August 9, 2022

Celebrating the Feast of the Madonna del Soccorso di Castelfranci at the National Centre for Padre Pio in Barto, Pennsylvania

Madonna del Soccorso, ora pro nobis
Sunday morning, over one hundred pilgrims made the trek to the National Centre for Padre Pio in Barto, Pennsylvania to celebrate the annual Feast of the Madonna del Soccorso di Castelfranci. 

Arriving early, we got to explore the center’s informative museum and cultural center before Mass. 

After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the statue of the Madonna del Soccorso was carried out of the chapel and solemnly processed around the center’s bucolic grounds. 

Returning to the chapel, revelers adjourned to the picnic grounds for a celebratory meal, some fellowship and pick-up games of bocce and calcio

Before leaving, we bought a few religious articles at the gift shop and venerated the relics of San Francesco d’Assisi and San Pio.

The Madonna della Grazie chapel
The view from the chapel
Processional standard inside the Madonna della Grazie chapel 
Santa Massimiana, Virgin, Martyr and Patroness of San Giovanni Rotondo
A copy of Luca Giordano's The Patron Saints of Naples Adoring Christ on the Cross hangs above the actual confessional San Pio used to hear the confessions of women in San Giovanni Rotondo
Side altar dedicated to St. Felix Cantilice
and painting of the Immaculate Conception
Statues of St. Francis of Assisi
Relics of St. Francis of Assisi
Replica of Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo from Monte di Procida,
Naples and San Michele Arcangelo, protettore di Sturno, Avellino
Monuments of San Michele Arcangelo and Padre Raffaele di Sant'Elia a Pianisi
After Mass, the statue of the Madonna del Soccorso
was removed from her glass case for the procession
(Above & below) The procession makes its way around the grounds

The Vigil of San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo Martire, ora pro nobis

Adésto, Dómine, supplicatiónibus nostris: et intercessióne beáti Lauréntii Mártyris tui, cujus prævénimus festivitátem; perpétuam nobis misericórdiam benígnts impénde. Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum, Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia sǽcula sæculórum.*

August 9th is the Vigil of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr. Keeping with the old custom, it is a day of fasting and abstinence. If the Vigil falls on a Sunday, it is moved to the preceding Saturday. Evviva San Lorenzo!

* Attend, O Lord, to our supplications, and by the intercession of Thy blessed martyr, Lawrence, whose feast we anticipate, graciously bestow upon us Thy everlasting mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

Photo of the Week: Detail of the Marriage of Alexander the Great and Roxana in the Reggia di Caserta

Detail of The Marriage of Alexander the Great and Roxana (1787) by Mariano Rossi, Alexander's Room, The Reggia of Caserta (Photo by Andrew Giordano)

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Shrine Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in Raritan, New Jersey

August 8, 2022

Feast of San Ciriaco di Roma and Companions

San Ciriaco and Companions, orate pro nobis
August 8th is the Feast of San Ciriaco di Roma, Deacon, Martyr, and Miracleworker. First exorcist of the Church, he delivered the daughters of Emperor Diocletian and the King of Persia from demonic possession. He was tortured and beheaded on the Via Salaria with his companions St. Largus, St. Smaragdus and twenty others by co-emperor Maximian circa 303 for refusing to renounce the Faith. 

One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, San Ciriaco is invoked against evil spirits, demonic possession, eye disease and deathbed temptations. He is the patron saint of exorcists and Torre le Nocelle in Provincia di Avellino, Campania. 

In celebration, we’re posting a prayer to Saints Cyriacus, Largus and Smaragdus. The accompanying photo, courtesy of Anthony Scillia, was taken at St. Leonard of Port Maurice Parish in Boston, Massachusetts. Evviva San Ciriaco di Roma!

Prayer to Saints Cyriacus, Largus and Smaragdus

O God, You gladden us by the annual feast of Your holy Martyrs, Cyriacus, Largus and Smaragdus; mercifully grant, that we, who celebrate their heavenly birthday, may also imitate the fortitude of their martyrdom. 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.

Feast of San Giovanni Maria Vianney

San Giovanni Vianney, ora pro nobis
August 8 is the Feast of San Giovanni Maria Vianney (1786-1859), the Miracle Worker of Ars, priest, Franciscan tertiary, ascetic, and mystic. He is the patron saint of parish priests and confessors. In celebration, we’re posting a prayer to St. John Vianney. Pictured is my makeshift shrine dedicated to the great saint. Evviva San Giovanni Maria Vianney!

Prayer to St. John Vianney

Saint John Vianney, Your childhood dream was to be a Priest, to win souls for God. You endured years of toil and humiliation to attain the Priesthood. You became a priest truly after God’s own heart, outstanding in humility and poverty; prayer and mortification. Totally devoted to the service of God’s people, the Church has exalted you as a model and patron saint of all Priests, trusting that your example and prayers will help them to live up to the high dignity of their vocation, to be faithful servants of God’s people, to be perfect imitators of Christ the Savior, Who came not to be served but to serve, to give His Life in ransom for many.

Feast of the Fourteen Holy Helpers

Fourteen Holy Helpers, orate pro nobis
August 8th is the Feast of the Fourteen Holy Helpers or Auxiliary Saints. While each has their own individual memorial, they were traditionally invoked collectively in some places in times of adversity and difficulties. The devotion began in the middle of the 14th century when the Black Death, a virulent plague that struck Europe from Asia, ravaged the continent and killed an estimated 30% to 60% of its population. Considering the great many calamities befalling Christendom today, I'm thinking it's long past time to bring back this popular devotion. The Helpers are: St. George (April 23rd), St. Blaise (February 3rd), St. Erasmus (June 2nd), St. Pantaleon (July 27th), St. Vitus (June 15th), St. Christopher (July 25th), St. Denis (October 9th), St. Cyriacus (August 8th), St. Achatius (May 8th), St. Eustace (September 20th), St. Giles (September 1st), St. Margaret of Antioch (July 20th), St. Catherine of Alexandria (November 25th), and St. Barbara (December 4th). In celebration, I’m posting three invocations to the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

Three Invocations to the Holy Helpers

1. Great friends of God, Holy Helpers, humbly saluting and venerating you, I implore your help and intercession. Bring my prayers before the throne of the Most Holy Trinity, so that I may experience in all the difficulties and trials of life the mercy of the eternal Father, the love of the incarnate divine Son, and the assistance of the Holy Ghost; that despondency may not depress me when God's wise decree imposes on my shoulders a heavy burden. Above all, I implore your assistance at the hour of death. Help me then to gain the victory over the temptations and assaults of Satan, and to leave this world hopefully trusting in God's mercy, to join you in heaven, there to praise Him for ever and ever. Amen.

2. With confiding trust I turn to you, Holy Helpers, who were selected by God before many other saints to be the special intercessors and advocates of the distressed. Obtain for me strength and courage to struggle and suffer on earth for the glory of God, for the propagation of our holy faith, and for my own perfection. You are fruitful branches of the true and living vine, Jesus Christ, for whom you heroically suffered hunger and thirst, persecution and ignominy, afflictions and adversity, tortures and death. Here on earth you were true disciples and dauntless martyrs of Christ. Assist me to follow your example and to suffer for His sake, so that I may not be parted from Him as a useless member, but persevere in His service despite all trials and tribulations of life. Knowing my inconstancy and weakness, I have recourse to you, O glorious members of the Church triumphant, and implore you to support my feeble prayers, and to bear them before the throne of the Almighty, who, for your sake, will hear them. Amen.

3. Great friends and servants of God, Holy Helpers! Humbly saluting and venerating you, I implore your help and intercession. God has promised and granted that whosoever invokes your aid shall be relieved in his needs and succored at the hour of death. Therefore I have recourse to you and confidently implore your aid. I am surrounded by difficulties and my soul is oppressed with grief. Burdened with sins, the fear of God's rigorous judgment appalls me, whilst Satan ceases not to exert all his power to accomplish my eternal ruin.

Therefore I implore your assistance, powerful Holy Helpers, in my dire distress. By the penitential life you led, by the cruel tortures you suffered, and by your holy death I entreat you to pray for me. Obtain for me the remission of my sins and perseverance to the end in God's grace. Assist me in my agony and protect me against the wily assaults of Satan, that through your help I may die a happy death and enter a blissful eternity. Amen.

* For more on the Fourteen Holy Helpers, I highly recommend Project Gutenberg's free ebook, Mary, Help of Christians and the Fourteen Saints Invoked as Holy Helpers, compiled by Rev. Bonaventure, O.F.M. It has instructions, legends, novenas and prayers, with thoughts of the saints for every day of the year.

Remembering Maria Teresa of Austria, Queen of the Two Sicilies

31 July, 1816 — 8 August, 1867

In memory of Maria Teresa of Austria, Queen of the Two Sicilies, we pray for the happy repose of her soul. Viva ‘a Reggina!

Eternal rest grant unto Her Majesty, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

August 7, 2022

Feast of the Madonna del Soccorso di Castelfranci

Madonna del Soccorso di
Castelfranci, ora pro nobis

Sancta Maria, succurre miseris, iuva pusillanimes, refove flebiles, ora pro populo, interveni pro clero, intercede pro devoto femineo sexu: sentiant omnes tuum iuvamen, quicumque celebrant tuam sanctam commemorationem. Amen.

Dating back to the sixteenth century, the first Sunday in August is the Feast of the Madonna Santissima del Soccorso in Castelfranci, Avellino. 

According to tradition, one summer night Our Lady appeared in the dream of a poor woman and asked her to go to the parish priest and have a chapel built in her honor. Scoffing, the priest admonished the woman and dismissed her. 

That night, the Virgin appeared to the woman again and repeated her request. Undeterred, the woman returned to the priest and was again rebuked and brusquely sent away. 

On the third night, the Blessed Mother told the woman she would make it snow on the spot where she wanted the chapel built. The next day, the first Sunday of August, snow fell as foretold and the perimeter of the chapel was demarcated.

The townspeople rushed to witness the miracle of the snow and all the sick and lame were cured of their ailments. Now convinced, the astonished priest began the construction of the chapel and instituted the annual memorial.

In celebration, we’re posting the Sancta Maria, succorer miseris by Bishop Fulbert of Chartres (c.952-1028), which is often associated with the August 5th Feast of the Madonna della Neve. The accompanying photo was taken at the National Centre for Padre Pio in Barto, Pennsylvania. Ave Maria.

Sancta Maria, succorer miseris

Holy Mary, be a help for the defenseless, strength for the fearful, comfort for the sorrowful, pray for the people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all the holy women consecrated to God; may all who observe your sacred commemoration feel the power of your assistance. Amen.

Feast of the Madonna di Costantinopoli

Madonna di Constantinopoli, ora pro nobis
On the first Sunday of August the city of Salerno celebrates the Feast of the Madonna di Costantinopoli, patroness of seafarers. According to tradition, the sacred image of the Virgin Hodegetria (She who shows the way) miraculously washed up on shore near the Chiesa di Sant’Agostino in 1453, the fateful year Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks. Reliving its arrival, the icon is brought out to sea yearly with great fanfare and processed by a festive flotilla along the city’s waterfront. 

Though widely venerated across Southern Italy, the various towns honor Our Lady under the title of Madonna di Costantinopoli on different dates. For example, the annual Feast at Agropoli along the Cilento littoral is celebrated on July 24th. Like Salerno, the Agropolesi bring their statue of the Madonna out to sea and hold a coastal boat procession.

The city of Bari honors their glorious patroness on the first Tuesday in March, recalling the arrival of the miraculous icon in 731. Seeking shelter from a squall, as the story goes, a ship fleeing the iconoclastic controversy at Constantinople was guided safely to the calm Apulian port by an angel.

Similarly, the town of Papasidero in Calabria celebrates the Feast of the Madonna di Costantinopoli on the first Tuesday after Pentecost. However, their Feast calls to mind the lifting of a virulent plague in 1656. The town's deliverance is attributed to the Blessed Mother.

Interestingly, it is said the original Virgin Hodegetria painted by San Luca was ritually paraded through the streets and marketplaces of Constantinople on Tuesdays to purify the city.(1) Today, many towns across Europe claim to be in possession of the it.

In celebration, I’m posting a prayer to Our Lady of Constantinople. The accompanying photo, courtesy of Andrew Giordano, was taken at the Chiesa di Sant’Agostino in Salerno. Ave Maria!

Prayer to Our Lady of Constantinople

O Mother of God, invincible triumphant victor over your only Son's enemies, Queen of the Angels, Consoler of the afflicted, advocate of the sinners, it cannot be denied that you are pleased to show yourself always admirable and loving under the title of Constantinople, which I admire and venerate. I rejoice in graces that you have granted to those who, with faith, have invoked you under this admirable title. I pray for the spiritual sanctity of all of us, your children; listen and be gracious to those who turn to you, who commend themselves to you, who trust in you, O Mother, and in you, O Queen, they put their hope. Amen.

(1) Madonna dell’Arco and the Byzantine Interface in Southern Italy by Elliot Wise and Dr. Mark J. Johnson, Art History and Curatorial Studies, September 19, 2013, Journal of Undergraduate Research

Feast of San Donato di Arezzo

San Donato di Arezzo, ora pro nobis
August 7th is the Feast of San Donato di Arezzo, Bishop and Martyr. Born in Nicomedia, a Greek city in Asia Minor, he moved to Rome with his family and studied to become a cleric. After the persecution and death of his parents during the reign of Julian the Apostate, he fled to Arezzo in central Italy, where he was ordained a deacon and eventually became the town's bishop.

Many miracles are attributed to San Donato, including curing a child of epilepsy and slaying a dragon. However, none are more popular than the story of the broken chalice. According to tradition, a group of pagans stormed into church during Mass and smashed a glass chalice. Donato calmly gathered the pieces, save one missing shard, and put the vessel back together. Despite having a hole in the bottom, he filled the glass with wine without spilling a drop. Having witnessed this miracle, the unbelievers converted to Christianity.

Not long after this incident, Donato was denounced and arrested for practicing magic by Quadraziano, the local prefect. Suffering many cruel tortures he refused to renounce his faith and was condemned to death. Put to the sword, San Donato was martyred on August 7th, 362 AD.

Widely venerated throughout Southern Italy, San Donato is one of the principal patrons of Monteforte Cilento (SA), Contursi Terme (SA), San Donato di Lecce (LE), San Donato Val di Comino (FR), San Donato di Ninea (CS) and Fossacesia (CH), among others. In celebration, I'm posting a prayer to San Donato. The accompanying photo was taken at Most Precious Blood Church, National Shrine of San Gennaro in New York City's Little Italy. Evviva San Donato di Arezzo!

Prayer to San Donato

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the examples of San Donato di Arezzo may effectually move us to reform our lives; that while we celebrate his festival, we may also imitate his actions. Look upon our weakness, almighty God, and since the burden of our own deeds weighs heavily upon us, may the glorious intercession of San Donato protect us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Feast of the Madonna di Porto Salvo

Madonna di Porto Salvo, ora pro nobis
The first Sunday of August is the Feast of the Madonna di Porto Salvo, Patroness of seafarers and Gallico Marino in Reggio Calabria. In celebration, I’m posting a Mariner’s Prayer. The accompanying photo of the Madonna di Porto Salvo was taken at Sacred Hearts — St. Stephen Church (125 Summit St.) in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Evviva Madonna di Porto Salvo!
Mariner’s Prayer
Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Mother of God and our Mother, you know all the dangers of soul and body that threaten mariners. Protect your sons and daughters who work and travel on the waters of the world, and protect also their families that await their return. Star of the Sea, Mother of the Church, give light and strength to those chaplains and lay ministers who bring the love of your Divine Son among mariners. Fill their hearts with a supernatural and life-giving zeal for the apostolate. Star of the Sea, light shining in the darkness, be a guide to those who sail amid the storms and dangers of life. Enlighten the hearts of ardent disciples and bring us all to the safety of heaven’s port. Amen.

Feast of San Gaetano Thiene

San Gaetano Thiene, ora pro nobis
August 7th is the Feast of San Gaetano Thiene (1480-1547), confessor and founder of the Theatines. He is one of the 52 co-patrons of Naples. Invoked against gambling and usury, San Gaetano is the patron saint of workers, the unemployed and downtrodden.

In celebration, I’m posting a Prayer to Saint Cajetan. The accompanying photo was taken during my 2010 pilgrimage to the Duomo di Ravello in Salerno. Evviva San Gaetano Thiene!

Prayer to Saint Cajetan

O Glorious St. Cajetan, Father of Divine Providence, help all those who are unemployed, who search for employment and who fear for their jobs, lead them towards what they are looking for and pray for us all that we may be courageous in the face of adversity. Amen.

Novena to San Rocco di Montpellier

San Rocco di Montpellier, ora pro nobis
Pray novena for nine consecutive days, August 7th to August 15th, in preparation for the Feast on August 16th.
O Blessed Saint Rocco, patron of the sick, have pity on those who lie upon a bed of suffering. Your power was so great when you were in this world, that by the sign of the Cross, many were healed of their diseases. Now that you are in heaven, your power is not less. Offer, then, to God our sighs and tears, and obtain for us that health we seek through Christ our Lord. Amen. 
Saint Rocco, pray for us, that we may be preserved from all diseases of body and soul. (say thrice)
* The accompanying photo was taken at St. Francis Church (308 Jefferson St.) in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Novena to San Gioacchino

San Gioacchino, ora pro nobis
Pray novena to St. Joachim for nine consecutive days, August 7th to August 15th, in preparation for the Feast on August 16th.
O Great patriarch St. Joachim, by that singular privilege by which thou wast chosen by Divine Providence to present to the world that Immaculate Queen in whom all nations should be blessed, and who should bear in her virginal bosom the salvation of the human race; we thy devout clients rejoice with thee over this beautiful privilege, and we implore thy special protection for ourselves and our families. Do not allow, O dear Saint, the devil or sin to have any place in our souls, nor the perverse maxims of the world to seduce us, nor permit us to live unmindful of that eternity for which we have been created. Obtain for us from God a firm faith, unshaken by the impieties and errors which are scattered abroad by sects hostile to the Church and to the Apostolic See, a sincere and constant affection for the Vicar of Jesus Christ, the True Valid Roman Pontiff, a generous and indomitable courage in refuting the calumnies uttered against everything that is most sacred and revered in our holy religion. Thou who art powerful through the love which thy holy daughter, Mary, bears thee, help on the cause of the Church, obtain for her the long-desired triumph, scatter the powers of darkness, humble their pride, and cause the light of truth and of the Faith to outshine every falsehood. Grant us, above everything, a tender and filial devotion to most holy Mary, thy dear daughter and our Mother, so that daily honoring her with devout homage we may deserve to be counted by her among the happy company of her children, and after the miseries of this exile to be brought by her to Paradise, there to praise the mercies of God for ever. Amen. 
Pater, Ave, Gloria, 3 x each
* The accompanying photo was taken at the now-closed Saint Joseph’s Church (5 Monroe Street) in New York City. The fate of the statue is unknown.

Around the Web — For the Whole Christ: Writings by Dr. John C. Rao

Dr. John C. Rao at the 2021 Catholic
Identity Conference in Pittsburgh, PA
About Dr. Rao

Dr. John C. Rao, D. Phil. Oxon., is Associate Professor of History at St. John's University and Director of the Roman Forum (also see the Roman Forum Facebook page). A well-regarded speaker as well as writer, Dr. Rao presents lecture series on Church history in New York and as part of the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium at Lake Garda in Italy. Applications are available through the Roman Forum's website. (Because of travel restrictions, the 2021 Summer Symposium was held on Long Island.) Recordings of those and other lectures are available on Soundcloud and YouTube. Videos from the 2021 Summer Symposium are available at Remnant TV.


August 6, 2022

Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord

Santissimo Salvatore, have mercy on us
August 6th is the Feast of the Santissimo Salvatore della Trasfigurazione (Most Holy Savior of the Transfiguration), which commemorates the revelation of Christ's divine glory to the Apostles Peter, James and John on Mount Tabor. The feast was universally recognized by Pope Callixtus III in 1456 in commemoration of the Siege of Belgrade, when the Christian forces led by John Hunyadi and San Giovanni da Capistrano broke the siege and routed the Ottoman invaders. In celebration, I’m posting a prayer for the Transfiguration of Our Lord. The accompanying photo of Santissimo Salvatore (Most Holy Savior) di Montella, courtesy of Anthony Scillia, was taken at Holy Saviour Church in Norristown, Pennsylvania. 
A prayer for the Transfiguration of Our Lord
At the Transfiguration, Father, You showed Jesus in glory, a glimpse of what His disciples would see in His risen life. Bless us in our humanity, with an awareness of Your presence, leading us to share in Your divine life even in our daily struggle. Help us to deepen our knowledge of the Law and the Prophets, channels of Your grace throughout history, and signposts for our journey. Amen.

Nihil Sub Sole Novum

The personification of the
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Guest Op-Ed

Submitted by Erasmo Russo

In the last decade there has been an increase in confusing nomenclature. In Western Europe and the United States young people are being told that the term “middle class” is highly elastic and so meaningless, exploited by politicians to give the false appearance of a wide distribution of wealth and power where none exists. They are told, the world is a collection of  “oligarchies” and that a percentage ranging from 1% to 10% owns and controls the world’s wealth and them. Naturally, this is cast in the framework of Foucauldian power analysis and postmodern angsty despair and indignation because life in this view consists solely of the material and of power relations. It is a zero sum game in which, according to this line of thinking, if your neighbor earns two ducats you thereby loose two ducats irreparably and cannot ever possibly earn those two ducats back in your lifetime. Therefore, the young are told, they must seize as many material things and as much power as possible immediately. Human beings are no longer human beings who have cultural identities or linguistic identities, but have been reduced to the most simplistic nomenclature based upon superficialities such as the color of their skin. These tired shop-worn notions cobbled together from Marxian analysis of long dead 19th century markets and 1970s French university scholarship which are indeed no longer focused upon in France anymore, have gained traction abroad. Currently, it would seem the United States has become a large exporter of such thought, and like many American exports, it has seduced millions around the world in its shiny new packaging. In a supreme irony of postmodernism, the silliest most reductive labels of past centuries have been rebranded and sold wholesale to the next generation. With all due respect to America and the Anglosphere, we have no need of such products which were cultivated in soil so unlike our own.

In this environment, the survival strategy of the poor and of the wealthy alike is to rally around 20th century socialism and virtue signal, so as to not have to do any heavy-lifting such as making charitable donations or modifying lifestyles so as to effectuate the greater good. Meanwhile, the politicians rally around internationalism and supranational entities such as the European Union, which serve as reliable scapegoats to blame for every one of their domestic policy failures. Since the 1950s countless European politicians have loved to tell their citizens that they could have done marvels at home but for technocrats and bureaucrats in Bruxelles blocking them. To some extent Guy Debord was correct in his La société du spectacle, we have gone from millennia in which we had to actually have things and to do things in order to project status and power. Now we merely have to have the appearance of having things and doing things. Posting on social media always suffices. Shouting slogans and rolling eyes work well also. We are no longer active agents. The generations of “larpers/poseurs” par excellence have come into their own. From both the right and the left, there are few men and women of action. Indeed, to celebrate such people of action is deemed a retrograde embracing of medieval notions of chivalry and Christian virtue, and even worse, of 20th century Fascism! Quelle horreur! 

The faithful inside the Cappella di
San Gennaro
by Giacinto Gigante
Yet another irony confronts us, now that postmodernism finds itself in crisis, theorists are racing to forge a “metamodernism” which even dares to include a reincorporation of religious values and an ersatz spirituality. We are now told, we don’t have to actually believe in the Divine or the Sacred, but merely act as though we do, so that we may have some foundational myth to help us cope and tally forth. Plus ça change, rien change. We have come full circle and are once again stuck at the impasse of the French Enlightenment. The day after the atrocities of the Revolution, we seek to solve our problems by reincorporating Christian and Roman law and values but remove all reference to their origins or to “God.”  We find that we actually do like and need, and can make good use of the great Western Christian tradition; of course we dare not refer to it as such. We must ask, why do our time’s thinkers and politicians find themselves stymied and stuck in old circular patterns? Those of us who live in and according to our civilization refuse to feign ignorance or to forget who we are. We reject this self-destructive dead end nihilism. We are not deracinated people floating adrift in a sea of oblivion. Unlike the loud unthinking extremists, we do truly know who we are and shall remain who we are. We authentically have our great religious and philosophical traditions, which we have indeed never left. We have political subsidiarity which comes down to us from Aquinas and the great empires of our Continent, whereby local decentralized authority was able to make decisions for ethnic and political minorities. We don’t even need Burke’s notions of neighborliness in the modern nation state to replace our historic love of our neighbor and our communities rooted in Roman mos and Christian virtue with a dose of Greek ethics. So why must we be called upon to be poseurs? Those of us who never gave up our religion, our languages, our cultures? We premoderns, who never had to suffer as postmoderns and metamoderns! We are Occidental, European, Mediterranean and Christian and accordingly live plumbing the depths of our civilization. All are free to be us; so be us. No more posing or semiotic hijinks and virtue signaling. 

August 5, 2022

Feast of the Madonna della Neve

Madonna della Neve, pra pro nobis
August 5th is the Feast of the Madonna della Neve, patroness of Sanza in the Provincia di Salerno. In celebration, I'm posting a Prayer to Our Lady of the Snow. The photos were taken at Saint Francis of Paola Church (219 Conselyea Street) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

According to tradition, in 352 AD a wealthy Roman patrician named Giovanni who was without child wanted to donate his fortune to a worthy cause. Unsure what to do, he prayed for a sign. On the night of August 5th the Blessed Mother visited him in a dream and told him, "Where you see the snow you are to build a church." 

The next morning the perplexed man sought council with Pope Liberius. He was astounded to learn that the Holy Father had the same dream. Seeing how it was a sweltering August day they were uncertain as to what it meant. However, any confusion they may have had was soon put to rest when they spotted snow on the summit of the Esquiline Hill. Continue reading

New Book — Instrumental Music in Late Eighteenth-Century Naples: Politics, Patronage and Artistic Culture

Forthcoming title that may be of interest to our readers. Available at

• Instrumental Music in Late Eighteenth-Century Naples: Politics, Patronage and Artistic Culture by Anthony R. DelDonna

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Publication Date: November 10, 2022

Paperback: $32.99

Language: English

Pages: 338

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August 4, 2022

Feast of San Domenico di Guzmán

San Domenico di Guzmán, ora pro nobis
August 4th is the Feast of San Domenico di Guzmán (Saint Dominic), Preacher of grace (Praedicator grate), the Hound of God, and Light of the Church (Lumen Ecclesiae). Founder of the Dominican Order of Preachers, he is the patron saint of astronomers, as well as the protector of Sturno, a small town in the Province of Avellino. 

In celebration, I'm posting a prayer to St. Dominic. The accompanying photo of San Domenico di Guzmán perched atop the spire (guglia) was taken in Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, Naples by Andrew Giordano. Begun in 1656 by Cosimo Fanzango, to commemorate the city's deliverance from the plague, it was eventually completed by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro in 1737. Evviva San Domenico di 
Prayer to St. Dominic
Wonderful Saintly Founder of the eloquent Order of Preachers and friend of Saint Francis of Assisi, you were a fiery defender of the Faith and a fighter against the darkness of heresy. You resembled a great star that shone close to the world and pointed to the Light which was Christ. Help astronomers to study the stars and admire their wonderful Maker, proclaiming: "Give glory to God in the highest." Amen.

Vexilla Regis! Traditional Young Adult Walking Pilgrimage in New York

Christus Regnat!
Vexilla Regis! Traditional Young Adult Walking Pilgrimage
Saturday, August 27th, 2022 - All Day
Join us on a 10-mile traditional walking pilgrimage and Marian procession through the Appalachian foothills. A Sung High Mass (Traditional Latin Mass) will be offered by our chaplain at the Shrine of St. Anthony at Graymoor: Mountain of the Atonement Monastery located at 40 Franciscan Way, Garrison, NY 10524.
All pilgrims must register in advance! Please register by August 20, 2022 at
There will be two meeting points for pilgrims:
  1. Manhattan Meeting Point (travel by train): 8:20am Grand Central Terminal - Information Booth by the Central Clock in the Main Concourse - 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY
  2. Manitou Station Meeting Point (those arriving from other locations): 10:00am - Manitou Station, 1 Manitou Road, Garrison, NY
  • Note: For those arriving by car, there is NO PARKING available at Manitou station. Nearest parking is at Peekskill station. Parking is free on weekends. This option will require you to board the train at 9:50am for one stop to Manitou and you must buy a round trip ticket ($6) at the machine at Peekskill station. We will email you logistical details. 
The event will occur rain or shine. Registration fee is $45 which includes round trip train fare from Grand Central, lunch and facilities. For those arriving at the Manitou Meeting Point, email us for logistics and reduced registration fee of $25. 
There are two payment options:
  1. Venmo - Preferred mode of payment, send payment to @jpmakilya 
  2. Cash - To be collected on the day of the pilgrimage before departure at each meeting point.
Email us at with any questions.