July 31, 2014

A Look Inside the Santa Febronia Chapel, Hoboken, New Jersey

Evviva Santa Febronia!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli

During Saturday’s Saint Ann Procession through Hoboken, New Jersey (see upcoming post), we made several stops along the way. Some were simply for food and water, while others were to offer a benediction outside the homes of sick, elderly and deceased relatives who could not be with us. To my delight, near the end of the Procession we paid our respects at the historic Santa Febronia Chapel on 557 Fifth Street, between Monroe and Madison streets, before returning to Saint Ann's Church.

Dedicated to Santa Febronia di Patti and the Madonna di Tindari, the chapel was built by Sicilian immigrants who founded the Societá di Mutuo Soccorso Santa Febronia Patti e Circondario in 1922. Once a flourishing house of devotion and community center, changes in demographics and faith have taken its toll on the aging society and its ability to maintain our traditions. From what I’ve been told, the chapel is only opened two or three times a year.

My friends informed me beforehand we would be making a brief visit to the chapel, and, knowing my interests, I should not miss it. I could tell by their excitement that I was in for something special, but their descriptions did no justice to how amazing it really is. The statues of Santa Febronia and the Madonna Nera blew me away. Although stylistically different, both are wonderful expressions of southern Italian faith and devotion. After a short stop, the Procession continued along its course. 

Afterward, I wanted to get a better look at the chapel and its magnificent collection of artifacts, so I returned posthaste. Luckily for me it was still open. Just beating the rain, I found it empty, so I had a chance to sit alone in quiet reflection, say a prayer for my ancestors, then take a few pictures and get a better look at the treasures on display. One of many highlights, it was a real privilege for me to see this old-world oasis in the heart of Hoboken.
Societá di Mutuo Soccorso Santa Febronia Chapel on Fifth Street 
A view from the nave
The chancel 
Santa Febronia di Patti seen from multiple angles
Evviva Maria! 
La Madonna Nera seen from multiple angles
A close up of the heads 
A close up of the infant Jesus’ hands
The society standard behind the Madonna Nera 
Santa Lucia to the left of the Madonna di Tindari 
Candle stand to the right of Santa Febronia 
Encased in glass, the Dead Christ is enshrined behind the altar 
The East Wall
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July 30, 2014

A Look at the 2014 Our Lady of Snow Candlelight Procession, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Evviva Maria! 
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
The 126th Annual Feast of Our Lady of Snow, patroness of Sanza (SA), kicked-off Sunday in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with a procession through the neighborhood and novena in honor of the Madonna della Neve at Saint Francis of Paola Church. After Mass we made our way back by candlelight to the society's hall for some lite fare and plenty of laughs. I would like to thank the members of the Our Lady of Snow Society, particularly Vincenzo and Teresa, for their warm and generous hospitality. As always, they did a terrific job.

The Feast Day of Our Lady of Snow will be celebrated on Tuesday, August 5th. The Procession will begin at 8:00AM from the society hall located at 410 Graham Avenue. Mass will be celebrated at 11:00AM at Saint Francis of Paola Church at 219 Conselyea Street. For more information please visit the Our Lady of Snow Society on Facebook.

The Madonna della Neve is presented to the crowd
The color guard proceeds down Woodpoint Road
The procession leaves Our Lady of Snow Hall 
We stopped for a moment of silence by the Society of St. Mary of the Snow Square on the corner of Herbert Street and Graham Avenue
The Giglio Band were awesome, just like always 
The Ladies carry Our Lady
Proud papa Vincenzo photobombs Amanda's lift 
The Madonna della Neve in San Francesco di Paola Church 
Leaving the Church 
Making our way back to the hall 
It's always good to see Vincenza, Elena and Amanda  
A wonderful tribute to our past
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July 27, 2014

Feast of San Pantaleone

Viva San Pantaleone!
A would-be executioner kneels in
awe before the impervious saint
By Giovanni di Napoli
July 27th is the feast day of San Pantaleone, patron saint of Ravello. According to tradition, the Christian physician was beheaded (c. 305) during the Diocletian persecutions in Nicomedia, and that a woman collected his spilled blood. The ampulla holding the saint's blood reached Ravello in the eleventh-century after a storm at sea transported the monks of Saint Basil, guardians of the phial, from the East. It is believed the relic chose the town for shelter.
In honor of the martyr, I would like to share a few photos taken during my 2010 pilgrimage to beautiful Ravello—arguably the most bedazzling jewel gracing the Amalfi Coast—and its fabulous Duomo, home to the saint's relic. Continue reading

"The Orpheus of Apulia"

Guitar Virtuoso and Composer Mauro Giuliani

Mauro Giuliani
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
By Giovanni di Napoli
"Then Herr Mauro Giuliani, a Neapolitan, came to us—a man who had been led early in the right direction through correct sense of harmony, and who, as an accomplished virtuoso, combined with the most correct performance the greatest perfection of technique and of taste...Through his teaching and the competition he has aroused among teachers and lovers of the instrument, he has formed for us so many outstanding amateurs, that there could scarcely be another place where authentic guitar-playing is so widely practiced as here in our Vienna." —Excerpt from the preface to a guitar method published c.1811/12, entitled Versuch einer vollständigen methodischen Antleitung zum Guitare-Spielen by Simon Molitor & Wilhelm Klingenbrunner (1)
Southern Italy has a long history with the guitar, dating as far back as the Spanish viceroyalty. In fact, the earliest extant six-string guitar was built by the Neapolitan luthier Gaetano Vinaccia in 1779. The prestigious Gagliano, Fabricatore and Vinaccia families are credited with several innovations for the instrument and throughout the nineteenth century Naples remained a major center for its production. (2) It is also no coincidence that some of the most celebrated early classical guitarists—most notably the great Federico Moretti (1760-1838) and Ferdinando Carulli (1770-1841)—hailed from the RegnoContinue reading

July 26, 2014

Feast of Sant’Anna

Evviva Sant’Anna!
July 26th is the Feast Day of Saint Ann, mother of Mary, patroness of housewives, pregnant women, mothers and grandmothers. Widely venerated across southern Italy, she is the principal patron of Caserta (CA), Monte San Giacomo (SA), Ischia Ponte (NA), Bacoli (NA), Lettere (NA), Boscotrecase (NA), and Vernole (LE), among others. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to Saint Ann. The accompanying photo was taken at Saint Andrew Avellino Roman Catholic Church (35-60 158th Street) in Flushing, New York.
Prayer to Saint Ann
Good Saint Ann, you were especially favored by God to be the mother of the most holy Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Savior. By your power with your most pure daughter and with her divine Son, kindly obtain for us the grace and the favor we now seek. Please secure for us also forgiveness of our past sins, the strength to perform faithfully our daily duties and the help we need to persevere in the love of Jesus and Mary. Amen.

A Brief Sketch: Francesco Jerace

Carlotta d'Asburgo a Miramare, Napoli
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
Born on July 26, 1854 in Polistena, a small town in the Province of Reggio Calabria, Francesco Jerace received his first instruction in art from his maternal grandfather, Francesco Morani, a descendent of a prolific family of artists from Calabria. He moved to Naples in 1869 and studied painting and sculpting at the Royal Institute of Fine Arts under the guidance of Tito Angelini, Tommaso Solari and Stanislao Lista. He first exhibited his work at the Società Promotrice di Belle Arti in Naples while only 18-years-of-ageContinue reading

July 24, 2014

Maestro Longobardi and Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra Perform Neapolitan Masters at the Internationale Festival of Youth Orchestras

Maestro Longobardi and SSYO Perform in Montecatini, Italy 
Photo courtesy of the Neapolitan Music Society
Congratulations Maestro Longobardi and Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra. 

After a 2 week Summer Music Conservatory and first Neapolitan Music Society recording, the SSYO (under the direction of NMS President Maestro Gioacchino Longobardi) perform Francesco Durante and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi at the Internationale Festival of Youth Orchestras in Montecatini, Italy.

For more info visit www.neapolitanmusicsociety.org or visit the Neapolitan Music Society on Facebook.

Announcing the Festa Della Famiglia in Onore di San Francesco Di Paola, Stone Park, Illinois

www.calabresiinamerica.org

July 21, 2014

Feast of San Lorenzo da Brindisi

Viva San Lorenzo!
July 21st is the Feast Day of San Lorenzo da Brindisi, Apostolic Doctor of the Church. Born Giulio Cesare Russo (1559), he joined the Capuchins at the age of sixteen, taking the name Lorenzo. He excelled in theology and philosophy, and had a gift for languages, including Hebrew. Famous for his ecstatic sermons, his tears were often blotted up and used to cure the sick. While in Germany to establish Capuchin convents, Saint Lorenzo was made the chief chaplain of the Imperial Army. Crucifix in hand, he is credited with leading the severely outnumbered Christian forces to victory against the Ottoman Turks during the Battle of Székesfehérvár in Hungary (1601). An adept negotiator, the Popes often employed him in settling disputes between Christian Monarchs. Saint Lorenzo died in Lisbon on July 22, 1619 after the completion of his final diplomatic mission. At the behest of the people of Naples, he secured from King Philip III of Spain the dismissal of the oppressive Viceroy Don Pedro Téllez de Girón, 3rd Duke of Osuna. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer in Honor of Saint Lawrence. The accompanying photo of The Glory of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi comes courtesy of Il Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali.

Prayer to Saint Lawrence

Lord, for the glory of your name and the salvation of souls gave Lawrence of Brindisi courage and right judgement. By prayers help us to know what we should do and give us the courage to do it. 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

Salvator Rosa

Self portrait, Salvator Rosa 
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Aldo Lira
“Painter, Poet, Musician, Philosopher, and Patriot, he combined in his fine organisation the supreme elements of high art, with the noblest instincts of intellectual humanity. He worked through his great vocation with a spirit of independence that never quailed, and with unflinching resistance to the persecutions of despotism and the intrigues of professional rivalry. His moral dignity refused to pander to the licentious tastes of the profligate times in which he flourished, and, in this respect superior to many of his great predecessors, he left not one picture that,
‘_dying, he might blush to own,’ while he exhibited in his great historical compositions, "The Death of Regulus" and "The Conspiracy of Catiline," a graphic eloquence which Herodotus and Gibbon have scarcely surpassed.”
The above paragraph, from the Life and Times of Salvator Rosa by Lady Sydney Morgan, published in 1824, is only one of many lofty and effusive tributes paid to Salvator Rosa during the late 18th and early 19th Centuries by the artists, intellectuals and literati of the time. Who was Salvator Rosa and what did he do to inspire such admiration more than 150 years after his death? Continue reading

July 20, 2014

Feast of Santa Margherita di Antiochia

Evviva Santa Margherita! 
Photo courtesy of Marilena Giovanna
July 20th is the Feast of Saint Margaret of Antioch (Santa Margherita di Antiochia), virgin and martyr. She is the patroness of farmers, nurses and pregnant women. One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, St. Margaret is invoked against infertility and for safe childbirth. In addition to the martyr’s palm, she is often depicted with a dragon. According to legend, the Devil in the guise of a great serpent appeared before Margaret to tempt and deceive her. Instead of succumbing to his treachery she simply made the sign of the cross and sent the fiend packing, recoiling in pain. Other versions of the story say she was swallowed whole by a dragon. Pressing her cross against the creature’s stomach she emerged unharmed, thus her association with pregnancies and labor. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to Saint Margaret. The accompanying photo was taken at the Parish of S. Margherita e S. Nicola del Pumpulo in Pastena, Salerno.
Prayer to Saint Margaret of Antioch
O God, grant us through the intercession of Thy holy virgin and martyr Margaret, undauntedly to confess the Faith, carefully to observe the chastity of our state of life, and to overcome the temptations of the world, the devil, and the flesh, and thereby escape the punishments of eternal damnation. Amen.

July 19, 2014

Announcing the 2014 Our Lady of Pierno Mass and Luncheon, Trenton, New Jersey

For more information visit the San Felese Society of New Jersey website at www.sanfelesesocietynj.org

For more on the Feast read "Celebration of the Madonna di Pierno Feast" by Tom Frascella

July 17, 2014

Feast of Santa Marina Vergine

Evviva Santa Marina!
July 17th is the Feast of Santa Marina, virgin of Bitinia (Bithynia). Widely venerated throughout southern Italy, she is the principal patroness of Filandari (VV), Polistena (RC), Casole Bruzio (CS), Ruggiano (LE), Santa Marina Salina (ME), Santa Marina di Milazzo (ME), and Cumia Inferiore (ME), among others. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to Santa Marina. The accompanying photo was taken at the 2014 Feast of Santa Marina in Inwood, Long Island.
Preghiera a Santa Marina
Salve, o Marina vergine 
che avvinta al Redentore
soffristi il disonore
con tacito pudor.

Di santo ardore sfolgora
il nostro cuore triste
che per amor di Cristo
sopporti ognor dolor.

Pura innocente vergine
per gli altri penitenti
con la tua fiamma ardente
purgasti L'altrui error.

Sia gloria nell'empireo
al santo Genitore
al Figlio e all'Amore
in cielo, in terra ognor.

July 16, 2014

A Look at the 2014 Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and San Paolino di Nola, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Co-patrons of the Feast: San Paolino di Nola And Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Evviva Maria! Evviva San Paolino! Here is a glimpse of the pageantry and passion that went into Sunday's (July 13th) Dance of the Giglio, a time honored southern-Italian American tradition that combines the devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel with San Paolino di Nola.

For more on the history of the Feast in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Nola, Italy, please see the links at the bottom of this post.
The Paranza Parade makes its way to the fairgrounds
This year's giglio was a masterpiece
The lifters show tremendous spirit 
The "Grand Turk" Mark Mascioli
Launching the boat 
The Societies were well represented: (R-L) Marco (Maria SS. Dell'Assunta Society), Elena (Club Sassanese d'America), Vincenzo and Amanda (Our Lady of Snow Society) 
It was great to see our friends from the St. Alfio Society of Lawrence, Massachusetts 
Another fantastic turnout for the Feast
Forza Napoli!
Everyone had a good time
Elyse celebrating at Lou's Clam Bar
The "S.S. Gino" sets sail for the giglio for the"double lift" 
Strength and brotherhood
Returning the boat to port
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