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When most people think of Italy, they often think of it as a bastion for Catholicism. However, in recent memory, the relationship between the two hasn’t been great. In fact, over 160 years ago, the regime that united Italy went to war with the pope.  Italian Unification (or the Risorgimento as Italians call it) was anti-Catholic in nature, from the nationalistic ideology which drove it, to the laws of the Piedmontese regime that were put in place. Catholic monarchs had their rights violated and were toppled, including two on the path to sainthood. Servant of God Francis II of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and Blessed Pope Pius IX.


Young Catholic men from across Christendom rushed to the Pope’s aid to defend him and the Catholic faith from the godless revolutionaries.  Patrick Keyes O’Clery, the author of this work was one of those young men. He traveled from Ireland to enlist in the Papal Zouaves, the most pious and elite infantry unit of the Papal Army. He experienced firsthand the anti-Catholic nature of the unification when the forces of Victor Emmanuel II attacked the center of the Catholic world on September 20th, 1870. Capturing Rome, the “United Kingdom of Italy” ended the 1,000-year reign of the Papal States.


To preserve the history of the unification as it actually happened, O’Clery wrote two volumes on the Italian revolution. This is the first time O’Clery’s books have been re-published in English as a complete set. I hope you enjoy The Making of Italy as Told by a Papal Zouave: The History of Italian Unification Every Catholic Should Know.


PATRICK KEYES O’CLERY - Served in the Papal Zouaves from November 1867 to May 1868. He re-joined in September, 1870 and fought at the siege of Rome. He returned to Ireland and became a Home Rule MP for Wexford, serving from 1874-1880. Later in life, O’Clery became a chamberlain to the Pope. He was given numerous honors for his service to Ireland and the Catholic faith, such as being inducted as a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great and in the Order of Pius IX. He was also made a Papal Count in 1903.


BRENDAN CASSELL - Is a First Lieutenant in the United States Army and a graduate of Texas A&M University with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Military Studies. He is currently a student at Christendom Graduate School of Theology studying for an M.A. in Moral Theology. Brendan founded Papal Zouave International in 2023 and currently lives in Killeen, Texas, with his wife, Amber, and daughter, Isabella.


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Also available at Amazon

Size: 6 x 9

813 pages


ISBN: 979-8-9893230-2-9 (pbk) | $39.95 USD

The Making of Italy As Told by a Papal Zouave: The History of Italian Unificatio

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