France/Montceau: Twinning. Reception of the Calabrian delegation for the arrival of the Madonna of Lungro

Published on 18/09/2023 | La rédaction


Marie-Claude Jarrot, the town's mayor, and her deputies welcomed a Calabrian delegation from the Firmo-Lungro-Acquaformosa Montceau (FLAM) twinning committee to the town hall on Saturday September 16.

And to mark the arrival of the Madonna di Lungro in our town. She left Calabria for the 1st time in her history, and the fact is astonishing enough to underline its importance. A mass was celebrated on Sunday in the Montchanin church, followed by a procession down the town's main street.

Mme Jarrot began by expressing her pleasure at receiving them, and seeing them again, referring to her visit to Calabria last year. "When I'm not in the mood, I look at this photo we took, where it looked like La Dolce Vita...". Adding: "By the way, this one was taken from far enough away so that you can't see the wrinkles, and close enough so that you can still recognize the people".

Then, still joking and changing register, the elected representative declared that "Of course, since its first edition in 1956, Italy has won the the Eurovision Song Contest three times, while France has only won it once, in 1977 (by Marie Myriam with the song L'oiseau et l'Enfant).

"On the other hand, our Eiffel Tower is upright and your Leaning Tower of Pisa," says Ms Jarrot with a smile.

Leonida Repaci's parable

A few moments later, the elected representative shared with her audience the parable imagined by writer Leonida Repaci about her region, Calabria.

"God created Calabria. He endowed it with extraordinary beauty, natural resources and countless monuments: the sea, the mountains, temples, churches, castles and so on. Then, tired by so much work, he fell asleep.

That's when the devil stepped in and took God's place. And the devil gave Calabria malaria and pirates, brigands and the onorata società (mafia), misery and latifundia, earthquakes and illegal construction.

By the time God woke up, it was too late to heal all these wounds. Calabria retained its first gifts, but also its second. The richness of history and nature, the poverty and wickedness of men...".

Anyone with a dream...

A little later, Mme Jarrot thanked all those who had made it possible for the Calabrians to come to Montceau. A visit that strengthens the bonds every time. She also thanked the Calabrians who had come to work in France, and adjusted a quote from Elizabeth Spencer, an American novelist: "Anyone with a dream should go to Italy. It doesn't matter if you think the dream is dead and buried. In Italy, it will rise up and walk again. Original version.

Carmine Ferraro, Mayor of Lungro

After Marie-Claude Jarrot's speech, it was the turn of Carmine Ferraro, Mayor of Lungro, to underline the importance of twinning. Recalling that the first immigrants had been received and welcomed by our town, to enable them to lead a more dignified life...

Carmine Ferraro then presented Mme Jarrot with samples of many of the diocese's books, as well as a representation of the Madonna of Lungro. The books will be displayed in the Montceau media library.

Father Arcangelo Capparelli, Lungro parish administrator

Father Arcangelo Capparelli, administrator of the Lungro parish, said he was delighted that the Madonna of Lungro had come to us. And that he had realized that such an event had aroused a great deal of emotion in the Montchanin church.

Valentina Pastena, President of the municipal council with delegation

Valentina Pastena, President of the municipal council with delegation, then thanked France in general and Montceau in particular, as she had been lulled by the stories told by her relatives who had immigrated here.

The floor was then given to Giuseppe Bosco, Mayor of Firmo, who rightly spoke of the difficulty of being the last to speak, as "I feel like I'm repeating myself", he said. He went on to say that, tired by the journey from his home town, he had thought that the mayor of Montceau had changed. It was simply that he had been introduced to the mayor...of Montchanin!

And he joked that he hoped he'd still be there next time, as elections are due to be held next year in Firmo.

In closing, Marie-Claude Jarrot paid tribute to her deputy Jocelyne Buchalik, without whom nothing would have been possible for this delegation to come. "She relied on associations, human resources and the town itself, in particular via Charlotte Lavigne, cultural mediator for the town of Montceau.

The welcome of the Calabrian friends ended with a friendly drink.


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