The Society of the Holy Pauls—Li biati Pauli
They say that, in times past, Sicily had a society made up of artisansand humble folk whose purpose was to oversee the rights of fair-minded people and to defend their interests against the arrogant rich and noble classes who controlled all the power and used it to oppress the populace and treat them unfairly. For example, if there was a rich man pestering an honest daughter of the lower classes and the Holy Pauls heard about it, they would let the arrogant fellow know-quietly, behind the scenes-that he’d better behave himself or else. And if he chose not to behave himself, they really would do away with him, and everyone would look the other way. Or if there was, let’s say, a Viceroy who was acting arrogantly and condemning people unfairly and sending them to prison with no good reason, the Holy Pauls were sure to know about it, since they had friends and contacts throughout the entire kingdom, and every complaint of the common people came to their attention. Then they would see to it that this Viceroy got what he deserved-two quick blows with a knife, and he was gone from the scene.