July 25, 2017

Feast of San Giacomo il Maggiore

Viva San Giacomo! 
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
July 25th is the Feast Day of San Giacomo Apostolo (Saint James the Apostle), also called James the Greater, son of Zebedee, to distinguish him from James the Lesser, son of Alphaeus. Widely venerated across southern Italy, he is the principal patron of Monte San Giacomo (SA), Calvizzano (NA), Casalnuovo di Napoli (NA), Cicala (CZ), Fuscaldo (CS), Pietrapertosa (PZ), and Roccamandolfi (IS), among others. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to Saint James the Apostle. The accompanying photo was taken at Saint Ann's Church in Hoboken, New Jersey during the 2014 Feast of Saint Ann in which members of the Monte San Giacomo Society participated.

Prayer to Saint James the Apostle

O glorious Apostle, St. James, who by reason of thy fervent and generous heart was chosen by Jesus to be a witness of His glory on Mount Tabor, and of His agony in Gethsemane; thou, whose very name is a symbol of warfare and victory: obtain for us strength and consolation in the unending warfare of this life, that, having constantly and generously followed Jesus, we may be victors in the strife and deserve to receive the victor's crown in heaven. Amen.

Feast of San Cristoforo Martire

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
July 25th is the Feast Day of San Cristoforo Martire (St. Christopher the Martyr), patron saint of pilgrims and travelers. One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, San Cristoforo is invoked against storms and the plague. Widely venerated across southern Italy, he is the principal patron of Ricigliano (SA), San Cristoforo (SA), Moscufo (PE), Valguarnera Caropepe (EN), and Giuggianello (LE), among others. In celebration I’m posting a prayer to St. Christopher. The accompanying photo of Saint Christopher carrying the Christ Child across a river is a bas-relief over a doorway on Carroll Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Viva San Cristoforo!
Prayer to St. Christopher
Dear Saint Christopher, protect me today in all my travels along the road's way. Give your warning sign if danger is near so that I may stop while the path is clear. Be at my window and direct me through when the vision blurs from out of the blue. Carry me safely to my destined place, like you carried Christ in your close embrace. Amen.

Solemn High Mass for the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

Announcing the 2017 Feast of the Madonna Del Soccorso Di Sciacca in Norristown, Pennsylvania


July 24, 2017

Around the Web - Italian American Podcast Episode 45: The Hidden History of Southern Italy’s Glory

John Viola, left, president of The National Italian American Foundation and the U.S. Delegate for The Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George; Pat O’Boyle, center, Vice Chancellor of the same order; and Anthony O’Boyle, a knight of the order, in Vatican City, Italy
In this episode of The Italian American Podcast, we talk with National Italian American Foundation President John Viola, and Anthony and Patrick O’Boyle. All three are members of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George. We have a candid conversation with these passionate and active members of the Italian-American community about what is known as the Neo-Bourbon Movement and vital, shocking parts of Southern Italian history that have been buried.

Photo of the Week: Marble Bas-Relief of San Pantaleone in the Duomo di Ravello, Salerno

Marble bas-relief of San Pantaleone, altar rail, Duomo di Ravello, Salerno
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

Announcing the 107th Annual Feast of the Madonna Dell'Assunta in Westbury, Long Island


July 23, 2017

Around the Web — Calanna: Iron Age Pots and Medieval Memorabilia in Calabria

Funerary objects from Iron Age female tomb in Cabana,
8th-Century BC, at Archeological Museum in Reggio Calabria.

Photo courtesy of Calabria: The Other Italy
In Italy, you can’t put a shovel to the ground or duck underwater off the coast without running into something old. And I’m not talking about the age of the objects paraded in front of the Antiques Roadshow camera. I mean ancient. Some discoveries, like the Riace Bronzes, are world-shaking. Others would be front-page news most anywhere but Italy. The region of Calabria has more than its share of treasures and in the small town of Calanna in the Province of Reggio Calabria, they date back to the Iron Age. Continue reading

Sicily's Immortal Painter: Antonello da Messina

Ecce Homo
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
Due to scant documentary information very little is known about the life of Antonello di Giovanni d'Antonio, better known as Antonello da Messina. As his moniker indicates, he was born in Sicily between 1425 and 1430 at Messina, then a prosperous port city in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. His father, Giovanni d'Antonio, was a stonemason; his mother's name was Garita, possibly a diminutive of Margherita.
Between 1445-55 Antonello traveled to Naples and studied the new technique of oil painting introduced from the Low Countries in the atelier of Niccolò Colantonio (born c. 1420). The Neapolitan was a leading exponent of the Netherlandish (Dutch and Flemish) style of painting; tempera and fresco being the common mediums practiced by painters at the time. Here, Antonello was undoubtedly exposed to the works of Spanish, Provençal and Netherlandish masters, including Jan van Eyck, whose paintings were avidly sought after by the city's patrons. Continue reading

Announcing the 2017 Festa Della Famiglia in Onore di San Francesco Di Paola in Stone Park, Illinois


July 22, 2017

A Look at the 2017 Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Staten Island, New York

Evviva Maria!
Photos courtesy of Joe Santoro
Thanks Joe for sharing your wonderful photos from this year's Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Sunday, July 16th) at the Church of St. Rita in Staten Island, New York. It’s great to see this wonderful tradition endure. Evviva Maria!
Our Lady is adorned with flowers inside St. Rita's Church
(Above & below) Our Lady of Mount Carmel Fraternal Society are joined by members of the St. Joseph Society of Lodi, New Jersey
In memory of loved ones, devotees pin donations onto the statue
After Mass, Our Lady is presented to the expectant crowd and placed on a wagon
(Above & below) The procession wends its way through the neighborhood
Back at the gymnasium, revelers enjoy some fellowship and refreshments
The Red Mike Festival Band entertain partygoers

Feast of Santa Maria Maddalena

The Penitent Magdalene by Corrado Giaquinto  
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
July 22nd is the Feast Day of Santa Maria Maddalena (St. Mary Magdalene), patroness of penitents. Widely venerated across southern Italy, she is the principal patron of Atrani (SA), Bonifati (CZ), Ischia (NA), Spinoso (PZ), and Uggiano la Chiesa (LE), among others. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a prayer to St. Mary Magdalene. The accompanying photo of The Penitent Magdalene by Corrado Giaquinto was taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. The pictures below were taken in New Haven, Connecticut, where large numbers of immigrants from Atrani, Salerno, settled and founded the Santa Maria Maddalena Society
Prayer to St. Mary Magdalene
Saint Mary Magdalene, woman of many sins, who by conversion became the beloved of Jesus, thank you for your witness that Jesus forgives through the miracle of love. You, who already possess eternal happiness in His glorious presence, please intercede for me, so that some day I may share in the same everlasting joy. Amen.
St. Mary Magdalene outside the Santa Maria Maddalena Society clubhouse on Wooster Street, New Haven, Connecticut
St. Mary Magdalene in St. Michael’s Church, New Haven, Connecticut

Announcing the 129th Annual Feast of Our Lady of Snow in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

For more info visit the Our Lady of Snow Society on Facebook

July 21, 2017

Auxiliary Malta Walks in NYC, July 2017

Dr. Michael Espiritu, Francesca Temesta, DM, and the Order of Malta Auxiliary
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Cav. John Napoli
Tuesday evening, nearly twenty volunteers gathered at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral parish house (263 Mulberry Street) in lower Manhattan for the monthly “Malta Walks” street ministry. Led by Francesca Tempesta, DM, members of the Order of Malta Auxiliary, and friends meet every third Tuesday of the month (@ 7:30pm) to prepare and distribute food to the homeless.
Arriving early, I was happy to see Msgr. Donald Sakano, Pastor of Old St. Pat’s, back on his feet again, recovering nicely from his surgery. Stopping by to see how we were doing, Monsignor was in good spirits and wished us well before retiring. 
After introductions and niceties, we got down to business and formed an assembly line around the table, putting together some fifty parcels of ready-to-eat food (sandwiches, fruit, etc.) and toiletries (tooth-brushes, mouthwash, etc.). When finished, we each took several bags to hand out.
Reciting the Daily Prayer of the Order of Maltaour group took a commemorative photo before pounding the pavement. Breaking up into smaller groups, participants headed off in different directions to cover more ground. My companions and I decided to go north towards Union Square Park. 
Unfortunately, as a native New Yorker I’ve seen my fair share of homeless people; however, I don’t ever recall seeing this many before. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re actively looking for them or that times are really that much worse (I know I had to significantly tighten my belt over the past several years). Even one homeless person is too many, but the numbers were truly disturbing.
Speaking of disturbing, entering Union Square Park (which is never short of soapbox orators) we passed one particularly unsavory mattoid with a megaphone ranting about “white Christian hypocrites.” Typically oblivious to his own sordid bigotry and hypocrisy, the rabble-rouser continued his tirade as we were giving aid to the homeless. I was somewhat consoled by the fact that, aside from me, no one else seemed to be paying much attention to his inflammatory squawking.
Completing the task at hand, my companions and I gave away the last of our care packages to the needy before parting ways.
Anyone interested in supporting this noble endeavor can contact the Order of Malta Auxiliary at nycaux@orderofmaltaamerica.org or call 917-566-3937. For additional information, the Order can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/maltaauxiliarynyc.
God Bless Francesca, the Order of Malta Auxiliary, and Msgr. Sakano for organizing the monthly walk, their hard work and generosity are truly inspiring. I am deeply honored to serve with such an outstanding group of people and excited to do my part and contribute in any way I can to this worthy initiative.
Also see:
• Supporting the “Malta Walks” Street Ministry

Feast of San Lorenzo da Brindisi

Viva San Lorenzo!
July 21st is the Feast Day of San Lorenzo da Brindisi, Apostolic Doctor of the Church. Born Giulio Cesare Russo (1559), he joined the Capuchins at the age of sixteen, taking the name Lorenzo. He excelled in theology and philosophy, and had a gift for languages, including Hebrew. Famous for his ecstatic sermons, his tears were often blotted up and used to cure the sick. While in Germany to establish Capuchin convents, Saint Lorenzo was made the chief chaplain of the Imperial Army. Crucifix in hand, he is credited with leading the severely outnumbered Christian forces to victory against the Ottoman Turks during the Battle of Székesfehérvár in Hungary (1601). An adept negotiator, the Popes often employed him in settling disputes between Christian Monarchs. Saint Lorenzo died in Lisbon on July 22, 1619 after the completion of his final diplomatic mission. At the behest of the people of Naples, he secured from King Philip III of Spain the dismissal of the oppressive Viceroy Don Pedro Téllez de Girón, 3rd Duke of Osuna. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer in Honor of Saint Lawrence. The accompanying photo of The Glory of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi comes courtesy of Il Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali.
Prayer to Saint Lawrence
Lord, for the glory of your name and the salvation of souls gave Lawrence of Brindisi courage and right judgement. By prayers help us to know what we should do and give us the courage to do it. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Announcing the 2017 Festa Della Madonna Degli Angeli in Whitestone, New York

For more info visit the Associazione Sacchesi D'America on Facebook

July 20, 2017

Feast of Santa Margherita di Antiochia

Evviva Santa Margherita! 
Photo courtesy of Marilena Giovanna
July 20th is the Feast of Saint Margaret of Antioch (Santa Margherita di Antiochia), virgin and martyr. She is the patroness of farmers, nurses and pregnant women. One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, St. Margaret is invoked against infertility and for safe childbirth. In addition to the martyr’s palm, she is often depicted with a dragon. According to legend, the Devil in the guise of a great serpent appeared before Margaret to tempt and deceive her. Instead of succumbing to his treachery she simply made the sign of the cross and sent the fiend packing, recoiling in pain. Other versions of the story say she was swallowed whole by a dragon. Pressing her cross against the creature’s stomach she emerged unharmed, thus her association with pregnancies and labor. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to Saint Margaret. The accompanying photo was taken at the Parish of S. Margherita e S. Nicola del Pumpulo in Pastena, Salerno.
Prayer to Saint Margaret of Antioch
O God, grant us through the intercession of Thy holy virgin and martyr Margaret, undauntedly to confess the Faith, carefully to observe the chastity of our state of life, and to overcome the temptations of the world, the devil, and the flesh, and thereby escape the punishments of eternal damnation. Amen

Salvator Rosa

Self portrait, Salvator Rosa 
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Aldo Lira
“Painter, Poet, Musician, Philosopher, and Patriot, he combined in his fine organisation the supreme elements of high art, with the noblest instincts of intellectual humanity. He worked through his great vocation with a spirit of independence that never quailed, and with unflinching resistance to the persecutions of despotism and the intrigues of professional rivalry. His moral dignity refused to pander to the licentious tastes of the profligate times in which he flourished, and, in this respect superior to many of his great predecessors, he left not one picture that,
‘_dying, he might blush to own,’ while he exhibited in his great historical compositions, "The Death of Regulus" and "The Conspiracy of Catiline," a graphic eloquence which Herodotus and Gibbon have scarcely surpassed.”
The above paragraph, from the Life and Times of Salvator Rosa by Lady Sydney Morgan, published in 1824, is only one of many lofty and effusive tributes paid to Salvator Rosa during the late 18th and early 19th Centuries by the artists, intellectuals and literati of the time. Who was Salvator Rosa and what did he do to inspire such admiration more than 150 years after his death? Continue reading

Announcing the 114th Annual Festa Italiana in Honor of Maria SS. Dell'Assunta and San Rocco in Jersey City, New Jersey


July 19, 2017

Evviva Maria! Celebrating the 127th Annual Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Newark, NJ

Mass Ad orientem (towards the East) was concelebrated by His Excellency, the Most Rev. Bernard Hebda, Archbishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis, and the Very Rev. Cav. Msgr. Joseph Ambrosio, Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.
Scenes from Sunday evening’s Feast Day Mass and procession at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newark, New Jersey. (Photos by New York Scugnizzo and Anthony Scillia)
(L) Beautifully decorated High Altar with Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
(R) A shrine to Our Lady was erected by the Communion rail
After Mass, Our Lady is presented to the expectant crowd. Placed on a wagon, the statue was pulled through the Ironbound section of Newark, New Jersey
(Above & below) Presided by the Most Rev. Bernard Hebda, the procession wends its way through the neighborhood
Flags, society banners and standards add to the pageantry 
(Above & below) Members of the Congregation Maria SS. del Sacro Monte di Novi Velia Salerno di Jersey City, New Jersey show their support
(L) Our friend Stephen La Rocca, President of the St. Rocco Society of Potenza, with the Very Rev. Cav. Joseph Ambrosio. (R) A close up of the new Congregation Maria SS. del Sacro Monte standard
(Above & below) Knights of the Sacred Military Constantinian
Order of Saint George and the Equestrian Order of the
Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem proudly served as honor guard
HE Chancellor Pasquale Menna with Cavs. Vincent Gangone and John Napoli
(Above & below) Our friends from the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem showed up in force 
(Above & below) A good time was had by all
The procession stops so residents can offer donations
Along the procession route, devotees set up statues
and generously offer water to participants
The Tony Neglia Band
The procession returns to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
After the Benediction, worshippers venerate the
veil of the Madonna di Montevergine

Announcing the 2017 Feast of Saint Francis of Paola, Dover Plains, New York