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He refused to submit to the Savoy monarchy, which after a fraudulent referendum imposed its regime by force (retaining 120,000 troops there for well over a decade and imprisoning more than 30,000 for political crimes, including many priests). In the face of great difficulties, including detention and exile, he defended clergy and people and founded a seminary for Neapolitan priests and a home for retired ones. He also displayed great courage during the cholera epidemic in Naples in the 1850s. He was made a knight of San Gennaro by Ferdinand II in 1854.
: Today Pope Benedict XVI authorised the
: promulgation of a decree recognising the
: heroic virtues of the Servant of God Sisto
: Riario Sforza (1810-1877), sometime
: archbishop of Naples and cardinal of the
: Holy Roman Church. He can now be called
: Venerable Sisto Riario Sforza .
: Venerable Sisto was the younger son of Don
: Giovanni Antonio Riario Sforza, 4th Duke
: Riario Sforza.
: The recognition of heroic virtues is an
: important step towards canonization as a
: Noel S. McFerran