June 30, 2016

A Look at the 2016 Feast of San Vito Martire in Mamaroneck, New York

Viva San Vito!
Photos courtesy of Cav. Charles Sant'Elia
Thanks Charles for sharing your wonderful photos from Sunday's (June 26th) Feast of San Vito Martire celebrated at St. Vito – Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Mamaroneck, New York. Evviva San Vito!
The Color Guard led the way
(Above and below) The procession wends its way through the neighborhood
The Giglio Band kept the festivities rolling

Announcing the 2016 Feast of Saint Gabriel in Baltimore, Maryland


June 29, 2016

Princess Maria Carolina di Borbone Named Honorary President of the Comitati Due Sicilie

Photo courtesy of Comitati Due Sicilie
Congratulations to HRH Princess Maria Carolina di Borbone, Duchess of Palermo and Calabria, on being named Honorary President of the Comitati Due Sicilie. On Sunday, June 26th, representatives of the CDS presented the Hereditary Princess with a plaque, recognizing her as the rightful heir to HRH Prince Carlo Maria di Borbone delle Due Sicilie, Duke of Castro, head of the Royal House of Bourbon-Two Sicilie. The ceremony took place at the beautiful Casina Vanvitelliana (the historic royal hunting lodge on Lake Fusaro) in Bacoli (NA), during the Royal Family's visit to Naples and Nola. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

Solemnity of San Pietro and San Paolo

Viva San Pietro e San Paolo!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
June 29th is the Feast Day of San Pietro and San Paolo (Saints Peter and Paul), Apostles and Martyrs. Widely venerated across southern Italy, the saints are the principal patrons of Galatina (LE), Agropoli (SA), Miglionico (MT), Petronà (RC), and Lamezia Terme (CZ), among others. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a prayer to St. Peter and St. Paul. The accompanying photo of Saints Peter and Paul by Jusepe de Ribera (Játiva 1591-1652 Naples) was taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Prayer to Saint Peter and Saint Paul

O holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, I choose you this day and forever to be my special patrons and advocates; thee, Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles, because thou art the Rock, upon which Almighty God hath built His Church; thee, Saint Paul, because thou wast fore-chosen by God as the Vessel of election and the Preacher of truth in the whole world. Obtain for me, I pray you, lively faith, firm hope, and burning love; complete detachment from myself, contempt of the world, patience in adversity, humility in prosperity, attention in prayer, purity of heart, a right intention in all my works, diligence in fulfilling the duties of my state of life, constancy in my resolutions, resignation to the will of God and perseverance in the grace of God even unto death; that so, by means of your intercession and your glorious merits, I may be able to overcome the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil, and may be made worthy to appear before the chief and eternal Shepherd of souls, Jesus Christ, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth for endless ages, to enjoy His presence and love Him forever. Amen.

The Legacy of Pietro Montana

Victory With Peace by Pietro Montana
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
“My wish has been to send light into the darkness of men’s hearts, and to be the servant of a noble purpose . . . art is not a vague production, transitory and isolated, but a power, which must be directed toward the refinement and improvement of the human soul.”  — Pietro Montana, in an address before the Hudson Valley Association *
After stumbling upon Anthony de Francisci's Independence Flagstaff at Union Square, I was keen on discovering other monuments by Southern Italian artists in NYC. I did some digging and found several works. Unfortunately, for some of the artists I've been unable to obtain any biographical information except that they were Italian-Americans. 
I did, however, hit the jackpot at Freedom Triangle in Bushwick, BrooklynWhile taking a ride to Williamsburg with a friend we noticed an extraordinary statue of what appeared to be an angel. We pulled over to take a closer look. According to the plaque affixed to the fence protecting the monument from vandals the artist was Pietro Montana from Alcamo, Italy. "He's Sicilian," I told my friend as I started snapping pictures!
Called Victory With Peace, the bronze statue depicts the Greek goddess Nike (Victory) bearing an olive branch. Crowned with a laurel wreath and wearing a Greek chiton the winged deity cradles a sword in her right arm. She stands on a granite pedestal with an inscription carved around its base dedicated to the ninety-three neighborhood men who fought and died in the First World War. The 19th Assembly District Committee erected the monument in 1921. Continue reading

Announcing the 2016 Feast of Saint Francis of Paola, Dover Plains, New York


June 28, 2016

An Author in Search of a Cause

Luigi Pirandello – the Instrument of Creation
Luigi Pirandello
By Niccolò Graffio
“Well, if you want to take away from me the possibility of representing the torment of my spirit which never gives me peace, you will be suppressing me: that's all. Every true man, sir, who is a little above the level of the beasts and plants does not live for the sake of living, without knowing how to live; but he lives so as to give a meaning and a value of his own to life.” – Luigi Pirandello: Six Characters in Search of an Author, 1921.
It has often been said that tragedy and comedy are two sides of the same coin. Indeed, most comedies seem to arise out of tragedies. The late stand-up comedian Richard Pryor is an excellent example of this phenomenon. For years he regaled audiences, both black and white, with tales of his childhood in the slums of Peoria, Illinois. Audiences would regularly howl with laughter at his stories of living in bone-crunching poverty, abuse at the hands of his elders, substance abuse and trying to avoid falling into the “tender mercies” of street gangs. One has to wonder, though, how many people would think all this funny if it happened to them, or how many others laughed simply because it was better than crying.
Tragedy, therefore, while lamentable, can also be a source of inspiration for those fortunate enough to be born with the creative spark that allows them to put feelings into words and convey their meaning to others. This has been done not just with the genre of Comedy, but Drama as well (among others). The subject of this article is one such man. One who, in spite of the various tragedies that overshadowed his life, put pen in hand and gave the world some of its more memorable literature, as well as helping to reshape modern theater. Continue reading

Announcing the 9th Annual Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Visit the Figli Maria SS Addolorata on Facebook

June 26, 2016

Compra Sud — Enotria Translations

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

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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.

Announcing the 113th Anniversary Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Rosebank, Staten Island

June 25, 2016

Feast of San Guglielmo di Montevergine (da Vercelli)

The Vision of St. William of Vercelli by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro
June 25th is the Feast Day of San Guglielmo di Montevergine (St. William of Montevergine), hermit and abbot. Patron saint of Irpinia in Avellino, St. William was the founder of the Benedictine Williamites, the now defunct monastic Order of Mount Virgin. He built several monasteries in southern Italy, including that of Montevergine in 1119, and served as a trusted advisor to HRH King Ruggero II of Sicily

According to legend, while living as a hermit on a mountain near Atella in Potenza, St. William restored site to a blind man. News of the miracle brought unwanted attention and compelled him to leave and find a new place of solitude. Moving to Monte Virgiliano (named after the Roman Poet Virgil) he had a vision of the Blessed Mother holding the Divine Infant. With only his donkey, he started building a shrine in her honor on the site of an earlier temple to Cybele. One day while working, a wolf killed his donkey. St. William scolded the beast and commanded it to take the donkey’s place. The wolf obeyed the saint and started hauling timber and stone.
To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting a Prayer to St. William. The accompanying photo of The Vision of St. William of Vercelli (Visione di San Guglielmo da Vercelli) is by the great Neapolitan artist Domenico Antonio Vaccaro (1678-1745). 
Prayer to St. William
O God, Who hast set for us in Thy saints an example and a help to our weakness, to assist us to tread the path of salvation, grant us so to venerate the virtues of the blessed abbot William, that we may share in his prayers and follow in his footsteps. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God forever and ever. Amen.

Announcing the 13th Annual Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Bergen Beach, Brooklyn


June 24, 2016

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.

Announcing the 2016 Feast of San Rocco, Glen Cove, New York


June 23, 2016

Happy Birthday Princess Maria Carolina!

HRH was born in Rome in 2003
Photo courtesy of Camilla di Borbone delle Due Sicilie
Happy Birthday Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duchess of Palermo and Calabria! May life's brightest joys illuminate your path, and may each day's journey bring you closer to your dreams! Auguri!

Feast of Santa Agrippina di Mineo

Evviva Santa Agrippina!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
June 23rd is the Feast Day of Santa Agrippina di Mineo, virgin and martyr. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Agrippina.* The accompanying photo was taken at an outdoor shrine on Battery Street in Boston's North End. Boston is home to many descendants of Mineo, Sicily, and they pay tribute to their patroness each August with a beautiful Feast in her honor.
Prayer to St. Agrippina
O glorious virgin and Martyr Agrippina your cruel executioner bound you to prepare you for martyrdom. Pray for us that our hearts will also be bound always to God's holy love, Let us pray fervently. May devotion to Saint Agrippina Endure for ever. Amen.

Also see:
Celebrating a Hundred Years of Devotion to Santa Agrippina di Mineo in Boston, Mass. (Part 1)
Celebrating a Hundred Years of Devotion to Santa Agrippina di Mineo in Boston, Mass. (Part 2)

The Neglected Genius: Giambattista Vico of Naples

Giambattista Vico 
b. June 23, 1668 — d. Jan. 22-23, 1744
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Niccolò Graffio
“I don’t believe in any science, but my imagination grows when I read Vico in a way that it doesn’t when I read Freud or Jeung.” – James Joyce (Ellman, Richard: James Joyce.2nd ed. pg. 693, New York: Oxford UP, 1983)
The simplest definition of history is the branch of knowledge dealing with past events. Though it is admittedly an oversimplification, one could argue that human history is created by basically two types of people: doers and sayers. The doers could also be termed “people of action”; those who make their mark by engaging in activities that significantly alter the world, for better or worse. Examples of this sort include Alexander of Macedon, Christopher Columbus, the Wright brothers and Albert Einstein.
Sayers, on the other hand, are those who, through the printed and/or spoken word, seek to alter the world around them by impressing their thoughts on others. Examples of this sort include Kong Qiu (Confucius), Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Paine and Karl Marx. Continue reading

Announcing the 106th Annual Saint Ann's Italian Festival, Hoboken, New Jersey

For more info vist St. Ann's Festival on Facebook

June 22, 2016

Feast of San Paolino di Nola

Viva San Paolino!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
June 22nd is the Feast Day of San Paolino (Saint Paulinus), Bishop and Patron of Nola (NA). 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.

Death of Ruggero d'Altavilla (Roger I of Sicily)

Ruggiero il Normanno
The facade of the Palazzo Reale di Napoli
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
Dextera Domini fecit virtutem. Dextera Domini exaltavit me. (The right hand of God gave me courage. The right hand of God raised me up) – The inscription on Roger's shield following his victory at Cerami (Quoted from The Normans in Sicily by John Julius Norwich)
June 22, 1101 Marks the death of Ruggero d'Altavilla (Roger de Hauteville).
The Norman arrival in Southern Italy began in the eleventh century. According to tradition, in 1016 a group of pilgrims drove away a band of Moslem raiders plaguing the Lombard Principality of Salerno. Grateful and impressed with the Normans' martial prowess the Lombards invited them to stay. Word quickly spread through the halls of Normandy about the opportunities for soldiers-of-fortune and it wasn't long before the rival lords of Southern Italy were employing Norman freebooters in their wars. Continue reading

Announcing Boston's 91st Annual Saint Joseph's Procession


June 21, 2016

A look at the 2016 Festa di San Pio da Pietrelcina in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Viva San Pio!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Scenes from Saturday's (June 18th) Festa di San Pio da Pietrelcina at St. Dominic R.C. Church at 2001 Bay Ridge Parkway in Brooklyn, New York.
After Mass, devotees pin money on to ribbons and the statue's cape
(Above and below) Members of the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata joined Caduti Superego in the celebration
Msgr. David Cassata led the procession through the neighborhood 
Devotees sang a prayed for nearly two hours
The procession makes its way down 18th Ave.
Michael Aromando and the Metropolitan Festival Band
(Above and below) We briefly stopped at the Cadutti Superga Soccer Club for some cold water and the benediction
An outdoor shrine was erected outside the club
The procession saunters down 20th Avenue
Back at St. Dominic's, celebrants sing one last hymn
before the statue is returned to its place of honor inside the church 
Votive candles are lit inside the church vestibule
Also see:
A Look at the 2015 Festa di San Pio da Pietrelcina in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Although nothing has been confirmed as of this time, there are rumors a new feast in honor of San Francesco di Paola at St. Dominic R.C. Church is in the works. We are excited by the prospect and will keep you up to date with any news or developments.

Viva San Francesco di Paola!

Announcing the 111th Annual St. Mary's Feast, Cranston, Rhode Island


June 20, 2016

Visiting Sant'Antonio's Relic (and More) in NYC's Historic Little Italy

Reliquary containing a first-class relic of Sant'Antonio di Padova
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
After work Thursday night I stopped by Most Precious Blood Church (113 Baxter St.) in NYC's historic Little Italy to venerate Saint Anthony’s relic, on loan from Padua, Italy. Visiting five different churches in celebration of the Feast of St. Anthony (June 13th), this was the fourth tour of the saint's relic in the archdiocese in two years. I was lucky enough to see the relics before at Most Precious Blood Church in Bath Beach, Brooklyn in 2013 and at the Basilica of Sant'Antonio in Padua in 2007. It continues to be a spiritually rewarding and edifying experience. 
Sant'Antonio at Most Precious Blood Church
Saint Anthony’s feast day was recently celebrated at the church by the Society of St. Anthony of Giovinazzo. Their statue of the saint was still on display on the bye-altar with flowers and ribbons.
Life size statue of San Gennaro at Le Mela Ristorante
Afterward, I met up with some friends at Le Mela Ristorante (167 Mulberry St.) for a glass of wine and to see the newly restored statue of San Gennaro. 
Ernie Rossi (with window sign) proudly promotes southern Italian products
Enjoying the mild night air, we strolled around Little Italy for a bit before stopping by E. Rossi and Company (193 Grand Street) to see our good friend Ernie. We were happy to see he received a certificate of appreciation from the Comitati Due Sicilie USA for his hard work and longtime support of the southern Italian community in New York City. Congratulations Ernie on your well-deserved honor!
The Re Ferdinando sandwich at Margherita NYC
Getting hungry, we took our leave and moved on to nearby Margherita NYC, Pizzeria Napoletana (197 Grand St.) for a couple of cocktails and dinner. I enjoyed the delicious Re Ferdinando, a large sandwich stuffed with sweet sausage, broccoli di rape and scamorza, named in honor of HRH King Ferdinand of the Two Sicilies.
Walking off our meal, we took a short passeggiata around Little Italy. Taking in the sites, we talked for a while about art, politics and life in general before calling it a night.