South of Rome, nestled in a valley surrounded by the Aurunci Mountains, Itri, Italy, has been home of the Maria SS della Civita for generations. Eviva Maria, a profound story resounding with truth and revelation, sweeps through centuries of history and generational faith to their Madonna. This moving account of history explores the difficult but enduring ties between the sister cities of Itri and Cranston, Rhode Island, the deep faith, sacrifices, determination, and fortitude of the Itrani immigrants; and the pattern of emotions that repeat themselves through generations gives us a renewed awakening to our past and a desire to renew their faith to the Madonna. If you ever wanted to connect and rediscover your ancestral past, this book will strike an indelible cord in your heart.
Bernadette M. Conte is a mother of two children and grandmother of four grandchildren. She has lived in Cranston throughout her life and is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island. She is the founder of Mary’s Way Woman to Women, a Christian spiritual group dealing with the spiritual, psychological, and physical healing needs of women. She initiated group inner healing services throughout the East Coast in the ’70s and has continued this ministry when called upon to groups and those in crisis. Her interest in her ancestral history began when she was a child and witnessed the many trials¸ struggles, and stories of the Itrani immigrants. She has attended the same church since childhood and has practiced their traditions. Through the years her mother, who emigrated from Itri, Italy, gave her spiritual books and documents with a command to scrivi e ricorda (“write and remember”). In 1975 at the request of her pastor, she began her research. Deeply touched by the profound faith the Italian immigrants had in “their” Madonna prompted her to write their story so that all generations of the Itrani people will remember the legacy left to them.