Brother Giovanni Battista Visco.
He was born in Campagna at the beginning of the seventeenth century into a bourgeois family and immediately entered the Franciscan convent of Madonna d'Avigliano where he became a friar.
Gifted with great culture, he soon assumed important positions both at the provincial and national levels, holding the role of Secretary General of the Franciscan order. In 1631 he was appointed General Director of the Franciscans in the congress held in Toledo, which took place with great difficulty given the plague epidemic that spread in those years. In 1639, after his two three-year term as General, full of honors and accomplished deeds, he was appointed bishop of Reggio Calabria and, given the fame he enjoyed, he also became bishop of numerous other Spanish cities. This rise even entailed the summoning to the court of the Habsburg king Philip IV, who immediately appreciated his human and cultural qualities, deeply admiring his strong and proud character.
During a conversation between the king of Spain and his son Charles, the heir to the throne - noticing the monk's less "real" clothes - asked his father why a powerful monarch was talking to a "beggar". The king, pointing to Fra Visco, replied that beyond appearances he was facing a powerful man and that he would do well to honor him and remember him once he ascended the throne, since as General of the Franciscans he was above any sovereign. and two thirds of the approximately eighty thousand convents scattered around the world would have been enough to form an army to be feared by anyone.
I continue praising Giovanni Battista Visco, asserting that he donated a relic in his possession to Campagna, on 16 August 1636: the skull of the virgin martyr Santa Apalia, placed in the seat of San Berardino and present in piazza Melchiorre Guerriero until the middle of the last century. br /> He died in Pozzuoli on November 15, 1660, after being appointed bishop at his request.
Text by Cristian Viglione.
Revisions: Francesco Pezzuti.