September 24, 2017

Feast of Our Lady of Ransom

Evviva Maria!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
September 24th is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Ransom, also called Our Lady of Mercy (or Madonna della Misericordia). The Feast commemorates the founding of the Mercedarians, a mendicant Order devoted to the redemption of Christian slaves seized by Moslem reavers. Originally celebrated by the friars on August 1 (the night the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Peter Nolasco, prompting him to found the Order in 1218) the Feast was eventually extended to the entire Church by Pope Innocent XII and observed on September 24. The Order is credited with rescuing 70,000 Christian slaves from the Saracens. In celebration, I'm posting a Prayer to Our Lady of Mercy by Saint Augustine. The accompanying photo was taken at the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn during the 2015 Festa di Maria SS. della Misericordia, Patroness of Fontanarosa, Avellino.
Prayer to Our Lady of Mercy 
Blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay you with praise and thanks for having rescued a fallen world by your generous consent! Receive our gratitude, and by your prayers obtain the pardon of our sins. Take our prayers into the sanctuary of heaven and enable them to make our peace with God.
Holy Mary, help the miserable, strengthen the discouraged, comfort the sorrowful, pray for your people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God. May all who venerate you feel now your help and protection. Be ready to help us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it your continual concern to pray for the people of God, for you were blessed by God and were made worthy to bear the Redeemer of the world, who lives and reigns forever. Amen.

Mass and Procession in Honor of Saint Theresa in Astoria, Queens

September 23, 2017

Announcing the 2017 Festa del Santissimo Crocifisso in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Feast of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

Painted ceramic of Saint Pio
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
September 23rd is the Feast Day of Saint Padre Pio. In commemoration, I'm posting aPrayer to Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. The accompanying photo was taken in Vietri Sul Mare during my 2010 pilgrimage to Southern Italy.
Prayer to Saint Pio of Pietrelcina
O Glorious Saint Pio, bearing the wounds of Christ you generously accepted your sufferings, and labored faithfully for the good of all souls. Help me to embrace that same attitude of acceptance in my life. With confidence, I ask for your intercession to obtain the grace of (make your request), which I ardently desire. If it is not, however, God's will that this should come to pass, then help me to find serenity and joy in God's choices for me. Amen

September 22, 2017

Evviva San Gennaro! A Look at the 91st Annual Feast of San Gennaro in NYC's Historic Little Italy

Evviva San Gennaro!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Despite the threat of bad weather large numbers of worshipers made their way to Most Precious Blood Church in New York City’s historic Little Italy for Tuesday’s 91st Annual Feast of San Gennaro (Sept. 19th). I wish to thank Msgr. Donald Sakano, Pastor, and all the parish staff and congregation for your warmth and hospitality. Special thanks to John A. Fratta, Ernest Magliato and all the members of the Figli di San Gennaro for your hard work and making the celebration a huge success. Three cheers for the Giglio Boys, the St. Rocco Society of Potenza, the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George and individual devotees who helped carry the saint through the bustling streets of Little Italy. As always, it was an honor and a priviledge to celebrate our faith and culture with you. Evviva San Gennaro!
(Above & below) Before Mass, the crucifer and acolytes led the procession of clergy down Baxter Street into Most Precious Blood Church
The rollicking Red Mike Festival Band played
many of our 
favorite patriotic and Neapolitan songs 
The sanctuary and bye-altar with statue of San Gennaro
After Mass, devotees venerate the relic of San Gennaro
Ernest Magliano and John A. Fratta
Our pals John and Sal
It was a tremendous honor to carry our beloved patron again
The procession turns off Canal Street onto bustling Mulberry Street
(L) The Red Mike Festival Band. (R) The outdoor shrine to San Gennaro
On Mulberry Street, members of the US Navy helped carry San Gennaro
(Above & below) Devotees pin donations on to the statue
Foundry markings on the base of the statue
Street lights with images of San Gennaro line Mulberry Street
After the procession, we joined our friends Annamaria and Salvator Argenio, visiting from Napoli, for some cocktails and laughs at Sapori d'Italia
Also see:
Knights of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George Participate in the 90th Annual Feast of San Gennaro in NYC's Historic Little Italy
Evviva San Gennaro! A Look at the 90th Annual Feast of San Gennaro in NYC's Historic Little Italy
Evviva San Gennaro! A Look at the 90th Annual Feast of San Gennaro in New York City's Historic Little Italy
Evviva San Gennaro! A Look at the 89th Annual Feast of San Gennaro in New York City's Historic Little Italy
A Look at the 88th Annual Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy, New York City
A Look at NYC’s 87th Annual San Gennaro Feast
A Look at NYC's 2013 San Gennaro Parade
Pix from the 2012 San Gennaro Procession
Pix from the 2012 San Gennaro Parade
A Look at NYC's 85th Annual Feast of San Gennaro
NYC’s 84th Annual Festa di San Gennaro
New York City's Feast of San Gennaro Pictorial

Happy Autumn! (2017)

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
The Fall Equinox marks the transition of summer into winter. To celebrate the occasion and the season of Autumn 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.37.

When Sorbs are in Season

A chill comes over me... a necklace
of sorbs, even now, in my hands;
even now the poplar
sees in the river
the shimmer of a yellow leaf
dangling from the tip
of a blackened bough... and a voice
surges through the hills: "When sorbs
my love, are in season, summer is already in flight..."
Later this morning the leaf
will shrivel, at a whish
of mountain wind. From across a veil
of fog, from far away across the fields,
who'll call out, even now? Whose voice will ring?

(Translated by Anthony Molino)

September 21, 2017

Feast of San Matteo

Viva San Matteo!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
September 21st is the Feast Day of San Matteo (Saint Matthew), patron saint of Salerno. In commemoration, I'm posting a prayer in honor of Saint Matthew. The accompanying photo of San Matteo was taken at the Basilica Santa Trofimena in Minori. 

Prayer to Saint Matthew

O Glorious St. Matthew, in your Gospel you portray Jesus as the longed-for Messiah who fulfilled the Prophets of the Old Covenant and as the new Lawgiver who founded a Church of the New Covenant. Obtain for us the grace to see Jesus living in his Church and to follow his teachings in our lives on earth so that we may live forever with him in heaven. Amen

Traditional Masses for the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel

Photo courtesy of the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny
Friday September 29th, the Feast of St. Michael
1) Shrine of the Most Precious Blood, 113 Baxter St., New York, NY, Solemn Mass, 7:15 pm. Sponsored by the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George.
2) St. Francis Xavier Church, 1703 Lurting Avenue, the Bronx, Solemn Mass, 7 pm. information. From the pastor: “This is the first Traditional Mass at Saint Francis since the council. Any publicity that can be given for this event would be very helpful. I have hopes that this will become a regular part of our parish life.”
3) St. Mary Church, Greenwich, CT. Traditional Vespers at 7:30 pm followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
Also coming up: Two Solemn Pontifical Masses in October
1) Saturday, October 14, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Paterson, NJ., 9:30 am. Celebrant, Most Reverend Arthur Serratelli, Bishop of Paterson. information
2) Thursday, October 19, St. Mary Church, Norwalk, CT.  Conference at 5:30 pm, Solemn Pontifical Mass with Bishop Athanasius Schneider at 7:30 pm. information

September 20, 2017

A Look at the 10th Annual Festa della Madonna Addolorata in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Evviva Maria!
Photos courtesy of Anthony Scillia
Thank you Tony for sharing your wonderful pictures of the 10th Annual Festa della Madonna Addolorata, celebrated Saturday, September 16th at St. Athanasius Church, in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Evviva Maria!
Check out the latest Tweets from Anthony Scillia at Tony Mangia (@TonyAtTheTable) | Twitter or visit his personal blog At the Table with Tony
The Procession departs St. Athanasius Church
(L) Looking dapper, members of the Associazione Culturale Pugliese
Figli Maria SS. Addolorata take turns carrying the statue.
(R) The LaRocca men partake in the joyous festivities
(Above & below) A sea of black and gold
wended its way through the neighborhood
Members of the Joseph B. Cavallari Council of the
Knights of Columbus show their support
Also see:
Evviva Maria! A Look at the 9th Annual Festa della Madonna Addolorata in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Evviva Maria! A Look at the 8th Annual Festa della Madonna Addolorata in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn's 7th Annual Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows in Pictures
A Look at the 6th Annual Festa di Maria SS. Addolorata, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Saint A's Christmas Extravaganza
Honoring Our Lady of Sorrows at Saint Athanasius
A look at the 4th Annual Festa di Maria SS. Addolorata, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Feast of Santa Cándida Martire

Evviva Santa Cándida!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
September 20th is the Feast Day of Santa Cándida, Virgin and Martyr. Not to be confused with Santa Cándida la Vecchia (celebrated on Sept. 4th in Naples), she is the patroness of fishermen, farmers and Ventotene, an island in the Gulf of Gaeta. According to tradition, in the fourth century a group of Christian captives (including the young Cándida) were deported from Carthage to the Isle of Ponza, where they were tortured and put to death. Cast into the sea, her body was discovered on September 20th at the Cala Pozzillo in neighboring Ventotene. 

With the ascension of Charles of Bourbon to the Neapolitan throne, the Pontine Archipelago (Ponza, Ventotene, etc.) was entrusted to him on June 15, 1734 by his mother Elisabetta Farnese. The islands were subsequently colonized with citizens from Campania and in 1774 the Bourbons completed construction of a church dedicated to Santa Cándida. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to Santa Cándida. The accompanying photo was taken at Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary and Saint Stephen's Church in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
Prayer to Santa Cándida
O Glorious Santa Cándida, Virgin, Martyr and our merciful Patron, I implore your intercession with confidence. Watch with equally pitiful eye my spiritual and physical infirmities. Do not forsake me, listen to the voice of my heart, and give me your help and your protection. Amen

Sophia Loren – A Living Symbol of Art

Sophia Loren in Athens
By Niccolò Graffio
The late philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand defined art as “…a selective recreation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value-judgments.” Since early modern humans first appeared in Europe approx. 40,000 years ago, mankind has “selectively recreated reality” in numerous ways for many different purposes.
Many early civilizations, like Ancient Egypt and Minoan Crete, produced artworks (now mostly in museums) which continue to amaze people to this day. Each culture developed their own style of art.
It was the Greeks of the Hellenic Age, however, who were the first to venerate the human body and to develop the skills necessary to correctly recreate the human form down to minute detail. The Greeks, like the Romans after them, were especially fond of venerating the female human form. Perhaps no artwork better exemplified this than the famous statue “Aphrodite of Cnidus” by Praxiteles. After the fall of Rome, this veneration would not be seen again in Western art until the Age of the Renaissance. Continue reading

September 19, 2017

Celebrating the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

Programs for the Mass
In mari miserie, maris stella, errantes cotidie a procella, defende nos et precare Dominum pie, ut ad portas gloriæ nos trahat per hoc mare. — In mari miserie, Offertory Motet (Anonymous, French 12th Cent.)*
Friday evening, I joined about forty pilgrims at Holy Name of Jesus Church (245 Prospect Park West) in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn for the Missa Cantata for Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Arriving early, I made my usual intercessory prayers for the happy repose of the souls of my ancestors and Holy Hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
Mass was sung by Celebrant and Homilist Fr. Tomasz Szczepanczyk, who spoke at length during his sermon about the importance of the Blessed Mother and her role as the new Eve. Servers Eddy Toribio (MC), Robert Jurman, Brian Hilley and Arrus Ortañez dutifully assisted Fr. Tomasz.
As always, the Ordinary of the Mass and motets performed by Director and organist David Adam Smith and choir—Nathaniel Adams, Art Bryan Manabat, Philip Cheah, and Peter Walker—gloriously filled the nave.
Thank you Rev. Lawrence D. Ryan, Pastor and all the Parish staff and congregation for your warm hospitality. Special thanks to Cindy Brolsma and organizers for your hard work and dedication. Once again, it was a privilege to celebrate our faith together. 
The next Latin Mass at Holy Name of Jesus Church will be celebrated on Sunday, December 3rd at 5:00pm for the First Sunday of Advent.
In a sea of misery, Star of the Sea, staggering daily by the storm, defend us and pray to our sweet Lord, that to the gates of glory He may draw us from this sea.

Feast of San Gennaro

Viva San Gennaro!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
September 19th is the Feast Day of San Gennaro, patron saint of Naples. To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting a Prayer to San Gennaro. The accompanying photos were taken at Most Precious Blood Church (109 Mulberry Street), the national shrine of San Gennaro, located in New York City's historic Little Italy.
Prayer to San Gennaro
O Great San Gennaro, valiant athlete of Jesus Christ and Patron Saint of Naples, we have recourse to your powerful intercession, especially during times of disaster! With grateful hearts we acknowledge your constant readiness to help your fellow citizens and those devoted to you in times of need. With the assurance of being heard, we implore you to obtain God's mercy for us. Protect us from the scourge of spreading disbelief. Free us from all evils and dangers that threaten us from every side. May the faith for which you sacrificed your life produce in our midst, through your prayers, the good works which the Lord our God can rightfully expect from His servants. Amen

Photo of the Week: Marble Statue of San Gennaro, Museo del Duomo di Ravello, Salerno

Marble statue of San Gennaro, Museo del Duomo di Ravello, Salerno
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

Healing Mass in Honor of St. Padre Pio in Newark, New Jersey

September 18, 2017

Around the Web: San Gennaro 2017

Photo courtesy of St. Hugh of Cluny Society
Reprinted from The Society of St. Hugh of Cluny

We at the St. Hugh of Cluny Society sponsored a Solemn Mass yesterday at the historic church of the Most Precious Blood in New York, for the start of the festival of San Gennaro. Fr Richard Gennaro Cipolla was the celebrant; Fr. Chris Salvatori served as deacon; Will Haffey as subdeacon. Bill Riccio was master of ceremonies and David Hughes conducted the splendid music. The Sacred Constantinian Military Order of Saint George was present, maintaining their commitment to Italian culture and to the Traditional Liturgy. We thank Msgr. Donald Sakano, pastor of Old St. Patrick’s, for his invitation to the shrine church of the Most Precious Blood. Continue reading

Feast of San Sabino Martire

Viva San Sabino!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
September 18th is the Feast Day of San Sabino, martyr and patron of Sanza, Salerno. In commemoration I'm posting a Prayer in Italian to San Sabino.* The accompanying photo was taken at Saint Francis of Paola Church (219 Conselyea Street) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Preghiera A San Sabino Martire
O invitto o Martire intemerato San Sabino che sacrificare la Tua vita per confessare la Tua potente fede nel verbo incarnato ottienimi dal Signore la grazia di essere con Te disposto a soffrire per amor suo qualunque affronto anzichè perdere una sola delle virtu cristiane.
O mio protettore, degnati di intercedere presso il Trono dell' Altissimo affinché volga su di me, pentito peccatore, i Suoi occhi di misericordia e mi aiuti nei bisogni spirituali e temporali. Amen
* Prayer courtesy of the San Sabino Society of Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Solemn High Latin Mass and Veneration of the Relic of Sant'Elena di Laurino in East Harlem, New York

September 17, 2017

Malta Walks NYC (September 2017)

This Tuesday, September 19th at 7:30 PM join the Order of Malta Auxiliary for their monthly “Malta Walk” street ministry. Volunteers meet every third Tuesday of the month at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral parish house at 263 Mulberry Street in lower Manhattan to prepare and distribute food to the homeless.

Anyone interested in supporting this noble endeavor can contact the Order of Malta Auxiliary at nycaux@orderofmaltaamerica.org or call 917-566-3937. For additional information, the Order can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/maltaauxiliarynyc.

Also see:
• Supporting the “Malta Walks” Street Ministry

Celebrating Solemn Vespers for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

A look inside the beautiful Church of Our Saviour
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Crux fidelis, inter omnes, Arbor una nobilis: Nulla silva talem profert, Fronde, flore, germine: Dulce lignum, dulces clavos, Dulce pondus sustinet. Amen*
Thursday evening my confratelli of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George and I had the great privilege of joining members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem for Solemn Evening Prayer for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross at the beautiful Church of Our Saviour (59 Park Ave.) on Murray Hill in New York City. Mandatory observance for both Orders, the Feast celebrates the discovery of the True Cross in 320 by St. Helen, mother of St. Constantine the Great, and the dedication of the basilica and shrine built on Calvary in 335 by Emperor Constantine. 
Following Reverend Robert J. Robbins homily, members of the congregation had the extraordinary opportunity to approach the sanctuary and venerate the Relic of the True Cross. The sacred music was sung by director and organist Paul J. Murray, K.C.H.S., and the Choir of the Church of Our Saviour. They were absolutely phenomenal.
I wish to thank the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem for inviting us to participate. Special thanks to Fr. Robbins, Reverend Monsignor Hilary C. Franco, the staff and congregation of the Church of Our Saviour for your warm hospitality. It was a tremendous pleasure to celebrate our faith with you. Evviva la Croce!
(Above & below) After Vespers, the Knights and Ladies
of the Holy Sepulcher process out of the church
(L) Cavs. Vincent Gangone and Charles Sant'Elia of the
Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George were in attendance.
(R.) Rev. Msgr. Hilary C. Franco with the Relic of the True Cross
* Faithful cross, above all other, One and only noble Tree, None in foliage, none in blossom, None in fruit thy peers may be. Sweetest wood and sweetest iron, Sweetest weight is hung on thee. Amen. — John IV, King of Portugal (1604-1656)