March 25, 2017

Feast of the Annunciation

The Annunciation by Renato Rossi, hand painted ceramic tiles on the facade of the Confraternity of Annunziata and Rosario (next door to the Chiesa San Giovanni) in Vietri sul Mare. Photos by New york Scugnizzo
March 25th is the Feast of the Annunciation, when the archangel Gabriel visited the Virgin Mary and announced she would conceive a Child by the Holy Spirit. In celebration I'm posting The Angelus, a devotional prayer honoring the Blessed Mother's role in the Incarnation, which should be repeated three times daily (morning, midday and evening).

The Angelus

Prayer at dawn:
Verse The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary:
Response And she conceived by the Holy Spirit

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Prayer at noon:
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord:
R. Be it done unto me according to Thy Word.
Hail Mary…

Prayer at twilight:
V. And the Word was made flesh:
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary…

Conclusion after each prayer time:
V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen

A Nightmare on Greene Street

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
Scene at the morgue
By Niccolò Graffio
Sitting there in the motorman’s class, I listened intently to the instructor as he attempted to impress upon us the importance of safety in the workplace. Picking up a soft cover book about the size of a notebook, he waved it in front of the class, trying to garner the attention of the know-it-alls who invariably find such lectures boring.
“This is a copy of New York City Transit’s code of safety rules.” he loudly announced. “We have a saying about this book: ‘This is a book written in blood!’ When I first came on this job, this book had only four pages. As you can see, this book is now a lot thicker. Every time someone was killed on this job, another page was added to this book.” Suddenly he had everyone’s attention. His grim meaning was abundantly clear to all: the job of transit worker is not an easy one. In fact, it’s a very dangerous one! Continue reading

March 24, 2017

Feast of San Gabriele Arcangelo

The Annunciation by Luca Giordano
March 24th is the Feast Day of San Gabriele Arcangelo (St. Gabriel the Archangel), the exalted messenger of God. He is the patron saint of postmen, diplomats, messengers and telecommunication workers. In celebration I’m posting a Prayer to Archangel Gabriel. The accompanying photo of The Annunciation by Luca Giordano was taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
A Prayer to the Archangel Gabriel
O Blessed Archangel Gabriel, we beseech thee, do thou intercede for us at the throne of divine Mercy in our present necessities, that as thou didst announce to Mary the mystery of the Incarnation, so through thy prayers and patronage in heaven we may obtain the benefits of the same, and sing the praise of God forever in the land of the living. Amen.

A Prayer for Westminster

St. George pray for us
Relic at Holy Innocents Church, NYC
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of the March 22nd terror attack in Westminster, London. May Saint George, Saint Paul and Saint Edward the Confessor protect and watch over you.

Prayer for Victims of Terrorism

Loving God, welcome into your arms the victims of violence and terrorism. Comfort their families and all who grieve for them. Help us in our fear and uncertainty, and bless us with the knowledge that we are secure in your love. Strengthen all those who work for peace, and may the peace the world cannot give reign in our hearts. Amen.

Also see:
A Prayer for Berlin
Requiescat in Pace: Fr. Jacques Hamel
A Prayer for Nice
A Prayer for Brussels

To My Hero of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

A Tribute to Joseph Barbera
Goggles Paesano at the Indianrockolis 500
By Niccolò Graffio
“All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination?” – Carl Jung
From the earliest days our ancestors walked this earth they sought out activities during their leisure time to amuse themselves or else divert their attention from the rigors of life. These activities are today collectively called “entertainment”. Whether passive forms of entertainment, such as spectator sports or reading, or active forms, such as participatory sports and social dance, the underlying purpose was basically the same. Continue reading

“Between Heaven and Hell: The Drawings of Jusepe de Ribera” at the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas

Apollo and Marsyas by Jusepe de Ribera, 1637, Naples, Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte. Photo courtesy of Meadows Museum
March 12 – June 11, 2017

Drawing played a central role in the art of Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652). Born in Valencia, Ribera spent most of his career in Naples where he significantly influenced the course of artistic production in the seventeenth century. Although little is known of his youth, training, and journey from Spain to Italy, Ribera is recorded in Rome in 1606, in Parma in 1611, and in Naples from 1616 until his death in 1652. After arriving in Italy, Ribera encountered the revolutionary paintings of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610), whose distinctive qualities Ribera adopted in his own work, prompting him to be recognized as a Caravaggesque artist. Yet unlike Caravaggio, who famously did not make drawings on paper, Ribera was both an extraordinary painter and a prolific graphic artist. He produced a remarkable corpus of drawings as well as an important group of prints, and it is the strength of his works on paper – in addition to his paintings – that sets Ribera apart from his Caravaggist contemporaries. Continue reading

Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University
5900 Bishop Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75205
Tel: 214.768.2516

March 23, 2017

A Look at the 2017 Missa Cantata for the Feast of St. Joseph and commemoration of HRH Prince don Ferdinando Maria di Borbone of the Two Sicilies

Evviva San Giuseppe!
Photos by Rosanna Minervini and New York Scugnizzo
Members of the Sacred Military Constatntinian Order of St. George joined 150 congregants at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newark, New Jersey Monday evening to celebrate the Missa Cantata for the Feast of St. Joseph and commemoration of the anniversary of the death of the Order’s late Grand Master, HRH Prince don Ferdinando Maria di Borbone of the Two Sicilies.
Our Late Grand Master
HRH Prince don Ferdinando Maria
di Borbone delle Due Sicilie
Mass was sung by celebrant and homilist Very Rev. Msgr. Cav. Joseph Ambrosio, Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Chaplain of the Order. Monsignor was dutifully assisted by servers Lorenzo Tinio, Anthony Scillia, Brian Mcguire, Joseph T. Lucia, Mark Bertotti and Michael McDonald. Delegate Cav. John M. Viola and Chaplain Msgr. Cav. Christopher Hynes of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George, with Fr. Danny Rodrigues of St. Cecilia’s Church in Kearny, New Jersey sat in choir. Chancellor Mayor Cav. Pasquale Menna, Vice-Chancellor Cav. Patrick O’Boyle, Cavalieri Anthony O’Boyle, Charles Sant’Elia, John Napoli and Vincent Gangone were in Attendance.
A stirring rendition of Franz Liszt’s Dominus Salvum fac Regem was performed by the choir in memory of HRH at which the flag of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was dipped. This was followed by Giovanni Paisiello’s Inno al Re, the National Anthem of the Two Sicilies.
After Mass, guests adjourned to the rectory for some refreshments and fellowship. We were given a tour of the residence and a look at Monsignor’s awe-inspiring collection of relics and sacred art, including the upstairs workshop and the newly acquired statues of the Madonna dei Miracoli di Mussomeli and Maria Santissima di Constantinopoli. I feel especially blessed to have seen the private shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Pompeii and offered the opportunity to venerate the holy relics of San Gennaro and Blessed Bartolo Longo.
After Mass we joined the clergy and servers for a commemorative photo
Cavalieri Charles Sant’Elia, John Napoli and Vincent Gangone 
Vice-Chancellor Cav. Patrick O’Boyle, Cav. Gangone, Chancellor Mayor Cav. Pasquale Menna, Delegate Cav. John M. Viola, Cav. Napoli and Cav. Sant'Elia
Postulant Rosanna Minervini poses with the beautifully embroidered
flag of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Relics adorn the magnificent altar
Guests were treated to an impressive array of St. Joseph's zeppole and sfingi 
Eric, Rosanna and Vincent enjoying the festivities
Msgr. Ambrosio plays a few German and Spanish waltzes
Private altars for Our Lady of Pompeii and the Madonna Addolorata
Blessed Bartolo Longo relics
A couple of rescued artifacts from defunct Italian American organizations
The Madonna dei Miracoli di Mussomeli and Maria Santissima di Costantinopoli
in the workshop, ready to be restored

A Look at the 2017 Festa di San Giuseppe in Ridgewood, Queens

Evviva San Giuseppe!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Despite the frigid weather and icy streets, hundreds of devotees gathered at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church in Ridgewood, Queens Sunday (March 19th) afternoon to celebrate the annual Festa di San Giuseppe. 
Pilgrims brave the cold weather to venerate our beloved patron
(Above and below) Members of the Associazone Cattolica Italiana di Miraculous Medal carry San Giuseppe into the church and place him near the altar
(Above and below) After Mass, devotees pin donations on to the saint 
Departing Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
(Above and below) The procession makes its way down Bleecker Street 
San Giuseppe is returned to the Notre Dame Catholic Academy gymnasium behind the church for the benediction, refreshments and raffle
(Above and below) Revelers enjoying the festivities
Blessed bread was distributed to attendees
Italian language St. Joseph prayer cards were included with the loaves
Among the prizes raffled off were pane di San Giuseppe (above)
and a beautiful statue of the saint (below)
Also see:
• A Look at the 2015 Festa di San Giuseppe in Ridgewood, NY

• A Look at the 2014 Festa di San Giuseppe in Ridgewood, NY

March 22, 2017

Il Regno Turns Eight

Fliers from previous events
Bearing in mind that I had no prior web experience or background in journalism, I never envisioned this enterprise would have lasted this long, and (for now) I can’t imagine not doing it. All things considered, I believe our first eight years have been productive and positive. For the most part we’ve been well received and the work has been quite enjoyable. I learned a lot, met many nice people and made new friends along the way. We appreciate your support and will continue our efforts to the best of our abilities.  
A Year in Review
We had a very productive year, to say the least. In addition to sponsoring Traditional Latin Masses for the Feasts of San Michele Arcangelo, Santa Lucia, Santi Simone and Giuda Taddeo, San Giovanni Apostolo and the Repose of the Soul of HM King Francesco II di Borbone, we organized a handful of small-scale celebrations for the Feasts of San Giacomo della Marca, San Martino di Tours, San Pio da Pietrelcina, the Nativity of the Virgin Mary and the Madonna di Ripalta.
On top of all that, in May we held our Eighth Annual Battle of Bitonto Commemoration as part of our yearlong tricentennial celebration of the birth of HM King Carlo di Borbone. The intimate gathering continues to be a convivial fête of our rich Duosiciliani faith, culture and history.
Print version of Il Regno
Il Regno also went "old school" with the publication of a print version of our web journal. Although not very cost effective, the feedback was overwhelmingly favorable, so for at least one more year, we will continue circulating the pamphlets at select venues.
On a Personal Note
Personally, I had a very rewarding and gratifying year. First and foremost, I was invested into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George as a Cavaliere di Merito (Knight of Merit). The investiture was held on April 30th at Holy Innocents Church in New York City. Blown away by the whole experience, no words can describe how proud I feel about receiving this noble distinction. 
In July I was also invested with the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel during the 5th Annual Traditional Pilgrimage at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in East Harlem, New York. In what was an extraordinary day of fellowship and prayer, the spiritual retreat concluded with the solemn investiture, where I received my wool devotional and gained Our Lady’s promise of the Brown Scapular.

Private shrine with
first-class relic of St. Rocco
Most unexpectedly, I’ve been tasked with guardianship of the first-class relic of San Rocco, generously gifted to the St. Rocco Society of Potenza by the Very Rev. Msgr. Joseph Ambrosio. Until a permanent home in a church has been secured, I’ve been carrying out this enviable responsibility most dutifully with daily prayer and plenty of votive candles.
Furthermore, I had the great honor of carrying the statues of the Madonna Addolorata, Angelo Custode, Santa Rita, San Gennaro, San Giuseppe and San Rocco during their respective feasts and processions. I was especially touched to have been chosen to carry the Order’s labarum during the Mass for HM King Francesco II di Borbone.
Some of the other more memorable moments include venerating the relics of the True Cross, Sant’Elena di Laurino, San Vincenzo Pallotti, San Francesco d’Assisi, Sant’Antonio di Padova, San Gennaro, San Giuda Taddeo, San Vincenzo Martire and Santa Trofimena. 
Still Under Renovation
In an effort to clean up and streamline Il Regno, we’ve been working hard fixing or removing broken links, deleting redundant and extraneous material and re-editing certain entries. Due to the volume of material (well over 3,000 posts), this mammoth undertaking has been taking a lot longer than we anticipated. We are aiming to have everything updated and in order before the year’s end. We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.
Upcoming Events
Clearly more than just an information and opinion blog, Il Regno has a lot of exciting things planned for the upcoming year. In conjunction with the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George we are sponsoring Traditional Latin Masses for the Madonna Addolorata (April 7th), San Francesco di Paola (April 29th) and San Michele Arcangelo (Sept. 29th). Plans for the 9th Annual Battle of Bitonto Commemoration, as well as a Classical Neapolitan guitar recital featuring the works of the great Mauro Giuliani, are in the works, so keep a lookout for these and other exciting events. Needless to say, we intend to continue our usual participation and support in as many southern Italian religious and cultural events as is humanly possible.
Pray Pal
Just a reminder, we are still accepting donations in the form of prayers. So if you like what we do and want us to continue doing it, please say a prayer for us. Your generosity and thoughtfulness are greatly appreciated.
Forza e Onore! — Cav. J. Napoli

Solemn High Mass in Honor of St. Francis of Paola in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

March 21, 2017

Photo of the Week: San Michele Arcangelo by Francesco Laurana, Museo Civico di Castel Nuovo

San Michele Arcangelo by Francesco Laurana, Museo Civico di Castel Nuovo (Maschio Angioino), Napoli. Photo by New York Scugnizzo

Announcing the 2017 Feast of San Francesco Di Paola in Oreland, Pennsylvania

San Francesco di Paola Oreland
April 22nd – April 23rd

Holy Martyrs Parish
121 Allison Road
Oreland, Pennsylvania 19075

Annual Celebration Of San Francesco Di Paola

Saturday April 22nd at 7:00 PM
Dinner Dance at the Church Hall
Ticket Adult $35.00
Children 6 to 12 $10.00

Sunday April 23rd at 12:00 PM
Mass, Procession and more
Celebrant: From Italy, Father Francesco Bramuglia
Co-Celebrant: Rev. Jason V. Kulczynski

We greatly appreciate volunteers and donations

For info: President Fred Marino 215-572-8479

March 20, 2017

Remembering Civitella del Tronto: The Last Bastion of Bourbon Resistance

The Fortress of Civitella del Tronto, Abruzzi
Photo courtesy of
By Giovanni di Napoli
"Rather than stay here, I would love to die in the Abruzzi in the midst of those good fighters." — Queen Maria Sofia, during her exile in the Papal States
March 20th marks the anniversary of the surrender of Civitella del Tronto, the last bastion of Bourbon resistance during the conquest of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. We honor the stalwart defenders by remembering them and those who fell before them.
When Giuseppe Garibaldi and his motley band of freebooters invaded Sicily on May 11, 1860 he set in motion a series of events that proved to be calamitous to the people of Southern Italy. Upon landing at Marsala he declared himself dictator in the name of King Vittorio Emanuele II and L'Italia (Italy). Unsure what L'Italia meant, many Sicilians assumed it was the name of the King's wife, la Talia. Continue reading

Happy Spring!

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
The March or vernal equinox marks the beginning of spring, a time of rebirth and fertility. In celebration of the new season I would like to share a poem by the great Sicilian poet and 1959 Nobel Laureate Salvatore Quasimodo from The Night Fountain: Selected Early Poems translated by Marco Sonzogni and Gerald Sawe, Arc Publications, 2008, p. 26-27. The accompanying photo of Primavera (Spring), or Flora, the goddess of fertility and springtime, from the Villa Arianna, Stabiae, first century AD, was taken at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli in 2010.
Wild Flowers

Blood clots hanging over torn green velvet:
the wounds of the fields!
Breathing in the sweet air, spring has broken
the veins of its swollen breasts.
Wind gusts with eager lips: a kiss!
Blood-red wild flowers float on threadlike
and foamless waves.


Grumi pensili di sangue sul lacero velluto verdognolo.
Oh le ferite dei prati!
La primavera respirando voluttuosamente l'aria soave, ha rotte
le vene del suo seno turgido.
Un fiotto di vento con le labbra avide; un bacio! E le
primule sanguigne galleggiano su l'onde filamentose e
senza spuma.

March 19, 2017

Feast of San Giuseppe

Viva San Giuseppe!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
March 19th is Saint Joseph's Day. As a carpenter and spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster-father of the Infant Jesus, he is the patron saint of workers and protector of the family. He is also invoked in the fight against Communism.
In Sicily the day is popularly celebrated with La Tavulata di San Giuseppe or Saint Joseph's Table. Dating back to Medieval times, the ritual meal is held in honor of the Saint's intercession during an especially bad famine. According to legend, a severe drought struck the island inflicting widespread suffering and starvation. Saint Joseph answered the peoples' prayers and relieved them from the dreadful plight. Continue reading

Schedule a Tailoring Appointment with Salvatore Argenio in New York City

Salvatore Argenio will be in New York City from April 3rd to 6th at the Carvi Hotel (152 E 55th St.) to present his collection of cashmere sweaters, pure cotton shirts and tailored suits, all made in Italy. To make an appointment for measurements, contact him at

Also see: Compra Sud — Argenio Napoli

March 18, 2017

Music & Revelry in Sicily

A family-friendly week of music, culture, cuisine, and community
Photo courtesy of Experience Sicily
Feel the emotions and hear the melodies of Sicily this July!

Join Villa Palagonia (Allison Scola, singer-songwriter and Joe Ravo, guitarist) with our friends John T. LaBarbera (mandolin) and Jennifer Stigliani Bowen (bodywork specialist) from Thursday, July 13th to Thursday, July 20th, 2017 (8 days, 7 nights) for Music & Revelry in Sicily, a multi-sensory, cultural tour, with a Palermo-Agrigento extension until July 23rd.

You'll discover Sicily through music when Experience Sicily hosts a week of joy and revelry in Sicily. We'll experience breathtaking landscapes, remarkable cuisine, and fascinating culture and history. This is a "slow" Sicily that will enchant you through interaction with local musicians and Sicily's splendid sites and culture set alongside guitar, mandolin, songwriting, and bodywork sessions.

Music lovers, families, hobby-musicians, and professionals are all encouraged to travel with us.

It's a fantastic way to experience the Mediterranean's largest island!

Let's talk! Call 646-281-4324 or email to savor Sicily this July.