The Campania Delegation of the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Savoy, headed by Comm. O.SS.M.L. Nob. Gerardo Mariano Rocco of the Princes of Torrepadula, met in the Royal and Pontifical Basilica of St. Francis of Paola for a Holy Mass, during which the diplomas and the related insignia were handed over to the new members and candidates for promotion into the Savoy Knightly Forces. They had been awarded in Geneva during the year 2020 but had not been handed over due to the suspension of the General Chapter.
There were many awardees in 2020, including representatives of the most ancient Neapolitan aristocracy, such as Don Pierlugi Sanfelice dei Duchi di Bagnoli, who was appointed Grand Officer of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus; among the awardees was also Captain Gennaro Arma who, whilst in command of the cruise ship Diamond Princess, heroically managed the pandemic emergency that had just broken out and the quarantine imposed on the ship’s 3,700 passengers: he received the Gold Medal of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus.
Also honoured were those who endeavoured to make a charitable contribution under the auspices of the House of Savoy during the pandemic, such as the Most Reverend Mgr. Luigi Castiello, who set up the “Armadio dei Pigiami” and “Casa Mafalda”, two charitable projects at the Ospedale del Mare to assist the families of Covid-19 patients.
Among the other honorees, we would like to mention the 19th Cavalry Regiment of the “Guide”, which has often been deployed abroad for peace-keeping missions, the parish priest of the Basilica of St. Francis of Paola, Brother Mario Savarese O. M., Brother Mokhless Massri Habib Rafael, parish priest of the Basilica of St. Catherine of Alexandria in Egypt, where for 70 years the remains of HM King Vittorio Emanuele were kept, and the Director of the El Alamein Military Memorial, Lieutenant Cosimo D’Amico.
On this occasion, the Head of the Royal House of Savoy, H.R.H. Prince Vittorio Emanuele, sent a heartfelt message, which was read out at the end of the celebration.
The ceremony ended with a vin d’honneur in the Papal Sacristy of the Basilica in honour of the new members.