Even today, two hundred years later, there are still some Neapolitans who furtively cross themselves when his name is spoken. Raimondo Di Sangro, the “sorcerer” prince. Let us take a closer look at this Neapolitan & see what his legacy truly is.
Raimondo Di Sangro was born to Antonio, Duke of Torremaggiore & Cecilia Gaetani of Aragon. His mother passed away while he was an infant. He studied at the Clementine College of Jesuit Priests in Rome. At 16, Raimondo Di Sangro inherited the title of his father, becoming the seventh prince of Sanssevero. After his Jesuit education, Raimondo Di Sangro was initiated into a secret Rosicrucian alchemical society. From this moment onward Mr. Di Sangro’s life changed radically. He devoted all of his time to alchemy. At night strange colored smoke & pestilential odors were observed coming from his palace.
Raimondo Di Sangro also had another hobby, Bel Canto. In spite of his being acquainted with the pleasures of family life & having children he also enjoyed going around his many estates in search of young boys with beautiful voices. He would usually find them in the church choir and subsequently purchase them from their parents. He would then have his personal physician, Don Giuseppe Salerno, castrate them. Next he would lock them up in the poor house in Naples, within which these young castrated boys started their careers as “sopranists”.
Most of these unfortunate singers came from the kingdom of the two sicilies. However the castrati fad had actually originated within the pontifical state where the Pope had banned women from the stage. Mr. Di Sangro saw, within the castrati, a search for perfection which according to the Rosicrucians resulted from “annulling the dualism that comes from separation, a return to the primordial androgynous being.”
In the mid-eighteenth century there were rivalries between different Rites & Lodges of Freemasonry within the kingdom of the two sicilies. Mr. Di Sangro was the man who united them all under one Grand Lodge, the “perfect union””, with himself as Grand Master. In 1751, disaster struck Freemasonry in Naples when Carlos III supported the Papal Bull which was issued by Benedict XIV on May 18, 1751 within which Freemasonry was condemned outright. As Grand Master, Mr. Di Sangro ordered the dissolution of all Freemasonic lodges within the kingdom in July of 1751 as well as a cessation of all Freemasonic activity.
Moreover, apparently breaking his vows of secrecy, he provided the king with a complete list of all Freemasons within the kingdom. Why he took those actions becomes quite apparent when one understands that the Freemasons within the kingdom were neither arrested nor persecuted but rather, they were merely “severely reprimanded.” More importantly, recent scholarship undertaken by Clara Miccinelli, has uncovered an authenticated letter from the private archive of Francesco Gaeta which shed astounding new light on this subject.
In November of 1753 Mr. Di Sangro wrote a letter which was encoded as a Rosicrucian cipher to his disciple, Baron Henry Theodore Tschoudy. This long personal letter was accompanied by a voluminous manuscript which contained a set of rituals, chapters, tables & historical details on Freemasonry. Raimondo also gives permission to add indictments against him personally in order to accentuate his image of “brother informer” & “perjurer”, which has come down to us today.
Thus it becomes quite clear that Raimondo Di Sangro’s “betrayal” was but a play in order to divert all suspicion from the secretly uninterrupted activities of Freemasonry in Naples & more importantly from the “Rosa d’Ordine Magno” which was a Rosicrucian cover for Pagan tantric cult that had secretly been using Freemasonry as a recruitment vehicle all along. This letter also reveals that members of the “Rosa d’Ordine Magno” included, among others, Peggi-from the clergy who was an intimate of the Pope, Benedetto Latilla-confessor of King Carlos III, Knobe Sdorff-architect of Frederick the Great, Rev. Giuseppe Orlan-whom was charged with instructing the king on the subversive nature of Freemasonry.
Nevertheless, Mr. Di Sangro’s real obsession was with posterity, that is, us. For many years he thought about what he could do to astonish us & that is how a masterpiece of hermetic art, the San Severo Chapel, was born.
When you first come in you feel as though you are in a small rectangular Baroque church which is teeming with paintings & decorations. You are surrounded by eighteen statues, seventeen of which are either at your sides or at your back with one at the center of the room. All the statues are very well made & bear the name of famous sculptors of the period. However three of these statues are very special. We will now examine them.
The Veiled Christ-
This statue shows a dying Christ which is entirely covered by a marble veil that becomes one with the statue itself as well as the bed on which the statue rests. The incredible thing is that the features of Christ (his eyes, nose, mouth, the muscles on his arms) can all be glimpsed “under” the veil which gives one the impression that the statue was covered “later” with a veil of marble that became “amalgamated” with the rest of the statue. How was this achieved? If you think you’re seeing things we shall now move on to the statue of disillusionment which rests almost at the end of the Chapel.
The Statue of Disillusionment-
This statue depicts a man whom is struggling within a net as he attempts to free himself with the help of a winged youth. It’s allegorical meaning is that man is intent upon freeing himself from the false beliefs (the net) with the aid of the intellect (the young man). The astonishing thing is that the net completely surrounds the statue that has already been sculpted, while it remains an integral part of the statue. How is this accomplished? Continuing our visit let us now examine the statue of modesty which is stationed towards the front of the Chapel.
The Statue of Modesty-
This statue shows a rather Junoesque, nude woman whom is covered from head to toe with a very thin veil of marble which depicts her form in every detail. According to some, its allegorical meaning is that if you wish to possess knowledge you must first lift the veil which covers it.
How is it that these statues were covered with veils & nets made entirely of marble? At this point there is no reasonable explanation to this query. However, the true horrors which were wrought by Mr. Di Sangro become all too apparent when we climb down within the Chapel to what was once the entrance to his secret laboratory. Here, in the glass cases, standing over six-feet in height are stored the so-called “anatomic machines”.
The Anatomic Machines-
Anatomic Machine (Female)
A woman’s skeleton has her right arm raised & her eyeballs still intact, almost luminescent, transfixed in a truly terrified expression. It almost seems as it she is begging for help. Her bones are entirely covered with a very thick arterial & venous system which as it became “metalicized” preserved the most important organs. It has been discovered that at the time of this woman’s death she was in fact pregnant. We can clearly see the open placenta, from which the umbilical cord is spilling out & then joining the foetus. Just like his mother’s, this unborn child’s skull can be opened in order to see the complex network of blood vessels inside of it.
The male version of the “anatomic machine” has more or less the same features, the only difference being that his arms are not raised but instead they are resting alongside of his trunk.
It is all too easy to envision these unfortunate people as they were tied hand & foot to a sort of surgeon’s table begging for their lives while the diabolic Don Raimondo, with the assistance of his private physician, Giuseppe Salerno, injected them with a substance that upon entering the circulatory system gradually blocked it up to the point of causing death.
At that point the substance may have “metalicized” the veins & arteries subsequently preserving them from decomposition. In fact, Mr. Di Sangro would had to have waited for the flesh to completely decompose before obtaining what he so pompously referred to as his “anatomical machines.”
As demonic as this act was, this is not the last mystery which is contained within the Chapel. It is irrefutable that the layout of the of the statues & the paintings were deliberately designed to relay a message which could only be deciphered through the use of Freemasonic symbology. In spite of numerous attempts to decipher this message it has yet to be decoded.
“The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands make religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world.”
-Your Fellow Traveller