Sophia Maria Vindicated
Once upon a time in Sinopoli, Calabria there was a feisty young peasant named Sophia Maria Versace. Sophia married Antonio Rugari and bore him six children. Antonio and one son, Franciscantonio ,immigrated to America. After a short stay, Antonio returned to Calabria where misfortune struck him in the form of fatal pneumonia. It was now up to Franciscantonio to work his butt off in America and bring two brothers, a sister and Sophia Maria to America (for unknown reasons a brother and sister remained behind). Franciscantonio, Luigi and Giuseppe in time married. As offspring evolved from these marriages the honor of naming them fell to the husband. Over the not so quiet acquiescence of the wife, the first born female child was named after feisty Sophia Maria. Lo and behold there were three cousins within three years of each others age growing up with the same first, middle and last name. How to distinguish each during a family conversation? Simple, the eldest was Big Sophie, the youngest was Little Sophie. And the middle Sophie? Easy, Uncle Louie’s Sophie. Each of these Sophie’s grew up questioning the Italian custom that saddled them with such an unglamorous name. Nona Sophia Maria endured the slurs of her daughter-in laws and the disparaging remarks of three granddaughters named Sophia Maria. But Nona Sophia had a secret! Her name on her birth certificate was Maria Sophia. End of story , not quite. Sophia Loren made the name Sophia glamorous. So glamorous in fact that Sophia is one of the top ten names of choice for newborn females. Guess what? Sophia Maria Versace’s first great - great - great - granddaughter was named Sophia Marie. Somewhere in the “choir silent”, Maria Sophia ( a. k. a. Sophia Maria) is laughing her head off while her daughter - in laws take credit for having named their daughters Sophia. As for me, I couldn’t be more pleased to have a great granddaughter named Sophia Marie and for many other reasons a great grandson named Marcus.