established in the 1996, which represents for the carabinieri and the ONOMAC a concrete moment of closeness to the families of the disappeared colleagues, through the delivery of scholarships and prizes to the orphans most distinguished in academic performance. In the circumstances, General Nistri personally rewarded some orphans.
The celebration of the Virgo Fidelis goes back to the 1949, when Pope Pius XII officially proclaimed Mary "Virgo Fidelis" Patroness of the Carabinieri, fixing its anniversary at the 21 November, the date on which Christianity celebrates the presentation of the Virgin Mary at the temple and anniversary of the "Battle of Culqualber ".
The 21 November of 1941 took place one of the bloodiest battles in the land of Africa, in which a battalion of carabinieri sacrificed itself in the defense, which lasted for three months, of the Culqualber stronghold. Those Fallen went to be part of the large group of carabinieri who, in peace and in war, knew how to keep the oath given to the extreme sacrifice. The flag of the Carabinieri was awarded the second Gold Medal for Military Valor, after the one obtained for participation in the First World War.