9 February 2019

9 February

Ferdinando Carulli - classical guitarist and composer

Neapolitan wrote first guide to playing the instrument

The composer Ferdinando Carulli, who published the first complete method for playing the classical guitar as well as writing more than 400 works for the instrument, was born on this day in 1770 in Naples.  Carulli was also influential in changing the design of the guitar, which had a smaller body and produced a less resonant sound when he started out, to something much more like the classical guitars of today. Read more...


Pope Gregory XV

Legally-trained pontiff was against witchcraft and for secret ballots

Gregory XV, who was christened Alessandro Ludovisi, became pope on this day in 1621. He was the last pope to issue a papal ordinance against witchcraft with his ‘Declaration against Magicians and Witches’, put out in March 1623. He was also the last pontiff to be elected by acclamation rather than through a secret ballot.  Already 67 years of age and in a weak state of health when he was chosen as pope, he relied heavily on his 25-year-old nephew, Ludovico Ludovisi, to assist him in his duties. Read more…


Ezechiele Ramin – missionary

Priest from Padua who was murdered in Brazil

Ezechiele Ramin, a Comboni missionary who was shot to death by hired killers after standing up for the rights of peasant farmers and traditional tribesmen in a remote rural area in Brazil, was born on this day in 1953 in Padua.  An easy-going and popular man who played the guitar, Ramin was only 32 when he was murdered in July 1985, having worked in the South American country for about a year and a half.  Read more…


Vito Antuofermo - world champion boxer

Farmer's son from deep south who won middleweight title 

Vito Antuofermo, who went from harvesting grapes, olives and almonds in the fields as a boy to becoming a world champion in the boxing ring, was born on this day in 1953 in Palo del Colle, a small town in Apulia. He took up boxing after his family emigrated to the United States in the mid-1960s.  After turning professional in 1971, he became European light-middleweight champion in January 1976 and world middleweight champion in June 1979. Read more...

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