June 24, 2013

Feast of San Giovanni Battista

Viva San Giovanni!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
June 24th is the Feast of San Giovanni Battista, or Saint John's Day. In Southern Italy, Saint John's Eve (June 23rd) is traditionally celebrated with bonfires known as Saint John's Fire. The bonfires were part of an ancient purification ritual connected with the June solstice. Sometimes called "Summer Christmas," the Feast is a celebration of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist, the herald of Jesus Christ. As my name day, the Feast has an additional special significance to me. Buon onomastico to my fellow Duesiciliani named Giovanni! To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to Saint John the Baptist. The accompanying photo of the Battesimo di Cristo by Gerolamo Starace-Franchis (Napoli, notizie dal 1754 al 1783) was taken during my 2010 visit to the Museo Civico di Castel Nuovo in Napoli.

Prayer to Saint John the Baptist

O God, You raised up Saint John the Baptist to prepare a perfect person for Christ. We call upon Saint John's intercession to properly prepare us with a true sense of repentance to receive Your grace and salvation. Make us faithful to truth and justice, as You did Your servant, John the Baptist, herald of Your Son's birth and death. Lord, may You increase Your life within us. Amen.

June 22, 2013

Feast of San Paolino di Nola

Viva San Paolino!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
June 22 is the Feast Day of San Paolino (Saint Paulinus), Bishop and Patron of Nola. To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting a Prayer to San Paolino. The accompanying photo was taken at the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 

Prayer to San Paolino

O Lord, You made Saint Paulinus renowned for his love of poverty and concern for his people. May we who celebrate his witness to the Gospel imitate his example of love for others. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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June 21, 2013

Happy Summer!

Apollo with lyre
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
In celebration of the summer solstice, or midsummer, I would like to share a poem by Vittorio Clemente from Dialect Poetry of Southern Italy: Texts and Criticism (A Trilingual Anthology) edited by Luigi Bonaffini, Legas, 1997, p.38.

The accompanying photo of Apollo was taken at The Naples National Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli) during my 2010 visit to Napoli. In addition to being the god of music, poetry and prophecy, Apollo was, of course, the god of the sun.


Golden days of summer,
    facing the sun,
facing the sea, delighted, and content.
Days spent eavesdropping on the wind,
mindful of words whispered in secret.

Words I'd unravel; listening, alone, 
for the voice of the world, the nothing beyond,
alone, while my nimble heart took flight
for untold trysts and destinations.

Perhaps for the very edge of the world,
where Our Lady of the Mariners
trims white roses in the morning.

And to find myself here, again, eyes
like a boy's, quick and bright, seeing, upon
the lace of waves, roses ride to shore...

(Translated by Anthony Molino)

June 19, 2013

Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino Return to North America

Photo courtesy of i-Italy
Upcoming concerts

25 June - New Haven, CT

27 June - New York City, NY
Joe's Pub - 7.30pm - $20

28 June - Baltimore, MD
Creative Alliance 8pm - Baltimore, MD

29 June - Pasadena, CA
Levitt Pavillion, Memorial Park - Pasadena, CA - 8pm

30 June - Los Angeles, CA
Los Globos - Los Angeles, CA 8pm

For more info visit canzonieregrecanicosalentino.net

Calabrian Cantautore Peppe Voltarelli Returns to Canada and New York City

• June 25 Toronto - Bata Shoe Museum (with Daniela Nardi)
• June 26 New York City - Chez André @ The Standard, East Village 
• July 3 Montreal  - Savoy du Metropolis  34° Montreal International Jazz Festival
• July 4 Montreal - Savoy du Metropolis  34° Montreal International Jazz Festival

For more info visit peppevoltarelli.it

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June 18, 2013

A Look at the 2013 Giglio di Sant'Antonio in the Bronx

Viva Sant'Antonio!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo 
The crowd makes way for the band during Saturday's celebration 
Before the lifting of the giglio, the Procession heads down Arthur Avenue
Blessing the "Tower of Faith" 
Marching the giglio down 187th Street
Keeping this wonderful Southern Italian tradition alive
"Dancing the giglio" outside Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
(Above and below) Faith, family and friendship on display 
Another look at the giglio
A feat of strength and devotion
Paranza from East Harlem, Long Island and Brooklyn joined forces in the Bronx
The obligatory sausage and peppers
The perfect ending to an amazing day: dessert at Palombo's

For more photos visit us on Pinterest

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Feast of San Calogero

Viva San Calò!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
June 18th is the liturgical Feast Day of San Calogero, the Calcedonian hermit and miracle-maker. Widely venerated throughout Sicily, he is one of the principal patrons of Sciacca, Torretta, San Salvatore di Fitalia and Agrigento, among others. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer in Honor of San Calogero. The accompanying photo was taken at Most Precious Blood Church, National Shrine of San Gennaro in New York City's Little Italy.

Prayer to San Calogero

O glorious San Calogero, turn your gaze to us and hear our prayer. You have been sent by God to radiate in Sicily the light of the Gospel. You served with penance to seek God in the solitude. You taught the way of salvation and virtue. All call upon thee miracle worker, because by your intercession God gave speech to the dumb, health to the sick, hearing to the deaf and sight to the blind. Save us from danger and grant the graces we ask of you. Amen

June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

In celebration of Father's Day I'm sharing a poem by Maria Terrone from The Bodies We Were Loaned, The Words Works Capital Collection, 2002, p. 91.


Dad sets down the scrabble board
and begins to play,
shaping words he sometimes scrambles aloud.
He doesn't talk
much lately, but he never was a raconteur.

Like a reader of Dickens, I longed for
installments to explain for me
the tumult of his life: orphanage years,
cleaning tables at West Point,
bandaging war wounds, winning then losing
a scholarship because nights
he ran an elevator and days slept through class.

It's my mind that wanders now, trying to excavate
the pieces of who he is
or was. Oh how I want to pluck
from this jumble between us a nugget:
hard, glittering, impervious
to decay and the garble
of tongue and memory.

We play in silence, but his young voice
carries far: I hear him read my storybooks aloud,
sing forties tunes around the house,
argue for the underdog. Back and forth
we place our letters, joining
one unspoken word to another
until nearly all of the spaces are filled.

June 15, 2013

Feast of San Vito Martire

Viva San Vito!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
June 15th is the Feast day of San Vito (St. Vitus), one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Widely venerated across Southern Italy, he is the patron saint of Mazara del Vallo, Ciminna, Forio, San Vito sullo Ionio, Regalbuto and Torella die Lombardi, among others. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer in Honor of Saint Vitus. The accompanying photo was taken at St Lucy's Church, National Shrine of Saint Gerard in Newark, New Jersey.

Prayer in Honor of Saint Vitus

Grant us, O God, through the intercession of St. Vitus, a due estimation of the value of our soul and of its redemption by the precious blood of Thy Son Jesus Christ; so that, for its salvation, we bear all trials with fortitude. Give this Thy youthful servant and heroic martyr as a guide and protector to Christian youths, that following his example they may after a victorious combat receive the crown of justice in heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

June 14, 2013

Acclaimed Neapolitan Singer-Songwriter Simona De Rosa Returns to the Italian American Museum

Photo courtesy of www.simonaderosa.com
Thursday, June 20th (6:30 PM)

Italian American Museum
155 Mulberry Street
(Corner of Grand and Mulberry Streets)
New York, NY 10013 

Please join us for a special live performance by acclaimed Neapolitan jazz singer-songwriter Simona De Rosa. Simona will be accompanied by special guest musicians.

Suggested donation of $10 per person


To reserve a place for this event call the Italian American Museum at (212) 965-9000 or email: ItalianAmericanMuseum@gmail.com

Reprinted from the Italian American Museum press release

Announcing the 2013 Our Lady of Mount Carmel Bazaar, Denver, Colorado

Photo courtesy of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
July 19—21 (5:00 PM-10:00 PM)

Our Lady of Mount Carmel
3549 Navajo St
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 455-0447

• Italian Country Store featuring salami, cheeses, imported items
• Italian Ceramics
• Fresh Palisades peaches
• Carnival Rides & games for kids
• Prize raffles, pull tabs & bingo

Mass will be celebrated on Sunday, July 21st at 11:00 AM. Procession to follow.

* All schedules and activities are subject to change, so please check with organizers for any updates.

For more information visit the Our Lady of Mount Carmel website or find them on Facebook

June 13, 2013

Feast of Sant'Antonio di Padova

Viva Sant'Antonio!
June 13th is the Feast day of Sant'Antonio di Padova, the "Hammer of Heretics." He is the patron saint of lost objects and protector of Montefalcione, a small town in the province of Avellino. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Anthony of Padua. The accompanying photo of the Saint was taken at Saint Leonard's Church in Boston's North End. The picture below of the Basilica of Sant'Antonio di Padova was taken during my 2007 visit to Padua.

Prayer to Saint Anthony of Padua

O glorious St. Anthony, safe refuge of the afflicted and distressed, who by miraculous revelation has directed all those who seek aid to come to Thy altar with the promise that whosoever visits it for nine consecutive Tuesdays, and there piously invokes thee, will feel the power of the intercession. I, a poor sinner, encouraged by this promise, come to thee. O powerful Saint, and with a firm hope I implore thy aid, thy protection, thy counsel and thy blessing. Obtain for me, I beseech thee my request in this necessity. But if it should be opposed to the Will of God and the welfare of my soul, obtain for me such other graces as shall be conducive to my salvation. Through Christ our Lord.
Basilica of Sant'Antonio di Padova
Photos by New York Scugnizzo

June 11, 2013

A Look at the 2013 Festa di San Vito, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Viva San Vito!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo 
(Above and below) The procession makes its way through the neighborhood from the Congrega San Vito di Ciminna club on 18th Avenue
Little Antonio showing the older members that he has what it takes
The color guard beams with pride
Pausing outside Villabate Bakery
The staff at Villabate came out to show their support 
Arriving for Mass at Saint Domenic's RC Church
A look at the Society standard
Sophia and Antonio outside Saint Domenic's
Departing Saint Domenic's
Dom Quartara and the Society did an excellent job
Back at the club, the celebration continues
A close-up of San Vito
A replica of the famous Santissimo Crocifisso from Ciminna
is prominently displayed inside the club
For more photos visit us on Pinterest

A Look at the 2013 Festa di San Calogero, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Viva San Calogero!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Ready to begin: outside the Societá San Calogero
di Torretta club on 20th Avenue
(Above and below) The procession makes its way through the neighborhood
San Calogero is carried into Saint Domenic's RC Church
After a wonderful service, San Calogero departs the church
Another look at the procession
The return to the social club 
(Above and below) Family portraits with the saint
The grill master was ready to feed an army
(Above and below) After the procession, friends and families of the Societá San Calogero di Torretta enjoyed a terrific barbecue together at the social club 
A close-up of San Calogero
For more photos visit us on Pinterest