Sister Serafina Valente of
Serafina Valente was born in Gambatesa in 1888. There were several photographs of Serafina among the photographs that belonged to Nunziata DiRenzo, the wife of Giovanni Valente.
Written on the back of this photograph is:
After Nunziata's death, one of her children in America thought they remembered that Serafina's mother's name was VALENTE and that her father's name was FANELLI. But this was incorrect.
by Angelo Abiuso (Geneva)
Concerning Serafina (Sister Serafina, the nun) she wasn't a Fanelli but she was a Valente.
Serafina is "too long" a name to pronounce even in Italian. They called her Fenell' (in dialect of course), a kind of nickname for Serafina. She was well known as Za Fenell' [za is dialect for zia ("aunt")]. Serafina was my great-grandfather Luca Valente's sister.
She was close to getting married, but her future husband's family asked too much of Serafina's father. Her future father-in-law asked for more land and more animals, and he wanted to choose which land and which animals they had to give him (He wanted to go into their barn and choose the cow himself).
They didn't reach any agreement, and then during the night after a discussion with her father Serafina took the decision to leave for a convent. She said that the Virgin Mary appeared to her in a dream and showed her what to do.
She was sent to Venafro first (a place near Monte-Cassino). But two young girls from Gambatesa were staying at this convent too. One night they broke out and spent the whole night outside. As soon as Rome learned about this, the decision was taken to close the convent and to send everybody (except the two young girls) to Brazil.
Serafina worked there in a Mission and she always got in touch with the whole family (your family may have received lots of letters from her because my great grandfather and my parents in Switzerland got letters too). She grew old and for her last years she was sent to Spain. She asked to visit Gambatesa one more time (she was very old) in order to meet all the young and old members of the family. She died in Spain.
If you look in the microfilms [of the Civil Register of Gambatesa] you will certainly find something about her. She was your grandfather [Giovanni Valente's] first cousin.
My grandmother's mother was certainly one of the last Gambatesans who saw Serafina when Serafina was leaving Gambatesa to enter the convent. Serafina was sitting on a carretto, a cart pulled by a horse... there were few cars when she left Gambatesa. Serafina said to her, "Do you want to come with me?" "Where are you going?" replied my great-grandmother. "I go over there," said Serafina. Since then my great-grandmother used to say about her, "She said I am going over there, and I didn't see her again."
When she came for the last time to Gambatesa, Serafina came with two young nuns and she wasn't allowed to sleep at "home". She slept in another house in Gambatesa, at her brother Luca Valente's son Francesco's house in Via Nazionale Sannitica. On her way to Gambatesa (a man from Gambatesa drove the three nuns from Rome to Gambatesa) the car crashed in the fondo valle ["the bottom of the valley below the village"] and the driver said « un altro poco e addio monache! » ["A bit more and good-bye nuns!"]
The dowry is called a dod' in dialect [la dote in Italian]. It was, and maybe still is, very important in Gambatesa.
Giovanni Valente's daughter Esther (1930-1994) and his niece Anna-v visited Serafina at her convent near Barcelona, Spain, in September 1960. Esther remembered that Sister Serafina was happy to have visitors from America; she introduced Esther and Anna-v to all the other nuns and took the two girls to lunch.
From the Italian Civil Register
- b. = born (nacque)
- m. = married (sposò)
- d. = died (morì)
- # = number (numero)
b. 17 April 1888 at 8 PM at Via Sannicola #14 to Francesco VALENTE, age 41, agricoltore, and his wife Filomena Incoronata IADAROLA, donna di casa
Birth reported 19 April 1888 at 7:45 AM in the Casa Comunale of Gambatesa to Giovanni Tronca Segretario delegato by the child's father Francesco Valente
The witnesses were Teodoro Valentino, 49, contadino, and Donato Abiuso, 60, agricoltore
Signed only by Francesco Valente and by Giovanni Tronca Segretario
[Gambatesa Nascita 1888 #58, microfilm copy of the original civil register in the State Archive of Campobasso, Italy]
VALENTE, Luca Antonio
b. 18 October 1894 at 1:30 AM at Via Sannicola #19 to Francesco Valente, 47, possidente, and his wife Filomena IADAROLA, donna di casa
Birth reported 20 October at 11:30 AM in the Casa comunale of Gambatesa to Giovanni Tronca Segretario delegato by the child's father Francesco Valente
The witnesses were Pasquale Simeone, 53, contadino, and Antonio Moffa, 30, contadino
Signed only by Francesco Valente and by Giovanni Tronca Segretario Delegato
[MARGIN] married Maria Nicola MOFFA, 15 October 1916
[Gambatesa Nascita 1894 #108]
Note: Maria Nicola Moffa was from Riccia, Molise, a large town about 4 and 1/2 miles (longer by road) to the southwest of Gambatesa.
Other Brothers and Sisters
VALENTE, Antonia Maria
b. 13 June 1872 at 11 PM at Via San Nicola to Francesco VALENTE di Donato, age 25, contadino, and his wife Maria Filomena Incoronata IADAROLA di Raimondo, age 23
Birth reported 14 June 1872 at 5 PM in the Casa Comunale of Gambatesa to Giuseppe Ferrara Sindaco by the child's father Francesco Valente
The witnesses were Giuseppe Monforte fu Giovanni, 62, contadino, and Francesco Petrilli fu Luigi, 60, contadino
Signed only by Giuseppe Ferrara
[Gambatesa Nascita 1872 #63]
m. 26 March 1898 at 10:30 AM at the Casa Comunale of Gambatesa: 1.º Michele Antonio IADAROLA, 22, agricoltore, resident of Gambatesa, son del fu Francesco, possidente, resident in vita a Gambatesa, and of Maria Stella CURIALE, contadina; 2.º Antonia Maria VALENTE, 26, contadina, daughter of Francesco, 51, possidente, and of Filomena Incoronata IADAROLA, donna di casa
[Gambatesa Matrimoni 1898 #12; Pubblicazioni 1898 #12]
VALENTE, Donato Antonio
b. 30 January 1874 at 7 PM at Via San Nicola to Francesco VALENTE di Donato, age 27, contadino, and his wife Maria Filomena Incoronata IADAROLA di Raimondo, age 25
Birth reported 31 January 1874 at 1 PM in the Casa Comunale of Gambatesa to Giuseppe Ferrara Sindaco by the child's father Francesco Valente
The witnesses were Giuseppe Monforte fu Giovanni, 64, contadino, and Antonio Simone fu Giovanni, 74, contadino
Signed only by Giuseppe Ferrara
[Gambatesa Nascita 1874 #17]
m. 31 May 1900 at 4:30 PM at the Casa Comunale of Tufara, Circondario of Campobasso, Provincia of Molise: 1.º Donato Antonio VALENTE, 26, celibe, possidente, born and resident of Gambatesa, son of Francesco, possidente, and of Filomena Incoronata IADAROLA, donna di casa; 2.º Domenica Maria Giuseppa FERRUCCI, 24, nubile, donna di casa, daughter of Giuseppe, possidente, and of Luisa NARDACCHIONE, donna di casa
[Gambatesa Matrimoni 1900 Parte II #2; Pubblicazioni 1900 Parte II #5]
Related Page: Donato Valente in Rochester, New York, 1942.
Note: † = died in childhood
† VALENTE, Donato Antonio
b. 30 March 1871 at 2 PM at Via San Nicola to Francesco Valente, 24, contadino
[Gambatesa Nascita 1871 #60]
d. 18 July 1871 at 1 PM
[Gambatesa Morti 1871 #59]
b. 22 October 1875 at 8:10 AM at Via Sannicola #14 to Francesco Valente, 28, contadino
[Gambatesa Nascita 1875 #111]
m. 9 February 1899 at 10:30 AM at the Casa Comunale of Gambatesa: 1.º Domenico VALENTE, 24, possidente, born in Gambatesa, resident of Gambatesa, son of Francesco, and of Filomena IADAROLA; 2.º Maria Giovanna SANTELLA, 22, donna di casa, born in Gambatesa, resident of Gambatesa, daughter del fu Samuele, and of Maria Filomena di RENZO
[Gambatesa Matrimoni 1899 #3]
d. after 1910
† VALENTE, Carmina Serafina
b. 28 November 1877 at 6:15 AM at Via Sannicola #14 to Francesco Valente, 30, agricoltore
[Gambatesa Nascita 1877 #141]
d. 20 January 1886 at 2:15 PM at Via Sannicola #13
[Gambatesa Morti 1886 #9]
† VALENTE, Giovanni Antonio
b. 17 February 1880 at 6:30 PM at Via Sannicola #14 to Francesco Valente, 33, agricoltore
[Gambatesa Nascita 1880 #22]
d. 6 July 1881 at 12 PM
[Gambatesa Morti 1881 #104]
† VALENTE, Maria Giovanna
b. 1 August 1882 at 5:15 AM at Via Sannicola #14 to Francesco Valente, 35, agricoltore
[Gambatesa Nascita 1882 #74]
d. 16 March 1883 at 9:30 PM at Via Sannicola #14
[Gambatesa Morti 1883 #22]
† VALENTE, Lucia Carmina
b. 16 April 1884 at 1 PM at Via Sannicola #13 to Francesco Valente, 37, proprietario
[Gambatesa Nascita 1884 #54]
d. 17 December 1888 at 6 AM at Via Sannicola #14
[Gambatesa Morti 1888 #155]
VALENTE, Giuseppe Antonio
b. 18 April 1886 at noon to Francesco Valente, 39, possidente
[Gambatesa Nascita 1886 #53]
d. after 1910
Written on the back of this photograph is:
The URL of this Web page: https://www.roangelo.net/valente/serafina.html
Last revised: 5 March 2005 : 2005-03-05 by Robert [Wesley] Angelo.