Father De Maria
conserved inside the shrine of the Church of Saint John Baptist in
He was born on
the 12th December of 1857 in
the age of 19 he started his studies attending at the archiepiscopal
seminary in Catania first, and after that he continued on at the seminary
in Acireale. On the 19th May 1883 he was ordained
as priest. Than he was assigned to the parish of "S.
in Acireale.On The 15th May of 1884 he was named curate
chancellor of the parish in Acitrezza.
succeeds to widen the church of S. Giovanni Baptist, in particular, he realized
the shrine and on it, a rectory of three floors that was completed in
1902. Thanks to his perseverance was
right to the deanery of the church of Aci S. Filippo.
In 1903 he re-instituted the archpriest of Acitrezza, becoming the sixth
archpriest after 50 years from the last (Don Salvatore Spina).
We can describe De Maria as punctilious,
passionate and scrupulous for his abilities to study the local history of
are his publications: "memorie storiche di Aci S. Lucia",
"il culto di S. Giovanni Battista in Acitrezza", "nel sesto
centenario dell'incendio del castello di Aci", etc.
But De Maria wrote a lot in
particular about Acitrezza: he scrupulously wrote a note of all that
he thought was important for the history of Acitrezza but thanks to
today's priest of Acitrezza, Don Salvatore Coco and Dr. Gaetano Cosimo
Cacciola, they came in part recovered and published on the book "
Acitrezza e il suo Parroco tra '800 and '900 ".
he had cultivated his passion for archaeology that would have been of
inestimable value for Acitrezza . He began to
collect all old coins, pieces, earthenware and whatever was found in the
area during the digs for the building of new houses. He created a small
museum in a room of his rectory.
In March of 1928 he was forced to discharge himself like priest of
Acitrezza. He went away from the place because he thought that his
archaeological collection would
have been better held
far from potential damage that wrong hands could bring
and then, in June of 1933, he donated it to the "Zelantea"
In 1948 he came back to Acitrezza to
live last moments of his own life. The 30th September of 1950 he died. He was buried in the
communal cemetery of Acicastello.
He really gave a lot to Acitrezza, perhaps like nobody else. It is thanks to
his efforts that today the
new Parish of “S. Maria la Nuova” exists, because he bought a land on the 27th
February 1918, thinking that Acitrezza was going to get bigger and just a church was not enough.