Godmother of the Cosa Nostra?
(taken from "Uppity Women of Medieval Times by Vicki Leon)
In 1194 a forty year old woman gave birth to an audience of 200 in an Italian marketplace. Why would she do such a thing, you ask. Well, she just happened to be Constance,queen of Sicily and the wife of Henry VI. The audience of bishops wanted to make sure that what ever sprang from her womb actually came from her body (and not a slight of hand switch). The baby would become Frederick II and at three inherited Sicily and Germany. He would later become Holy Roman Emperor and was called "stupor mundi" or wonder of the world. Constance and her husband died when little Freddie was quite young and when foreign rulers began to exploit poor Constance's Sicilian holdings, she just may have given birth to something more sinister. Freedom fighters emerged in Sicily that fought the foreign rulers encroachment and they may have morphed into the Mafia - which would of course make Constance the Godmother of the Cosa Nostra!!