April 30, 2015

Celebrating the Feast of Saint George with the Sacred Constantinian Military Order of Saint George

Members of the U.S. Delegation of the Sacred Constantinian Military Order of Saint George gather at Holy Innocents Church for their patronal feast day 
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli

Last Thursday, April 23rd, was the Feast of Saint George, and I had the great pleasure of attending a Tridentine Mass at historic Holy Innocents Church in Manhattan to celebrate it. Also known as Latin Mass or Old Mass, the ritual is so beautiful and moving that it simply must be experienced. Invited by the U.S. Delegation of the Sacred Constantinian Military Order of Saint George, I can think of no better way to celebrate the Saint’s Feast than to be surrounded by the Knights and Dames of his Order as we worshipped.

Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form was sung with celebrant and homilist Cav. Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. Ambrosio. During his homily, Monsignor Ambrosio spoke at length about the Order and Christian chivalry. The service was enriched by a brilliant performance of Saverio Mercadante's (1795-1870) celebrated Mass for Three Voices by the church choir and organist. My experience was further elevated with the opportunity to venerate a first-class relic of Saint George.

The ceremony concluded with a thunderous rendition of Inno al Re, the national anthem of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, composed by Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816) and a few kind words from His Excellency Cavaliere John M. Viola, U.S. Delegate of the Sacred Constantinian Military Order of Saint George, before ending with the Prayer of the Order.

After Mass, guests joined the Knights for dinner and drinks at nearby Arno Ristorante. We enjoyed a sumptuous four-course meal filled with interesting conversation. It felt good to mingle with like-minded people and make new friends.

I want to thank Delegate John M. Viola and all the members of the Order for their gracious hospitality. It was an honor to stand among you during the Feast of Saint George. Evviva San Giorgio!
A look inside historic Holy Innocents Church
The Crucifixion by Constantino Brumidi on the East Wall
The Holy Innocent's church choir performed a beautiful rendition of Saverio Mercadante's Mass for Three Voices
Very Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. Ambrosio, Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newark, New Jersey spoke at length about the Order and Christian chivalry
The faithful prepare to receive Holy Communion while kneeling at the altar rail
Members of the Order venerate the first-class relic of Saint George
His Excellency Cavaliere John M. Viola, Delegate of the Sacred Constantinian Military Order of Saint George, addresses the audience
(Above and below) Departing Holy Innocents Church
(L-R) Hon. Cav. Pasquale Menna, Esq. and His Excellency Cav. John M. Viola, Delegate of the United States Delegation
The first-class relic of Saint George
A toast and a prayer before dinner