Mafia boss repents after Pope's speech

 A Mafia boss on the run from justice gave himself up to the police on Friday, after he saw Pope John Paul II deliver a historic speech to the Italian parliament. Benedetto Marciante, was sentenced in absentia, to 30 years in prison for murder and being associated with the Mafia. But after watching the Pope speak on television, Marciante was so touched by his comments on Christian family values, he surrendered to authorities at Rome's Rebibbia prison. His lawyer, Roberto Tricoli, said: "He decided spontaneously. He called me from the prison to tell me. In 30 years of practice, I've never experienced anything like this. It's a miracle." Lawyers are appealing against the 30-year sentence for homicide, but a seven-year sentence for Mafia association has been upheld. During his speech to the Italian parliament, the Pope urged Italians to strengthen their Christian values, have more children and work for the common good. He also called for clemency for Italian prisoners. But lawyers said it was the Pope's spiritual message that caused Marciante's change of heart.

Share this story