From Blood to Ink: Mafia-type Links and Religiosity
«May God bless you and protect you!»: This expression concluded all the letters sent by Bernardo Provenzano to the various members of the Cosa Nostra during the period of his directorship (1993-2006). These secret texts, available for researchers, force us to ask several questions : how did this bloodthirsty man companion in arms of Toto Tina manage to impose himself as the charismatic leader of the Sicilian Mafia? In what way did he manipulate writing in order to become omniscient and omnipotent, to control the entire Mafia network? How did this Mafioso handle the power of writing to construct his spiritual authority? Through the corpus of his letters, this paper also aims to explore the paradoxical link between Mafia and religion. The latter can be traced back to the initiation rite as the founding moment of the Mafioso commitment in a blood community permeated with words, symbols, artifacts and justifications arising from the Christian repertory.