All in the Family: When the Mafia and Witchcraft Mix

Curses, gangs, feuding... for the Marinaccis it was a way of life. Ralph sought refuge in his music as his family sunk deeper into witchcraft and organized crime.


“My mother and Grandfather and Grandmother came from Calabria in Italy and (pu 09:52) When Grandpop came from Italy (pu) he was a member of the Black Hand Gang…(pu) Its similar to the Mafia in the Untied States. (pu) Through a series of events they lived with us in Camden, New Jersey.” VO#1 THAT MADE FOR A CROWDED HOME. BESIDES HIS PARENTS… Ralph SOT 01:30 “In my house there was living with us, Grandpop, Grandmom and Uncle Albert, then my brothers Al, Anthony, Frank, Ralph, Emanuel, Lucy, Violet, Angelina and Esmarelda.” VO#2 RALPH SAW OTHER NEIGHBORHOOD FAMILIES SPENDING TIME WITH EACH OTHER, LOVING LIFE. Ralph SOT 03:21 “The Italian mother makes a big pot of spaghetti and then invites neighbors and there’s a lot of singing and talking and drinking of wine. But we never had that.” VO#3 WHAT HE DID HAVE WERE THE MOST UNUSUAL GRANDFATHERS IN TOWN. ONE IN THE MAFIA, AND THE OTHER… Ralph SOT 02:00? “My father’s father really was a practicing witch. And I’ve seen him put his hand on a piece of ground and its still barren today.” VO#4 THE COMBINATION OF THESE INFLUENCES TAINTED THE FAMILY. Ralph SOT 01:50? “My brother Anthony was a gang leader. He was the leader of the 40 Thieves in Camden, New Jersey. And he used to carry an Italian stiletto. (pu 02:48) There was constant fighting. It was a pity constant fighting. (pu 03:15?) And my father never did a thing, he was scared. Who knew Grandpop, where he was? See we never knew who he got his orders from.” VO#5 SO RALPH FOUND AN ESCAPE… (nats of music) MUSIC. HE WAS GOOD ENOUGH TO EARN AN HONEST LIVING IN HIS GROUP “THE SOPHISTICATES OF RHYTHM.” Ralph SOT 16:28 “Music was my God. I would not give up music for anything. (pu) 17:20) That was a beautiful era of Guy Lombardo and Benny Goodman. It’s the soft music.” VO#6 AT HOME RALPH’S GRANDMOM SOUGHT A WAY TO STOP THE VIOLENCE IN THE FAMILY…A NEIGHBOR, THAT WAS A FRIEND OF GRANDPOP, ADVISED WITCHCRAFT. Ralph SOT 04:08? “She said, ‘the reason your brothers are fighting, there’s evil spirits.’ And she put packs of salt like teabags on every door and window. We wore salt patches on our underwear, we pinned it.” (pu 04:50?) The witch said, ‘before the evil spirits get into your home at night, they have to open the-had to open the pack and count every grain of salt.’ (pu 06:55?) That’s why I bought a 2 pound, pound of salt. Who in the world is going to count the grains in 2 pounds of salt,see?” VO#7 THE FAMILY DID EVERYTHING THE NEIGHBOHOOD WITCH SAID. Ralph SOT 05:00 “We have a family of four sisters that wore necklaces of garlic so evil spirits wouldn’t harm them. We would put a clove of garlic on a saucer and put them on every windowsill. (pu 05:16) “That was supposed to keep evil spirits from harming us and get out the evilness and bring peace in the house.” VO#8 BUT NOTHING EVER CHANGED, UNTIL ONE DAY WHEN A STRANGER THAT WAS HEAVEN SENT KNOCKED ON THE DOOR. Ralph SOT 07:35? “…she said to Grandmom, ‘I want to tell you how Jesusa Changa my Lifeah.’ VO#9 RALPH’S GRANDMOM LISTENED AS THE WOMAN TALKED ABOUT THE PEACE FOUND IN JESUS CHRIST. AND THAT AFTERNOON, RALPH’S GRANDMOM PRAYED TO RECEIVE CHRIST AS HER LORD AND SAVIOR. AFTERWARD, RALPH COULDN’T EVEN RECOGNIZE HIS OWN HOUSE. Ralph SOT 08:22 “And I looked around I said mom, where are the salt bags? She said ‘Ralph we no needa the salt bags. That’s the devila.” (pu 08:52) …I put all the junk in a bag and when the witch come I wouldn’t even let her come to the door, she said I don’t needa you anymore, I don’t need you anymore, she thru the salt bags and the bag at the witch and said You go home I don’t need you we have Jesus.” VO#10 RALPH RESISTED THIS ‘JESUS,’ BUT SAW HIS FAMILY BEGIN TO CHANGE. Ralph SOT 13:50? “One night I came home and my big brother Frank, he had his hands up crying, he was hugging my sisters and my mother, I never saw that. Andrew we never hugged. We never kissed. We never said Good night. We never said I’m sorry. We never said Pardon me. It was just fear that kept love out.” VO#11 ALL OF THE MARINACCI’S WERE COMING TO CHRIST. Sot 14:32 “Albert and Anthony that fought now were embracing and man I looked I said boy what’s happening? I don’t understand this. I came home another night and the mafia, my grandfather, he met Jesus. (pu 14:50) …The leader at that time said ‘throw him out, throw him out.’ You see they recognized something, you can’t fake this salvation. (pu 15:20) Andy, I’m the only one left, and I’m scared.” VO# 12 RALPH FELT LIKE AN INTRUDER IN HIS OWN HOME. Ralph SOT 17:40 “Where the salt bags were they had scripture verses all over the house, on the wall, they took pictures down of the family and put scripture verses on the windows (pu) they put scripture verses in my bass violin, in the F hole, in the guitar, wrapped it around the banjo. (pu) 18:35? I said these people are crazy.” VO#13 EVEN PEOPLE IN TOWN SAW THE CHANGE IN THE FAMILY. SOT 12:15? “They said, ‘Ralph, your people are on the street. Are they trying to start a new religion? I said I don’t understand it. They even tell me ‘you need to be born again.” I didn’t understand that Andrew.” I said mom, feel me, I’m born. (laughs) So my mom said ‘Uh you wisaguy, she said but some day your gonna be one of us. I said I’ll never be this stuff.” VO#14 HE’D HAD ENOUGH AND CONFRONTED HIS FAMILY. SOT 19:21 “I said you ought to get off this religion and stop talking about religion. And they started. My brother Tony came at me he says, Ralph look how I was. Look how I am, look at Albert. Look at your grandfather. Look at your father, look at your brothers. And I looked and I think the Holy spirit started to convict me. And October 3rd, 1939, Andrew I went home to straighten my people out and I got straightened out.” VO#15 AND MORE THAN 60 YEARS LATER THE MARINACCI BROTHERS ARE GREAT FRIENDS. AND ALL THAT TIME RALPH HAS TRAVELED THE GLOBE SPEADING THE GOSPEL. Ralph SOT 20:55? “Because one woman, one woman dared to knock on the door.” SOT of Ralph preaching 1:14:02 “Romans 8:37, we’re more than conquerors thru Him that loved us. Revelation 12:11, we overcame satan by the word of our testimony and the blood of the lamb.” Andrew Stand-up in kitchen with Ralph 1:40:20 Andrew> “While Ralph’s story has impacted millions with the gospel of Jesus Christ, his family legacy is especially significant to me, because I know him as Grandpop. How’s the sauce today Grandpop? Ralph> Ooh Andy, you’ve got to try this, its my own mixture with Italian sausage and meatballs. Andrew> What do you call it? Ralph> This is Ralph Marinacci Italian sauce. Andrew> Its excellent. Ralph> Good.” VO#16 HE’S NOT A PASTOR, YOU MAY CALL HIM AN EVANGELIST. HE CALLS HIMSELF, A “WITNESS.” Ralph SOT 23:15 “Christians say, well I wasn’t called to be a minister. Yes but Isaiah 43:10 and 44:8 and Acts 1:8 says, “you are witnesses.” And a witness tells what happened. Don’t preach, don’t theologize. Just tell people how Jesus came into your life and what a wonderful change happens in your life, you become a new creation. Old things pass away, behold all things become new.” (Nothing matters to me anymore but Jesus.”


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