October 1, 2016

The Life and Time of Caruso at the Enrico Caruso Museum

October 2nd, 16th and 23rd 
Lecture, tour and film on The Life and Time of Caruso. 
Sponsored by Enrico Caruso Museum of America. 
1942 East 19th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11229

Admission: FREE (open to the public)
Contact: Comm. Aldo Mancusi 718-368-3993

A Prayer to Saint Agatha for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2016

Also see:
Feast of Saint Agatha of Sicily

New Books (October 2016)

Some new and forthcoming titles that may be of interest to our readers. All are available at Amazon.com 
Old Puglia: A Cultural Companion to South-Eastern Italy (Armchair Traveller) by Desmond Seward and Susan Mountgarret
Publisher: Haus Publishing; Reprint edition
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
Paperback: $12.89
Language: English
Pages: 320


Ancient Sicily: Monuments Past and Present  
Publisher: Third Millennium Press
Publication Date: January 12, 2017
Hardcover: $17.25
Spiral-bound: 72 pages 

Catarina the Wise and Other Wondrous Sicilian Folk and Fairy Tales by Giuseppe Pitrè 
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Paperback: $20.00
Language: English
Pages: 304 
Click here to see more books

September 30, 2016

Feast of Sant’Amato di Nusco Vescovo

Viva Sant'Amato!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
September 30th is the Feast Day of Sant’Amato di Nusco Vescovo, citizen and first Bishop of Nusco, Avellino. Invoked against earthquakes and other natural disasters, many miracles and healings have been attributed to Nusco’s beloved patron. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to Sant’Amato.* The accompanying photo was taken at the Società Sant’Amato di Nusco clubhouse in Long Island City, New York.
Orazione a Santo Amato
O glorioso Santo Amato, che in tempi di tenebre splendesti di sanità nella tua patria e la sollevasti a nuovi costumi e nuova vita civile, deh! stendi su tutti i tuoi devoti l'opera tua benefica.
Tu avvisasti nel tuo popolo il fervore della fede e della pietà cristiana, Tu fosti sollievo negli affanni, scampo nei pericoli, e Tu conserva ognora all'ombra tua il popolo del tuo acquisto e quanti invocano il tuo nome benedetto.
O padre e Pastore della tua Nusco spira nei cuori la carità, che ti accese verso il tuo gregge, sicché, amandoci in terra, possiamo esser insieme con Te cittadini in cielo.
* Prayer courtesy of the Saint Amato Society of Long Island City, New York

September 29, 2016

Feast of the Archangels

The Archangel Michael smiting Satan
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
September 29th is the Feast Day of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. In celebration I'm posting The Saint Michael Prayer. The accompanying photo of Saint Michael the Archangel smiting Satan was taken at now closed Saint Joseph's Church (5 Monroe Street) in Two Bridges, New York City.

The Saint Michael Prayer

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Divine Power of God,
cast into hell, Satan and all the evil spirits who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

September 28, 2016

A Glimpse of the 116th Annual Santa Fortunata Procession in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Evviva Santa Fortunata!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Returning to Brooklyn after celebrating the Traditional Votive Mass of San Gennaro at Most Precious Blood Church in Little Italy Saturday morning, I made my way to Villabate Alba Pasticceria in Bensonhurst to pick up a few Sicilian dessert specialties for a dinner engagement. Disappointed I would not be able to attend the Annual Procession of Santa Fortunata, patroness of Baucina, Sicily, I was very fortunate to catch part of the solemn cortège decked out in their colorful raiment as they made their way down 18th Avenue.
(Above & below) The procession saunters down 18th Avenue
(Above & below) Ladies carry banner and flowers spelling out Santa Fortunata
(Above & below) Costumed participants
reenact the life and martyrdom of Santa Fortunata
The Tony Neglia Band
Devotees pull the vara with Santa Fortunata through the neighborhood
(Above & below) A good time was had by all
Also see:
NYC's 2015 Feast of Santa Fortunata
NYC's 2014 Feast of Santa Fortunata
NYC's 2013 Feast of Santa Fortunata
NYC's 2012 Feast of Santa Fortunata (Part I)
NYC's 2012 Feast of Santa Fortunata (Part II)

Two Sicilies Pride at San Gennaro Feast

Ms. Rebekah Elliott from Oklahoma 
wearing her custom San Gennaro feast 
anniversary shirt, with the Bourbon 
Two Sicilies coat of arms. 
Photo courtesy of Cav. Charles Sant’Elia
While returning from the San Gennaro Votive Mass held at Most Precious Blood Church on September 24th, members of the Comitati Due Sicilie USA were passing by the historic store of E. Rossi & Co. on Grand Street when an elderly woman heard them speaking about the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. She approached and quickly called her daughter, who was shopping in the store for regional products. She explained she and her family were proudly of Sicilian and Neapolitan ancestry and had shirts with the Bourbon crest made for the family members in order to honor their family by displaying the symbols of "where they really came from.” The daughter proudly showed the group her shirt and her San Gennaro necklace. This spontaneous show of Two Sicilies identity pride moved the CDS members and several Neapolitans who were in the vicinity, who told the young lady that HRH the Princess of the Two Sicilies had just worn a Napoli soccer shirt with the crest during the San Gennaro festivities in Naples that week.

September 27, 2016

The Last Days of September

The "Four Days of Naples" Remembered
Scene from the siege of Naples (September, 1943)
By Niccolò Graffio
“See Naples and die.” (Vedi Napoli e poi muori) – Italian proverb (variously ascribed to Virgil, Goethe and Humboldt)
The city of Naples is one of the oldest, continually inhabited cities in all of Italy, if not Europe. Tradition has it Greek settlers from Euboea founded a colony at the site sometime in the 8th century BC. Archaeologists, however, believe the earliest settlers were Greek sailors from Rhodes who established a mercantile colony on the tiny island of Megaride almost 100 years earlier. They named this colonyParthenope.
Around the 5th century BC these settlers were displaced by new arrivals from the Greek colony of Cumae. Reaching the mainland, these displaced settlers founded a new colony they named Neapolis (Gr: “New City”). In time Parthenope came to be absorbed into the growing city, being renamed simply Palaiopolis (Gr: “Old City”). Continue reading

September 26, 2016

Celebrating the Traditional Votive Mass of San Gennaro at Most Precious Blood Church in NYC

Evviva San Gennaro!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Even though I was out late the night before (see: Celebrating the Feast of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina), I made it a point to attend the Traditional Votive Mass of San Gennaro at Most Precious Blood Church in Manhattan’s historic Little Italy (Sept. 24th). It has been ages since a Traditional Latin Mass was celebrated at the storied church and I didn’t want to miss it.
Arriving early, I walked through the Holy Doors of Mercy and heard the orchestra warming up. I immediately knew we were in for something special. In keeping with my tradition, I made my rounds to the church's various shrines to the saints and said my intercessory prayers to San Rocco, San Gennaro, San Michele and the Madonna delle Grazie
There was a terrific turnout for the Mass and I was happy to see many friends, including several members of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George. I was also honored to meet Officer Matthew Reid of the NYPD Holy Name Society of Manhattan, Bronx and Staten Island, who has been very supportive of our upcoming Michaelmas celebration (Sept. 29th) in honor of Law Enforcement.
Needless to say, the Mass was beautiful. Celebrant and homilist Fr. Richard Gennaro Cipolla, Pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in Norwalk, Connecticut gave a heartfelt sermon about the martyrdom of San Gennaro, the struggle against secularization and the destruction of ethnic Catholic culture. For the complete transcript of Fr. Cipolla’s sermon and terrific pictures of the Mass visit the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny website.
Lead by David Hughes, the choir and strings performed a phenomenal Mozart program, which included the Prelude: Sonata da chiesa in B-flat (K. 212) (Mozart), Missa brevis in F (K. 192) (Mozart), Gregorian Mass of Several Martyrs: Salus autem, Motet at the Offertory: Justorum animae (Palestrina), Motet at the Communion: Venite populi (Mozart), and Postlude: Sonata da chiesa in F (K. 244) (Mozart). 
God bless the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny, especially Stuart and Jill Chessman, for sponsoring this historic Mass in honor of San Gennaro, Patron Saint of Naples, and for their tireless efforts to promote the Traditional Latin Mass. Evviva San Gennaro!
Fr. Cippola next to the bye-altar with San Gennaro
The processional statue of San Gennaro with flowers
After Mass, my confratelli and I continued the celebration at nearby Margherita NYC, Pizzeria Napoletana for a delicious Neapolitan repast.
We started with a delicious antipasto
Pizza Margherita
Montanara pizza

Feast of Saints Cosimo and Damiano

Saints Cosimo and Damiano
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
September 26th is the Feast Day of Saints Cosimo and Damiano, patrons of physicians and surgeons. Widely venerated across southern Italy, they are the principal patrons of Riace (RC), Ginosa (TA), Sferracavallo (PA), Roccascalegna (CH) and Carbonara di Nola (NA), among others. To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting a Prayer to Saints Cosmas and Damian. The accompanying photo of the martyrs was taken at Most Precious Blood Church (109 Mulberry Street), the national shrine of San Gennaro, located in New York City's historic Little Italy.
Prayer to Saints Cosmas and Damian 

O glorious martyrs of Christ, Saints Cosmas and Damian, you gave your lives for the love of God, benefiting your fellow man, and crowning your martyrdom with an open and loyal profession of your faith. You taught us to love God above all things, and to love our fellow man as ourselves, professing always, and without fear, the religion of Jesus. 

Augmenting amongst the faithful populace many miracles, you are glorious indeed. Through your intercession, which brings about deliverance of these miracles, we pray to you for your aid in all things. May your patronage never be far from us in the illness of our body and soul. 

O great protectors, Saints Cosmas and Damian, assist us with your love and free us from all evils. Amen

September 25, 2016

Celebrating the Feast of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

Evviva San Pio!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Friday evening (Sept. 23rd), my friends and I headed to Most Precious Blood Church in Manhattan’s historic Little Italy to celebrate the Feast of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. Meeting in the courtyard on Mulberry Street, we first stopped by the St. Pio statue in the alleyway leading to the church’s back entrance. Reciting a few prayers, a couple of curious passersby indulging in the ongoing Feast of San Gennaro were happy to learn it was St. Pio’s Feast Day.
Inside the church, we lit a few candles near the shrine to Padre Pio in memory of our ancestors and the earthquake victims in Italy. Sitting in peace and tranquility, we prayed and meditated for a short while undisturbed by the tumultuous revelry outside the church. 
Afterward, we stopped by the Radio Nuova York booth (next to the outdoor shrine to San Gennaro) to say hi to our pals Polo and Roy. Discussing Italy and New York between spinning discs, the Radio Nuova York crew have been broadcasting live from the Feast of San Gennaro all feast long.
Before heading to Ribalta for our celebratory meal, we made a pitstop at the Bowery Electric for a beer (or two). Completely undoing my state of serenity, we caught the very loud and very entertaining i Gatti Neri NYC gig. The band rocked, but certain elements in the crowd reminded me why I don't attend these types of shows more often. 
Ears ringing and hungry, we walked over to the Neapolitan hotspot for a late dinner. Being a Friday, we enjoyed some sparkling Gragnano, meatless pizza and pasta, and, of course, a couple of seafood dishes. Capped off with espresso, our celebration was now complete. Evviva San Pio!
The indoor shrine to Padre Pio
We lit a few candles for our ancestors and the earthquake victims
Most Precious Blood Church remains a bastion of southern Italian religiosity
Hanging with the Radio Nuova York crew
Grilled octopus
Fritto misto
Pizza Margherita
Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
Cavatelli alle Melanzane

Photo of the Week: Santi Medici Cosma e Damiano

Grazie mille Andrew Giordano for sharing your wonderful photo of
Santi Medici Cosma e Damiano (Saints Cosmas and Damian) on the high altar
in the Chiesa di San Giuseppe, Taranto (TA)

September 24, 2016

Feast of Our Lady of Ransom

Evviva Maria!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
September 24th is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Ransom, also called Our Lady of Mercy (or Madonna della Misericordia). The Feast commemorates the founding of the Mercedarians, a mendicant Order devoted to the redemption of Christian slaves seized by Moslem reavers. Originally celebrated by the friars on August 1 (the night the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Peter Nolasco, prompting him to found the Order in 1218) the Feast was eventually extended to the entire Church by Pope Innocent XII and observed on September 24. The Order is credited with rescuing 70,000 Christian slaves from the Saracens. In celebration, I'm posting a Prayer to Our Lady of Mercy by Saint Augustine. The accompanying photo was taken at the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn during the 2015 Festa di Maria SS. della Misericordia, Patroness of Fontanarosa, Avellino.
Prayer to Our Lady of Mercy 
Blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay you with praise and thanks for having rescued a fallen world by your generous consent! Receive our gratitude, and by your prayers obtain the pardon of our sins. Take our prayers into the sanctuary of heaven and enable them to make our peace with God.
Holy Mary, help the miserable, strengthen the discouraged, comfort the sorrowful, pray for your people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God. May all who venerate you feel now your help and protection. Be ready to help us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it your continual concern to pray for the people of God, for you were blessed by God and were made worthy to bear the Redeemer of the world, who lives and reigns forever. Amen.

Announcing the 117th Annual Feast of Saint Gerard, Newark, New Jersey

www.saintlucy.net

September 23, 2016

Feast of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

Painted ceramic of Saint Pio
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
September 23rd is the Feast Day of Saint Padre Pio. In commemoration, I'm posting aPrayer to Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. The accompanying photo was taken in Vietri Sul Mare during my 2010 pilgrimage to Southern Italy.
Prayer to Saint Pio of Pietrelcina
O Glorious Saint Pio, bearing the wounds of Christ you generously accepted your sufferings, and labored faithfully for the good of all souls. Help me to embrace that same attitude of acceptance in my life. With confidence, I ask for your intercession to obtain the grace of (make your request), which I ardently desire. If it is not, however, God's will that this should come to pass, then help me to find serenity and joy in God's choices for me. Amen

Of the Wonderful Force of Imagination

The ‘Natural Magick’ of Giambattista della Porta
Giambattista della Porta (1535?-1615)
By Niccolò Graffio
“The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful.” – Heinri Poincaré (1854-1912)
The (natural) sciences, geography and history are subjects that have always fascinated me. This is probably why I have always enjoyed walking the seemingly endless halls of this wonderfully vast edifice known as the American Museum of Natural History. Looking at all the exhibits, one cannot help but get a taste of all my favorite subjects. With 25 interconnected buildings that house 46 permanent exhibition halls, research laboratories and a library that is world-renowned, the museum is truly one of the wonders of the modern age.
I recall reading somewhere once that famed British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, when witnessing the “firing up” of a new, state of the art telescope designed to peer into the outermost reaches of the universe, exclaimed that he never felt prouder of our species than at that moment. I feel the same way whenever I come here, which is why I visit often. It is at once both a humbling and exalting experience. If you can manage the trip here just once in your lifetime I heartily recommend it! Continue reading

Announcing the 6th Annual San Gennaro Feast of the Hamptons, Long Island

www.sangennarofeastofthehamptons.com