January 23, 2017

Photo of the WeeK: San Paolo by Ignazio Marabitti

San Paolo by Ignazio Marabitti, Duomo di Siracusa, Sicily
Photo by Niccolò Graffio

January 22, 2017

Feast of San Domenico di Sora

Viva San Domenico!
January 22nd is the Feast Day of San Domenico di Sora, Benedictine abbot and founder of several hermitages and monasteries in the Kingdom of Naples. Renowned for his healing miracles, San Domenico is invoked against poisonous snakebites, rabid dogs, fever and toothaches. Widely venerated across Southern Italy, the great healer is the principal patron of Sora (Terra di Lavoro), Colcullo (AQ), Pizzoferrato (CH), Villalago (AQ) and Fornelli (IS), among others. 
Each May in Colcullo, the town celebrates the Festa dei Serpari, or Feast of the Snake Handlers, in honor of their beloved patron. The event draws thousands of pilgrims each year.
During the festivities, San Domenico’s statue is covered with live snakes and paraded through the streets with great fanfare. Among the saint’s relics on display at the local church are his molar and his mule’s iron horse shoe. The tooth is reputed to heal snake bites, while the horse shoe (a common symbol for good luck) is said to protect the town’s animals from danger. 
Popular custom says if you pull the chain of the church doorbell with your teeth you will be protected from toothaches. It’s common to see people wrap a handkerchief around the chain links, bite down, and ring the bell.
Some believe the snake ritual dates back to pagan times when the local Marsi tribes worshiped the telluric snake-goddess Angitia, daughter of Aeëtes, who taught the art of medicine to her devotees. The snake, among other things, is an ancient symbol of healing. Consider the serpent entwined Rod of Asclepius, the staff of the ancient Greek god of medicine and healing still used today by medical institutions.
To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to San Domenico Abate. The accompanying photo comes courtesy of Made in South Italy Today.
Prayer to San Domenico Abate
O glorious San Domenico, beloved patron and miracle worker, you served God in humility and confidence on earth. Now you enjoy His beatific vision in heaven. You persevered till death and gained the crown of eternal life. With your strength protect us, your devotees, from the venom of wild animals and the torment of toothaches. Amen.

Announcing the 9th Annual Sicilian Heritage Festival in Independence, Louisiana

For more information visit www.indysicilianfest.com

January 21, 2017

Feast of Sant'Agnese, Vergine e Martire

Evviva Sant'Agnese!
January 21st is the Feast Day of Sant'Agnese (Saint Agnes), Virgin and Martyr. Patron saint of young girls and chastity, she is the principal protectress of Pineto (TE), Corropoli (TE), and Sava (SA). To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a prayer in her honor. The accompanying photo was taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. Dating from the third quarter of the 17th century, the bronze statuette was modeled after a work by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (b. Dec. 7, 1598, Naples—d. Nov. 28, 1680, Rome).
Prayer to St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr
O Little St. Agnes, so young and yet made so strong and wise by the power of God, protect by your prayers all the young people of every place whose goodness and purity are threatened by the evils and impurities of this world. Give them strength in temptation and a true repentance when they fail.  Help them to find true Christian friends to accompany them in following the Lamb of God and finding safe pastures in His Church and in her holy sacraments. May you lead us to the wedding banquet of heaven to rejoice with you and all the holy martyrs in Christ who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Announcing the 105th Annual Pilgrimage & Feast of Saints Cosmas & Damian in Utica, New York


January 20, 2017

A Prayer for the Avalanche Victims in Farindola, Abruzzo

Sant'Emidio, prega per noi 
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Avalanche victims and their families in Farindola, Abruzzo. We are deeply saddened by the loss of life, the suffering and the destruction. May Sant'Emidio protect and watch over you.
Prayer to Saint Emygdius in Times of Earthquake and Calamities
Saint Emygdius, Bishop and Martyr of the faith, accept kindly the prayer that we confidently address to you. Intercede for us before the Lord so that, by imitating you, our faith, vivified by works, be a testimony of filial love for God and fraternal love for one’s neighbor. Encouraged by your example we promise to live with a heart detached from earthly goods and the willingness to sacrifice everything in order to remain faithful to God and the Church. Extend upon us, on our families and on our cities your protection, from the earthquake and from every other calamities or pestilence, so that preserved from them, we may lead a quiet and peaceful life dedicated at giving glory to God hoping to secure the salvation of our souls. Amen.

Feast of San Sebastiano Martire

Viva San Sebastiano!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
January 20th is the Feast Day of San Sebastiano (Saint Sebastian), martyr and patron saint of soldiers and athletes. Widely venerated across southern Italy, he is the principal patron of Melilli (SR), Cerami (EN), Tortorici (ME), Maniace (CT), Acireale (CT), San Sebastiano al Vesuvio (NA), Caserta (CE), Conca della Campania (CE), Aiello del Sabato (AV) and Martirano (CZ), among others. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Sebastian. The accompanying photo was taken at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Montclair, New Jersey.  
Prayer to Saint Sebastian
Dear Commander at the Roman Emperor's court, you chose to be a soldier of Christ and dared to spread faith in the King of Kings, for which you were condemned to die. Your body, however, proved athletically strong and the executing arrows extremely weak. So another means to kill you was chosen and you gave your life to the Lord. May soldiers be always as strong in their faith as their Patron Saint so clearly has been. Amen.

Viva 'o Rre! Remembering HM Carlo di Borbone, Re di Napoli e di Sicilia

b. Madrid, January 20, 1716 – d. Madrid, December 14, 1788
Also see:
Tricentennial of the Birth of King Carlo di Borbone
The Great Restorer: Charles of Bourbon
Remember Bitonto!
Remembering the Battle of Bitonto
Photo of the Week: L’Obelisco Carolino di Bitonto
Photo of the Week: Statue of Charles of Bourbon

January 19, 2017

Feast of San Catello Vescovo

Evviva San Catello!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
January 19th is the Feast Day of San Catello (Saint Catellus), Bishop and protector of Castellammare di Stabia, a commune in the province of Naples. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to San Catello. The accompanying photo was taken at Saint Michael's Church in New Haven, Connecticut.
Prayer to San Catello
Glorious San Catello, beloved patron of Castellammare di Stabia, you served God in humility and confidence on earth. Now you enjoy His beatific vision in heaven. You persevered till death and gained the crown of eternal life. Remember now the dangers and confusion and anguish that surround me and intercede for me in my needs and troubles. Enlighten, protect and guide me towards eternal salvation. Amen.

Announcing the 2017 Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist in Birmingham, Alabama


January 18, 2017

Sicilian Tenors at the River Raisin Centre for the Arts in Monroe, Michigan

Friday, February 3rd @ 7:30PM

River Raisin Centre for the Arts
114 S. Monroe Street
Monroe, Michigan 48161

For tickets, call: (734) 242-RRCA
Click here for tickets

Three marvelous tenor voices combine for a unique interpretation of the world’s best music. Accompanied by a grand piano and presented with light-hearted fun, The Sicilian Tenors take the audience on a romantic journey from Hollywood to Broadway, Italy, and beyond in a concert event for all ages and musical tastes.

For more information visit www.siciliantenors.com

Caliendo's Banda Napoletana's 2017 Schedule

For more info visit Caliendo's Banda Napoletana on Facebook

January 17, 2017

Feast of Sant'Antonio Abate

Viva Sant'Antonio! Ceramic painting in Vietri Sul Mare
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
January 17th is the Feast Day of Sant'Antonio Abate, also known as Saint Anthony the Great, one of the founders of Christian monasticism. He is regarded as the patron Saint of livestock, fire and contagious diseases, particularly skin maladies (e.g. shingles) and ergotism, a toxic condition caused by eating grains contaminated with ergot fungus. Also known as St. Anthony's Fire, ergotism causes gangrene in the extremities and drives its victims mad, symptoms previously associated with demonic possession.
In Southern Italy huge wooden pyres called the Bonfires of Saint Anthony (not to be confused with St. Anthony's Fire) are burned on the eve of his festival in public squares throughout the night. The purification ritual, which is meant to ward off evil spirits, also signifies the coming end of winter and the anticipation of spring. Local wines and delicacies are enjoyed, as well as fireworks, processions, music and other festivities. Continue reading

Photo of the Week: HM Ferdinando IV di Napoli, King of the Two Sicilies, at Montecassino

Ferdinando IV di Napoli, King of the Two Sicilies, Montecassino Abbey
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

January 15, 2017

Feast of San Mauro Abate

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
January 15th is the Feast Day of San Mauro Abate (Saint Maurus the abbot), wonder-worker and healer of the sick. Widely venerated across southern Italy, he is the principal patron of Viagrande (CT), Aci Castello (CT), San Mauro Castelverde (PA), San Mauro Forte (MT), San Mauro La Bruca (SA), and Casoria (NA), among others. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to Saint Maurus. The accompanying photo of the Madonna and Child with San Mauro Abate by Francesco Solimena was taken at the Museo Civico di Castel Nuovo in Naples.
Prayer to Saint Maurus
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord, that the prayers of thy holy Abbot, blessed Maurus may commend us unto thee, that we, who have no power of ourselves to help ourselves, may by his advocacy find favor in thy sight, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

January 14, 2017

Compra Sud — Peppino's Liquors & Wines

Let's support those who keep our traditions and folkways alive

Peppino's Liquors & Wines
7723 3rd Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209



Also see: Compra Sud — Peppino's Pizzeria Restaurant

Visit our Compra Sud Directory for complete listing

* Our recommendations will be unsolicited, and only from our personal experience. No second hand suggestions will be made.

January 12, 2017

January 11, 2017

Celebrating the External Solemnity of the Epiphany at Our Lady of Peace Church in Gowanus, Brooklyn

The Nativity outside Our Lady of Peace Church
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
I made a long overdue pilgrimage to the Our Lady of Peace Church (522 Carroll St.) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, Sunday morning for the external solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form (Missa Cantata) was sung by celebrant and homilist Fr. Christopher Cullen, who was assisted by several attentive altar servers. 
Arriving early, the comforting smell of incense and reverent silence greeted me as I entered the serene house of worship from the cold and noisy streets. Settling in beneath the statue of Santa Lucia, I quietly recited the Chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel and the prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas before Mass. 
With aspergillum in hand, Fr. Cullen began the Eucharistic Celebration by blessing the congregation with Epiphany water. The sacred hymns and traditional liturgical music performed by Schola Director and organist David Adam Smith and choir were uplifting and beautiful. 
After the recessional, I met several members of the congregation. They kindly introduced me to Fr. Cullen, who was warm and welcoming. 
The Our Lady of Peace Church is a magnificent place to celebrate our faith and, to the best of my knowledge, it is the only church in Brooklyn that offers weekly Tridentine Mass (every Sunday at 9:30), which is a vital part of our Catholic heritage and culture.
The snow covered statues of Sant'Antonio di Padova and the Madonna della Pace
A look at the pulpit and the beautifully decorated High Altar
After Mass, I petitioned Saints Cosma and Damiano
intercede on behalf of an ailing loved one
Also see:
Celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in East Harlem

January 10, 2017

The Search for our Ancestry (XXXII)

The DNA Testing Community 
Angelo Coniglio
As more people participate in genealogical DNA testing, more potential relationships can be found. The fact that there are several venues may work at cross purposes to that goal, because you may have your DNA tested by one, while a long-lost cousin may have hers tested at another. In my case, one venue initially failed to extract enough ‘genetic material’ from a sample, while another had no problem doing so. One venue may offer comparison of health and medical-oriented genome characteristics, another might not. AncestryDNA doesn’t offer ‘chromosome mapping’ graphics, others do. One venue may be more understandable than another, or less expensive.
There are ways for users of diverse DNA testing venues to compare their results to those of subscribers to other venues. For example, in many cases, ‘raw genealogical data’ may be downloaded by a subscriber of 23andMe or AncestryDNA, and uploaded to FTdna for a cost that is less than FTdna’s basic testing cost. The genomes from the other venues can then be compared to those of FTdna subscribers, Ftdna’s ‘Surname Projects’ can be joined, etc.  
Another similar venue is the free site www.gedmatch.com (GEDmatch) which accepts raw data from other venues. Users provide their contact information, and give permission for their e-mail addresses to be posted. This is an advantage over 23andMe, for example, since correspondence can be made directly via e-mail, rather than by anonymous correspondence through the vendor. However, some participants who freely give their e-mail address still don’t respond to e-mails!
GEDmatch has more-detailed graphics (chromosome mapping) of DNA segment matches than does 23andMe. Like 23andMe, it allows you to set the ‘significant’ length of segments to be considered (7 centiMorgans (cM) is generally considered as significant), but through color-coding, it also shows shorter shared segments. GEDmatch allows ‘one-to-one’ and ‘one-to-many’ comparisons. The former are similar to comparisons on 23andMe, but with more detail in the graphs. The ‘one-to-many’ comparisons list all users who have a match of at least 7 cM, and include the length and number of matching segments, an e-mail address, the % of matching DNA, and the estimated number of generations to a common ancestor. 
Interestingly, some ‘relatives’ whose DNA I compared to mine on both 23andMe and GEDmatch show minor differences in results: a matching segment being 22 cM in one and 25 cM in the other; or a segment match in three chromosomes rather than in just two. Since the ‘raw data’ in both cases is identical, this seems to reflect differences in the software algorithms used by each venue. So some of the error in the analyses is not just ‘lab error’ in extracting genetic material from my saliva, but ‘computer error’ in the sense that two programs analyzed the same data and produced slightly different results.
One aspect of DNA testing the subscriber-provided ‘family tree’. Most venues allow participants to enter their own family trees into the system: 23andMe has a routine wherein you start with your own name and add ancestors on-line, until the tree is as complete as you want it; GEDmatch allows uploading of a family tree data file created by an off-line program; AncestryDNA links to your tree on Ancestry.com.
I had hestitated to upload my tree to a DNA testing site, for fear of ‘circular logic’ that would use my own research to ‘prove’ a DNA relationship.  I have found, though, that having DNA results ‘attached’ to a family tree helps ‘DNA relatives’ to determine which ones, of possibly hundreds of others, they should attempt to contact to expand their knowledge of family. This is not a recommendation, as users must decide for themselves which venue is best for them. In my case, AncestryDNA serves me best.  I am able to ‘attach’ my DNA results to my on-line family trree and also view the trees of my ‘DNA matches’.  AncestryDNA does not provide ‘chromosome mapping’, but that is easily achieved by uploading my data to the free GEDmatch, which allows many other valuable comparisons.
Coniglio is the author of the book The Lady of the Wheel, inspired by his Sicilian research. Order the paperback or the Kindle version at http://bit.ly/SicilianStory    
Coniglio’s web page at http://bit.ly/AFCGen has helpful hints on genealogic research. If you have genealogy questions, or would like him to lecture to your club or group, e-mail him at genealogytips@aol.com

January 9, 2017

Mass in Brooklyn for Our Lady of Prompt Succor

The New York Chapter of the Archconfraternity of Our Lady of Prompt Succor will have its annual Traditional Latin Mass (a missa cantata) for the Feast of Our Lady of Prompt Succor on Saturday, January 14th, 2017, at the Church of St. Simon and Jude (185 Van Sicklen Street), Brooklyn, NY at 9:00am.

The celebrant with be Father Stephen Giulietti and it will be preceded by a silent Holy Hour at 8:00am, followed by Benediction with the pastor, Father Fred Marano. The Mass will be offered to Our Lady of Prompt Succor for the conversion of the United States to a culture of life.

Source: www.sthughofcluny.org