July 17, 2018

Feast of Santa Marina Vergine

Evviva Santa Marina!
July 17th is the Feast of Santa Marina, virgin of Bitinia (Bithynia). Widely venerated throughout southern Italy, she is the principal patroness of Filandari (VV), Polistena (RC), Casole Bruzio (CS), Ruggiano (LE), Santa Marina Salina (ME), Santa Marina di Milazzo (ME), and Cumia Inferiore (ME), among others. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to Santa Marina. The accompanying photo was taken at the 2014 Feast of Santa Marina in Inwood, Long Island.
Preghiera a Santa Marina
Salve, o Marina vergine
che avvinta al Redentore
soffristi il disonore
con tacito pudor.

Di santo ardore sfolgora
il nostro cuore triste
che per amor di Cristo
sopporti ognor dolor.

Pura innocente vergine
per gli altri penitenti
con la tua fiamma ardente
purgasti L'altrui error.

Sia gloria nell'empireo
al santo Genitore
al Figlio e all'Amore
in cielo, in terra ognor.

Announcing the 2018 Feast of Saint Francis of Paola, Dover Plains, New York


July 16, 2018

A Look at the 2018 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 Saturday's Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel at the Church of St. Rita in Staten Island, New York. It’s great to see after 73 years this wonderful tradition is still going strong. Evviva Maria!
Our Lady is adorned with flowers inside St. Rita's Church
(Above & below) In memory of loved ones, devotees offer flowers 
After Mass, the crucifer and color guard
lead the procession through the neighborhood
Our pal Ennio pulling the vera with the Blessed Mother 
With great fanfare, the Red Mike Festival Band
accompanied the procession through the streets 
Another look at the beautiful statue of Our Lady
(Above & below) Back at the gymnasium,
revelers enjoy some fellowship and refreshments
Partygoers dance the tarantella in honor of La Madonna 
As always, President Joe Santoro, Donna Marie and all the
members of the Mount Carmel Fraternal Society did a great job
Also see:
A Look at the 2017 Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Staten Island, New York
A Look at the 2016 Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Staten Island, New York
A Look at the 2015 Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Verona, New Jersey
A Look at the 2013 Our Lady of Mount Carmel Procession, Elm Park, Staten Island

Feast of the Madonna del Carmine

Viva Maria!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
July 16th is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Queen of Naples and Patroness of the Carmelite Order. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The accompanying photo of the miraculous statue of the Madonna del Carmine was taken at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Pontifical Shrine in East Harlem, New York.
Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Most blessed and immaculate Virgin, ornament and splendor of Mount Carmel, thou who regardest with particular goodness those who wear thy scapular, benignly look upon me also, and cover me with the mantle of thy maternal protection. Fortify my weakness with thy strength, illuminate the darkness of my mind with thy wisdom, increase Faith, Hope and Charity within me, adorn my soul with such graces and virtues that it may be always precious to thee and thy divine Son; assist me in life, console me at the hour of death with thy most loving presence and present me to the most august Trinity as thy son and devout servant, to eternally praise and bless thee in heaven. Amen.

Photo of the Week: Vergine Bruna di Sorrento

Vergine Bruna on the main altar in the
Santuario della Madonna del Carmine, Sorrento
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

July 15, 2018

Feast of Sant’Enrico II

Imperator Romanorum
July 15th is the Feast Day of Sant’Enrico Secondo (St. Henry II), Holy Roman Emperor. Patron saint of Benedictine Oblates, the disabled and childless people, Henry the Pious (or the Lame),   as he is sometimes called, is also invoked against sterility.

Miraculously cured of an unknown illness through the intercession of San Benedetto at the monastery of Montecassino in southern Italy, the Emperor endowed the abbey with several royal gifts, including the famed Lectionary of Henry II, an illuminated manuscript of Gospel readings for Mass.

In commemoration, I’m posting the Collect of the Day. The accompanying photo of the saint’s statue was taken at Montecassino Abbey during my 2007 pilgrimage.
Collect of the Day 
O God, whose abundant grace prepared Saint Henry to be raised by you in a wonderful way from the cares of earthly rule to heavenly realms, grant, we pray, through his intercession, that amid the uncertainties of this world we may hasten towards you with minds made pure. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Around the Web: Who is Francesco Cilea?

Francesco Cilea in 1910
I have an American friend who, at the mention of Calabria, breaks into song. No, not the popular “Calabria Mia,” written and sung by Mino Reitano, as you might expect, but an opera aria! He croons the work of a Calabrian from a different era and genre, perhaps just as well known in certain circles for his Adriana Lecouvreur as is Reitano for his nostalgic ballad. This Italian opera composer is Francesco Cilea.
Francesco Cilea Biography 
Francesco Cilea (1866-1950) was born in Palmi, a good-sized town on the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Reggio in the Southern Italian region of Calabria. His decision to dedicate himself to music came at a very early age upon hearing a local band’s rendition of the finale from the opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini. He went on to study at the Naples Conservatory of Music (Conservatorio San Pietro a Majella), and his final project, a short opera entitled Gina (1889), caught the attention of the music publishers Sonzogno, from whom he received his first commission La Tilda, a verismo opera premiered in Florence in 1892. Continue reading

Announcing the 2018 Festa di San Donato in Waterbury, Connecticut

For more info visit the Pontelandolfo Community Club on Facebook

July 14, 2018

Preserving the Light in a Dark Age

The execution of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, on October 16, 1793
The tricolor! Tricolor indeed! They fill their mouths with these words, the rascals. What does that ugly geometric sign, that aping of the French mean, compared to our white banner with its golden lily in the middle? What hope can those clashing colors bring them? ~ Giuseppe Di Lampedusa, The Leopard [1]
As revelers gear up for the upcoming Bastille Day celebration in “Little France,” a micro neighborhood in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, I’m reminded of the Solemn High Latin Mass offered at beautiful St. Agnes Church (433 Sackett Street) not too long ago for the Feast of Saint Joan of Arc. Sponsored by our friends at the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny, it was the first Tridentine Mass celebrated at the historic church since the disastrous Second Vatican Council. Though a magnificent effort “to repair this neglect and rekindle devotion to this remarkable saint,” [2] the sixty-some-odd congregants were a mere drop in the bucket in comparison to the estimated tens of thousands who will partake in the secular soirée this Sunday on nearby Smith Street. 
Clearly a sign of the times, it’s no longer surprising that people will come out in droves to celebrate a watershed moment in the history of the West known in sane circles as “The Terror,” while the day devoted to a true heroine of the French people went by practically unnoticed except for a handful of traditional Catholics. 
Far from being some overzealous killjoy who would deny people a good time, I’m actually a huge fan of feasts and folk revelry. In fact, our very own Battle of Bitonto Commemoration, which was held—due to some unforeseen circumstances—after St. Joan’s feast this year, was partly inspired by the popular street fair. I remember thinking how much fun it would be to have our own fête (sans the replica guillotine) based on our Duosiciliano heritage rather than some pseudo Italian identity steeped in the deleterious notions of the Risorgimento, Italy’s take on the Reign of Terror. Instead of glorifying Mazzini, Garibaldi or some other revolutionary riffraff, the focus would be on our Catholic faith, cultural traditions, and monarchical legitimism (In case it wasn’t already clear, my sympathies lie with the ancien régime). 
To be honest, I don’t think many of the people who take part in Brooklyn’s Bastille Day festival are actually there in solidarity with Hébert, Robespierre or the soi-disant “immortal principals” of the French Révolution: Liberté, égalité, fraternité. [3] Most likely they’re there for the same reasons I attended back in the heady days of my youth: for the cuisine, socializing, and playing pétanque, the French version of bocce. Having said that, in view of today’s extreme partisan social climate and the disturbing rise of incivility and intimidation among the unwashed masses, that just may be wishful thinking on my part.
Yours truly back in the day sporting a do-rag and playing pétanque
Either way, it’s clear that society, with its debased priorities, is still a long way off from restoring any kind of traditional order. In the meantime, we have taken to heart Joseph de Maistre’s maxim, “What is needed is not a revolution in the opposite direction, but the opposite of a revolution.” [4] We strive to do everything in our power to weather the crises and steel ourselves—mentally, physically and spiritually—from the corrupting forces of modernity. Our attempts to forge bonds and create community with fellow travelers have led to small, but enjoyable social gatherings, acts of charity, and new friendships. More importantly, we dutifully look to shepherding our own souls through daily prayer, self-discipline and spiritual combat. While I can’t imagine seeing the restoration in my lifetime, one never knows what the future holds and we may yet emerge from this Dark Age and witness the return of spiritual authority and temporal power to their proper circles.
~ Giovanni di Napoli, Friday, July 13th, Feast of Santa Trofimena
[1] Giuseppe Di Lampedusa, The Leopard, Pantheon Books, 2007, p.29
[2] Mass for the Feast of St. Joan of Arc by the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny, May 31, 2018
[3] French for “Liberty, equality, fraternity.”
[4] Joseph de Maistre (April 1, 1753 — February 26, 1821) was a Savoyard Counter-Enlightenment philosopher, lawyer and diplomat. 

Feast of San Camillo de Lellis

Viva San Camillo!
July 14th is the Feast Day of San Camillo de Lellis (St. Camillus of Lellis), Confessor and founder of the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm. Patron saint of nurses, physicians, hospitals and the sick, San Camillo is also the protector of the Region of Abruzzo and his native Bucchianico in Chieti. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to St. Camillus of Lellis. The image of San Camillo in Gloria comes courtesy of the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm.
Prayer to Saint Camillus of Lellis
Most wonderful Saint, your compassion for the sick and the dying led you to found the Servants of the Sick. As Patron of nurses and hospital workers, infuse in them your compassionate spirit. Make hospitals resemble the inn in Christ’s Parable to which the Good Samaritan brought the wounded man saying: “Take care of him and I will repay you for it.” Amen.

Announcing the 11th Annual Festa di San Vito in Elizabeth, New Jersey

Photo courtesy of the Peterstown Cultural Festival / Festa Di San Vito
The Frank O. Mazza Civic Association presents the 11th Annual Festa di San Vito from July 26th through July 29th (6:30PM to 10:30PM)

Outdoor street fair with special service at St. Anthony Church, street procession, food, music, kiddie rides, games and much more! Fun for the whole family!

800 Fourth Avenue at High Street
Elizabeth, New Jersey

For more information contact Vito Mazza Esq. Chairman at 732-309-1580 or mazza_law@yahoo.com

July 13, 2018

Panzerotti Party in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

The Barese (mozzarella, tomato sauce, ham, black olives, anchovies, capers)
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Members and friends of the Comitati delle Due Sicilie USA met up at Panzerotti Bites (235 Smith St.) in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn this week for an enjoyable evening of food and fellowship. Warmly welcomed by owners Vittoria and Pasquale, our hungry little troop settled in the cozy shop with open kitchen and patio seating, and perused the wide selection of panzerotti on the menu.
Panzerotti Bites, a taste of Puglia in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
An Apulian specialty, panzerotti are deep-fried half-moon pockets of dough (similar to Neapolitan calzoni) made with semolina and traditionally stuffed with mozzarella, tomato sauce and oregano. However, at Panzerotti Bites the popular peasant dish has evolved into a delectable delicacy made with a wide assortment of gourmet ingredients, such as black truffles and baby octopus. Vittoria and Pasquale even make a couple of sweet versions with cocoa or coffee dough filled with Nutella or Oreo!
(Above & below) Pugliese pride on display
Tempted to try them all, our party eventually settled on a choice few. Served hot on wooden cutting boards, the authentic flavors and aroma of the savory morsels briefly transported us all the way to historic Barivecchia. We ordered ours fried, but the kitchen’s new oven now offers the health-conscious connoisseur a delicious, though less traditional, baked option.
Evviva San Nicola di Bari!
Sampling our selections, we each had our own favorite. For me, the pièce de résistance of the meal was the mouthwatering octopus with mashed potato and parsley. Tender and chewy with a crispy crust, the panzerotto was tasty and very satisfying.
The Octopus (baby octopus, mashed potato, parsley)
Casual and comfy, Panzerotti Bites offers us Brooklynites an authentic taste of Puglia in our own backyard. Beer and wine are coming soon, so I’m told, which will only enhance an already pleasant dining experience.
The Veggie (mozzarella, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, red onions)
Only open since January of this year, we wish Vittoria and Pasquale all the best in their new endeavor. Friendly and attentive with a good location and superior product, the hardworking duo have the essential ingredients for the recipe of success.
The Pomodoro (mozzarella, tuna in oil, sun dried tomato)
Panzerotti Bites ★★★★★
235 Smith Street
Brooklyn, New York 11231

The Salame (mozzarella, tomato sauce, spicy salame)

Feast of Santa Trofimena di Minori

Evviva Santa Trofimena!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
July 13th is the Feast of Santa Trofimena di Minori, virgin and martyr. Patroness of Minori, Salerno (SA) and Patti, Messina (ME), she is also the protector of children. One of three major observances held in her honor, the Feast commemorates the translation of the Saint’s stolen relics back from Benevento to Minori on July 13th, 839. Santa Trofimena is also venerated on November 5th—which according to popular tradition is when her relic (with the aid of an angel) washed ashore from Sicily in 640—and on November 27th, the anniversary of the rediscovery of her relic during the reconstruction of the cathedral in 1793. In celebration, I'm posting a Prayer to Santa Trofimena. The above photos of the Saint were taken during my 2010 visit to Minori. The pictures below were taken at Saint Michael's Church in New Haven, Connecticut and The Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Prayer to Santa Trofimena
Glory to Thee O Trofimena, Saint in the highest and Mother and Patroness of Minori. Glory to Thee Santa Trofimena, The gentle lull of the sea gave us your natural remains. Glory to Thee Santa Trofimena, You have chosen Minori as your humble abode.
(L) Santa Trofimena, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Santa Trofimena, New Haven, Connecticut

Announcing the 89th Annual San Rocco Feast in Fort Lee, New Jersey


July 12, 2018

Feast of Santa Veronica

St. Veronica with the Veil (c. 1655-60)
by Mattia Preti
July 12th is the feast day of Santa Veronica, patron saint of photographers and laundry workers. According to tradition, she was moved by the sight of Jesus being brutally marched along the Via Dolorosa (Way of Grief) to Golgotha. Wiping the sweat and blood from His Holy Face (Volto Santo) with her veil, the likeness of our Lord was miraculously impressed upon it. She is honored in the sixth Station of the Cross. In commemoration I’m posting a Prayer to St. Veronica. The accompanying photo of Saint Veronica with the Veil by Mattia Preti (1613-1699) comes courtesy of the LACMA.
Prayer to St. Veronica 
St. Veronica, you gave Christ a towel on His way to Cavalry which He used to wipe the Precious Blood from His Holy Face. In return for this great act of kindness He left you His most Holy image on the towel. Pray for us to Our Lord that His Holy Face may be imprinted on our hearts so that we may be always be mindful of the Passion and Death of Our lord Jesus Christ, through the same Christ our Lord, Amen.

Congratulations Dana and Anthony!

Congratulations Dana and Anthony on your wedding! May God Bless you and your union. 

Malta Walks NYC (July 2018)

This Tuesday, July 17th at 7:30 PM join the Order of Malta Auxiliary for their monthly “Malta Walk” street ministry. Volunteers meet every third Tuesday of the month at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral parish house at 263 Mulberry Street in lower Manhattan to prepare and distribute food to the homeless.

Anyone interested in supporting this noble endeavor can contact the Order of Malta Auxiliary at nycaux@orderofmaltaamerican.org or call 917-566-3937. For additional information, the Order can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/maltaauxiliarynyc.

July 11, 2018

A Look at Giglio Sunday 2018

Evviva Maria! Evviva San Paolino di Nola!
Photos courtesy of Anthony Scillia
Thanks Tony for sharing your wonderful photos of Giglio Sunday from the 2018 Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and San Paolino di Nola at the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
High atop the giglio, San Paolino stands sentinel over the fairgrounds
The Grand Turk, Neil Dellamonica, and his minions make their way to the boat
Revelers turned out in force for the celebration
The Giglio Band kept the festivities rolling
(Above & below) The Grand Turk and his crew sail through the cheering crowd
During the "Double lift," the boat and giglio meet in front of OLMC Church to the tune of the "March of the wooden soldiers"
(L) Our pals Tony and Elmina. (R) Saintly patrons adorn the giglio  
(Above & below) There was plenty of delicious
southern Italian fare at the fairgrounds
Hot and savory arancini

Feast of San Benedetto da Nursia

Viva San Benedetto!
Photo courtesy of Andrew Giordano
July 11th is the Feast Day of San Benedetto da Nursia (St. Benedict of Nursia), Patriarch of Western monasticism. Patron saint of Europe and Pertosa in Salerno, he is also the protector of monks, architects, engineers, speleologists and spelunkers. To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting a Prayer to St. Benedict of Nursia. The accompanying photo was taken at the Monastery of Santa Maria di Picciano in Matera, Basilicata. 
A Prayer to Saint Benedict
Dear Saint Benedict, I thank God for showering you with His grace to love Him above all else and to establish a monastic rule that has helped so many of His children live full and holy lives. Through the cross of Jesus Christ, I ask you to please intercede that God might protect me, my loved ones, my home, property, possessions, and workplace today and always by your holy blessing, that we may never be separated from Jesus, Mary, and the company of all the blessed. Through your intercession may we be delivered from temptation, spiritual oppression, physical ills, and disease. Protect us from drug and alcohol abuse, impurity and immorality, objectionable companions, and negative attitudes. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Announcing the 2018 Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, New York