In May of 1656, a terrible epidemic of the plague overtook the city of Naples as a result of the invasion by Spanish troops from Sardinia. The plague spread so quickly to the neighboring villages and surrounding countryside that it was soon at the gates of the city of Cava dei Tirreni. The victims numbered in the thousands both in the villages and the urban centers. Fr. Paolo Franco was one of the few priests who had been spared and who had not succumbed to the epidemic. Despite the danger of contagion, he was divinely inspired to lead the people in a procession of reparation within a few kilometers of the summit of the Castello. When they arrived at the summit of the mountain, Fr. Franco blessed Cava dei Tirreni with the Blessed Sacrament. The epidemic miraculously stopped. To this day the townspeople commemorate the miracle with a solemn annual procession during the month of June.