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the italian christ

the curious story of a preacher who predicted his death

David Lazzeretti

David Lazzeretti lived in Tuscany during the 1800s. He worked as a horse-cart man.
In 1868 he had visions that made him experience mystical crises. He believes he has been assigned a divine mission, follows the gospels and builds a hermitage on top of a mountain. He has many followers and lives with them in community. He proclaimed himself King of Kings and predicted the day of his death. The church of Rome declares him a heretic and in March 1978 the Vatican excommunicated him. He proclaimed himself "Christ Leader and Judge" and Pope Leo XIII had him seize a rod (divisible into 5 pieces, one for him and 4 for the evangelists) that David Lazzeretti said was that of Moses. During a procession, a mysterious military man who shouldn't have been there shoots him and kills him. On the day he predicted. Shortly after his death his body was examined by the famous criminologist anthropologist Cesare Lombroso. The last priest of his movement died in 2002.


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