Obituary of Conte Rosario Messina

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Obituary of  Comte Commendatore Rosario Messina

THE LATE CONTE MESSINA –We have to announce the death of the Comte Commendatore Rosario Messina, one of the richest bankers in the Island of Malta, who breathed his last one on Sunday, 28th February at his town residence in Valletta. The deep gloom spread, over especially the poorest class, was shown at the sad event of his death.  Born of a most respectable family, on July 27th 1798, in Cortali district of Reggio, Province of Calabria, in the kingdom of Italy, Rosario Messina together with hi smother, brothers and sister, was compelled to be present at the murder of his father Don Giovanni, who was the Governor and Chief Magistrate of Bagnara, when on the 19th August 1806, he was killed by the Sanculotti on the public square of the city with thirty six others, who were the chief civil, ecclesiastical, and military authorities.  Their house, as every other in the city, was sacked and plundered, so that the family after a few years abode in Sicily went off to Malta in 1811, and afterwards to Tripoli in 1814.  Possessor of a considerable estate he made up his mind to settle in Malta, where owing to his talents and capacity, as well as to the favourable fortune, he increased and multiplied the same.  The deceased Count  married on the 16th November, 1841, Signorina Marieta Ataliotti, daughter of the late Nicola Ataliotte, Esq., of the island of Schio, well known in the events in Greece in 1820.  By her he had issue two sons and three daughters.  On the 27th June 1851 he was naturalized a British subject by an Act of the Malta Government.  He became afterwards an elected member of the Council, an office which he not long after resigned; had several distinctions and foreign orders for many services to his sovereigns, the late Kings of the two Sicilies, before their incorporation to the Kingdom of Italy, in 1861.  The Conte Rosario Messina was held by them in the highest esteem and respect, as well as by his Holiness Pope Pius IX., who to show his respect and affection to such a devoted son, elevates him, on 29th January, 1862, to the  degree of  Roman Patrician and Nobleman, and made him a Knight of the Golden Spur!  At the end of February, this year, he was seized with a dangerous illness, so that no hope could be entertained of his recovery.  On the 24th February he received his Holy Sacrament, and his last agony was not merely sweetened by the affection of his devoted family and friends, but also by the Sovereign Pontiff, who communicated by telegram the Apostolic Benediction; and amidst the general rief of the venerable old gentlemen, aged 76, expired on the 28th February, in the country that he had loved as a second native land.  The Conte Rosario Messina was a gentleman of noble heart, relgous piety, and affable generosity, especially for the miserable and the poor!  Hid high education and remarkable amiability of manners made hi beloved and respected by all classes.  The general feeling was proclaimed at his funeral, when his remains were on Tuesday, March 2nd, transferred from his house in Valletta tot he parish church of St Dominic, with all the honours due to his rank.  The remains were preceded by several congregations and the whole regular clergy, and followed by the Governor and all the civil authorities.  The funeral service and High Mass of Requiem were celebrated at St. Dominic’s where the faithful, on Wednesday, the 3rd inst,. early from 3 a.m. in the morning literally filled the church cramming every part of it, to pray for the soul of the lamented gentleman.  R.I.P

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