‘St. Francis escorted him to heaven’: Sam Greco’s life began and ended with Italian saint

Nov 21, 2023 816

BY: Vincent T. Davis

He was his mother’s miracle. Elvira Battafarano Greco prayed to San Francesco di Paola for a son. After five miscarriages, she promised that if her prayers were answered, she’d dress the boy like a monk every Sunday for five years. She kept her promise. Throughout his life, Sam J. Greco continued his mother’s devotion to St. Francis, the patron saint of Italians and Italian Americans. Greco died Nov. 14. He was 82. 

Last year, Greco commissioned a 6-foot-tall bronze sculpture of St. Francis to replace a statue of Christopher Columbus that was removed from Piazza Italia Park in July 2020. Protests about the 15th-century explorer’s treatment of indigenous people led to the removal of monuments across the nation. On Sept. 14, Greco stood with family, friends, parishioners and dignitaries for the unveiling of the statue. His gift to the city was his last civic act.

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SOURCE: https://www.expressnews.com

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