November 30, 2017

Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle

Saint Andrew pray for us
November 30th is the Feast Day of Saint Andrew the Apostle, patron of fishermen and protector of Amalfi. To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Andrew. The accompanying photo of the Saint was taken at the memorial mass for the deceased members of the Saint Andrew Society at Saint Michael's Church in New Haven, Connecticut. At the turn of the 20th century, large numbers of immigrants from Amalfi settled in New Haven, so its not surprising the veneration of the Saint is strong there. Viva Sant'Andrea!  
Prayer to Saint Andrew
O glorious Saint Andrew, you were the first to recognize and follow the Lamb of God. With your friend, Saint John, you remained with Jesus for that first day, for your entire life, and now throughout eternity. As you led your brother, Saint Peter, to Christ and many others after him, draw us also to Him. Teach us to lead others to Christ solely out of love for Him and dedication in His service. Help us to learn the lesson of the Cross and to carry our daily crosses without complaint so that they may carry us to Jesus. Amen.

November 28, 2017

Feast of San Giacomo della Marca

Viva San Giacomo!
Photo Courtesy of Anthony Scillia
November 28th is the Feast Day of San Giacomo della Marca (St. James of the Marches), missionary and miracle worker. Counted among the many co-patrons of Naples, the austere friar preached tirelessly against greed and usury. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to St. James of the Marches. The accompanying photo was taken at St. James of the Marches R.C. Church in Totowa, New Jersey.
Prayer to St. James of the Marches
O God, you have given to the Church in St. James of the Marches a tireless missionary of your word, totally dedicated to the salvation of souls and the conversion of sinners. May his intercession help us to atone for our sins and to walk swiftly on the path of salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who is God.

November 27, 2017

Celebrate the Feast of Santa Lucia in NYC with Experience Sicily

Photo courtesy of Experience Sicily
Sunday, December 10th (2PM-5PM)

Cacio e Vino
80 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003

Join Experience Sicily in New York City to celebrate the Feast of Santa Lucia on December 10th.

The afternoon includes a short concert of Sicilian folk songs and folk music presented by the duo Villa Palagonia.

About the Feast of Santa Lucia
In the days leading up to the Feast of Santa Lucia, December 13th, many Sicilians refrain from eating pasta and only eat un-ground wheat grain, or "farro," that is prepared as a dish called cuccìa. Devotees observe this ritual to remember the severe famine that struck Siracusa and Palermo in 1646.

During that time of Spanish domination, the faithful prayed to their patron saint, Lucia, seeking relief. Finally in May during a mass, a squawking quail flew into the duomo in Ortigia (NB, the name "Ortigia" comes from the Ancient Greek word "ortyx," which means quail.). At the same moment, a messenger entered the church announcing that ships had arrived carrying wheat grain. All hailed it a miracle, attributing the relief to Santa Lucia having answered their prayers.

Now, annually for her feast day in December devotees process her precious silver statue through the streets and only eat cuccìa and arancine as homage to the patron saint of eyes, sight, light, and wheat.

November 26, 2017

Photo of the Week: Sixteenth Century Statue of Santa Caterina d'Alessandra, Duomo di Siracusa

Santa Caterina d'Alessandria, artist unknown, Duomo di Siracusa, Sicily
Photo by Niccolò Graffio

Rosa Tatuata Christmas Extravaganza

Sicilian Folk & Roots Music — December Shows
Saturday, December 9th (8:00pm-9:30pm)

The Branford Folk Coffeehouse
In the auditorium of the First Congregational Church of Branford
1009 Main Street, Branford, CT. 06405

Admission: $20 non-members, $17 members, $5 children 12 and under.

For more information call 203-488-7715

Sunday, December 10th (7:30pm)

Crossroads Music at the 
Calvary Center

801 South 48th Street (at Baltimore Avenue)
Philadelphia, PA 19143

Admission: At the door or in advance $10, $20, $30

November 25, 2017

Feast of Santa Caterina d'Alessandria

Saint Catherine of Alexandria (c. 1650)
Workshop of Bernardo Cavallino
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
November 25th is the Feast Day of Santa Caterina d'Alessandria (St. Catherine of Alexandria), virgin and martyr. Also known as St. Catherine of the Wheel, because she was tortured with a spiked breaking wheel, she is the patroness of millers, potters and spinners, among others. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to St. Catherine of Alexandria. The accompanying photo was taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.
Prayer to Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Glorious Saint Catherine, virgin and martyr, help me to imitate your love of purity. Give me strength and courage in fighting off the temptations of the world and evil desires. Help me to love God with my whole heart and serve Him faithfully. O Saint Catherine, through your glorious martyrdom for the love of Christ, help me to be loyal to my faith and my God as long as I live.

November 24, 2017

A Meeting of Masters: Argenio Napoli to Unveil New Collection at Acqua Restaurant

Salvatore, Annamaria, Charles and Giuseppe at Acqua
Photo courtesy of Salvatore Argenio
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

For one day only, acclaimed fashion designer Salvatore Argenio, best known for his refined Neapolitan haute couture, will be presenting his highly anticipated new collection of suits and accessories at Acqua Restaurant and Wine Bar at 21 Peck Slip in Downtown Manhattan’s historic Seaport District. Guests will be able to peruse the couturier’s stylish wares while feasting on Chef Giuseppe Marrone’s delectable fall menu, daily specials or impressive selection of southern Italian wines. This dazzling pairing of exquisite food and fashion from Naples is sure to be a feast for the senses.

Argenio will be showcasing his merchandise in NYC from November 26th thru December 1st at the Best Western Plus Hospitality Hotel at 145 E 49th Street, New York, NY 10017. To make an appointment contact the maestro at or visit

ACQUA Restaurant & Wine Bar ★★★★★
21 Peck Slip @ Water Street
New York, NY 10038
Tel: 212.349.4433

Also see:
Compra Sud — ACQUA Restaurant and Wine Bar
Compra Sud — Argenio Napoli

Italians and Albanians: A Historical Partnership 

A Lecture and Slide Presentation by Hon. Joseph J. DioGuardi and Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi 
Greci, high in the hills of the province of Avellino
Thursday, November 30th (6:30 PM)

Italian American Museum
155 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10013-3734

About the lecture and slide presentation:
Former U.S. Congressman Joe DioGuardi, who founded the Albanian American Civic League and Foundation in 1989, and Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi, the Civic League’s Balkan Affairs Adviser, will present the important role that Albanians have played in the history of Southern Italy for more than 500 years. Their slide presentation will focus on Greci, the oldest of the 51 Albanian-speaking villages in Italy (first settled in 1461) and the birthplace of Joe DioGuardi’s father. The DioGuardis most recently visited Greci in September 2016, on an extended trip in conjunction with an Albanian American delegation to the Vatican for the canonization of Mother Teresa, who was born in Albania in 1910.

Suggested donation of $10 per person

Light refreshments will be served

For reservations, please call 212-965-9000
Fax: 347-810-1028

November 23, 2017

Feast of Santa Felicita

Evviva Santa Felicita!
November 23rd is the Feast Day of Santa Felicita Martire (St. Felicity the martyr), patron saint of widows and grieving parents. Principal protectress of Torricella Peligna (CH), Collarmela (AQ) and Isca sullo Ionio (CZ), she is commonly known as the mother of the Seven Martyrs whose Feast is celebrated on July 10th. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a prayer in her honor. The accompanying photo of silver miniature was taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. Dated 1762, the prized statuette was copied after Giacomo Serpotta's (b. 1652 Palermo–d. 1732 Palermo) stucco figures of Augustinian nuns in Sant'Agostino, Palermo.
Prayer to St. Felicitas
All-powerful, ever-living God, turn our weakness into strength. As you gave your martyrs St. Felicitas and her sons the courage to suffer death for Christ, give us the courage to live in faithful witness to you. Grant 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.

November 22, 2017

Feast of Santa Cecilia

Evviva Santa Cecilia!
November 22nd is the Feast Day of Santa Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr. Patroness of music and musicians, Saint Cecilia’s Day marks the beginning of the Christmas season in southern Italy. Traditionally celebrated with music and concerts, it is also customary to enjoy le pettole di Santa Cecilia, a fried dough specialty sometimes sprinkled with sugar or stuffed with anchovies, capers and codfish. In commemoration, I'm posting A Prayer to Saint Cecilia. The accompanying photo of The Ecstasy of St. Cecilia is by Bernardo Cavallino (ca.1616-1656), courtesy of the Museo di Capodimonte in Napoli.
A Prayer to Saint Cecilia
O glorious saint, who chose to die instead of denying your King, we pray you please to help us as His fair praise we sing. We lift our hearts in joyous song to honor Him this way. And while we sing, remember-ing, to sing is to doubly pray. At once in our hearts and in our tongues we offer double prayer sent heavenward on winged notes to praise God dwelling there. While in our hearts and tongues we try with song to praise God twice, we ask dear saint, to help us be united close to Christ! Amen.

Compra Sud — SIT Italy

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

SIT Italy (US Headquarters)
302 Washington Street #158
San Diego, CA 92103

Premium travel services in Italy. Specializing in Southern Italian destinations. Real Casa di Borbone delle Due Sicilie fornitore ufficiale.

Phone: +1-310-734-6206
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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.

November 21, 2017

Risorgimento Lecture and Plaque Unveiling at the Italian American Museum

Prof. Eric J. Ierardi with standard of the Guardia D'Onore
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Curiosity got the better of me Thursday evening (Nov. 9th) and I decided to attend the “Risorgimento” lecture and dedication of a bronze plaque in honor of Il Padre della Patria, King Vittorio Emanuele II, at the Italian American Museum. Sponsored by the Guardia D’Onore* (Guard of Honor) and the American Foundation of Savoy Orders, I was not hopeful for an upfront discussion about this controversial period of history.
Sadly, due to an unfortunate accident, the original speaker could not make it so Prof. Eric J. Ierardi filled in for him. Perhaps I’m too polite, but seeing as how Prof. Ierardi read from a prepared speech, and admitted he wasn’t an expert on the subject, I didn’t think it expedient to blindside him with condemnation and refutations. However, when I did voice my dissatisfaction to Dr. Joseph Scelsa, President of the Italian American Museum, to his credit he immediately offered us an opportunity to present our side of the story at a future date.
First of all, I would like to say the representatives of The Guards were genteel and friendly. I have nothing against them personally—in fact, I can easily see myself discussing history and politics over a beer with them—we just don’t see eye-to-eye about certain aspects of the Risorgimento and the Italian nation.
For the most part the lecture was simply rehashing the official history of Italian Unification; e.g. the origin of the name Italy (Vitalia, or “Calf-land”) originates in Calabria; the Battle of Magenta was fought on June 4, 1859; the first capital of Italy was Turin; and statues of the King still stand in many Italian cities. All of which is true. I don’t even have a problem with them calling King Vittorio Emanuele II Il Padre della Patria (Father of the Fatherland), after all, there is no Italy without him. The problem is Vittorio Emanuele II was not a very good father. I see him more like the Titan Kronos who devoured his children than a respected father figure.
(L) The Hon. Carl J. Morelli, Chairman of the Board of the American Foundation of the Savoy Order, and (r) Prof. Ierardi unveil the bronze plaque with Dr. Scelsa
I don’t begrudge others their opinions, but I do take umbrage with some of the unfounded accusations bandied about; for example referring to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies as a corrupt state that needed Garibaldi to invade and liberate it. Despite repeating a thoroughly discredited trope of southern Italy as backwards and oppressed, for the life of me I cannot see how someone can say in the same breath that the Neapolitan Bourbons were corrupt (without citing a single example), then praise Cavour and Mazzini for conspiring with the French and inciting riots in Lombardy (which at the time was part of the Austrian Empire) and the Papal States.
The ingrained bias against southern Italy was clear, not even the "hated" Austrians were mentioned in such disparaging terms. Apparently, these fabrications are necessary to legitimize the conquest and annexation of a foreign sovereign state. For someone like me, who is a proud Duesiciliano American and does not identify with being Italian, the Unification of Italy is not something to be celebrated.
Where Prof. Ierardi did shine, however, was his knowledge and zeal for the Guardia D’Onore. Taking great pride in their function as honor guard, whose duty it is to protect the tombs of the Royal Family at the Pantheon in Rome and elsewhere, he laments the lack of interest from young people and the aging of its membership. A way too common complaint these days among religious and traditional associations, they are not alone in facing this daunting dilemma.
(L) Table with Guard literature and flag.
(R) Detail of plaque showing historic medallion
The plaque unveiling ceremony itself was short and sweet, and the handful of attendees seemed pleased. While I don’t care much for the King’s visage, admittedly the workmanship of the bronze medallion affixed to the tablet was top-notch. Since the museum will be undergoing massive renovations in the near future, the plaque will not be displayed until its grand reopening.
Despite the current iconoclast climate running rampant across the nation, I would not like to see the monument destroyed by an irate mob or an overzealous ideologue. Even though it is an unpleasant historical reminder, it serves as a historical record. Frankly, the medallion is right where it belongs, in a museum where current and future generations of Italian Americans can openly discuss and debate this period of their history.  
* The United States Delegation of L'Istituto Nazionale per la Guardia d'Onore alle Reali Tombe del Pantheon

Solemn High Mass for the Start of Advent in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

November 20, 2017

Photo of the Week: Ruins at Paestum

Remnants of buildings at Paestum, Salerno
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

Annual Neapolitan Baroque Crèche and Angel Tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Angel by Giuseppe Sanmartino
Nov. 21, 2017—Jan. 7, 2018 (Tree-lighting daily at 4:30pm, with additional ceremonies on Fridays and Saturdays at 5:30 and 6:30pm)

Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York

The Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche at The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a long-established yuletide tradition in New York. The brightly lit, twenty-foot blue spruce—with a collection of eighteenth-century Neapolitan angels and cherubs among its boughs and groups of realistic crèche figures flanking the Nativity scene at its base—once again delight holiday visitors in the Museum's Medieval Sculpture Hall. Set in front of the eighteenth-century Spanish choir screen from the Cathedral of Valladolid, with recorded Christmas music in the background, the installation reflects the spirit of the holiday season. The exhibit of the crèche is made possible by gifts to The Christmas Tree Fund and the Loretta Hines Howard Fund.

November 19, 2017

Feast of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

Evviva Santa Elisabetta d'Ungheria!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
November 19th is the Feast Day of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, patron saint of nurses, the poor, the homeless and widows. Living a life of prayer and sacrifice, her compassion towards the sick and the poor endeared her to the whole of Christendom. To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. The accompanying photo was 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 Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
Our father in heaven, Your servant, Saint Elizabeth brought care to the sick, food to the hungry and hope to the hopeless, grant us thy blessing that we may follow in her footsteps with love and joy in our hearts. Amen.

Argenio Returns to New York City Just in Time for Christmas

Silk pocket square with coat-of-arms of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
From November 26th thru December 1st, acclaimed fashion designer Salvatore Argenio will be presenting his highly anticipated new collection of Neapolitan haute couture at the Best Western Plus Hospitality Hotel at 145 E 49th Street, New York, NY 10017. To make an appointment contact the maestro at or visit

November 18, 2017

Vincenzo Bellini's Norma at the Metropolitan Opera

Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Opera
New production Sept. 25th–Dec. 16th

Metropolitan Opera

30 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY 10023

Norma is perhaps the archetypal bel canto opera, a style of singing that flourished in Italy in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Its principal features are beauty of tone, legato phrasing, and the delivery of florid ornamentation. The score of Norma is characterized by extraordinary melody punctuated by sharp moments of raw drama. The primary functions of the clear orchestral writing are to move the drama along with vigorous rhythm and to inform certain moments with feeling and emotion. Continue reading


The Presepe Napoletano: A Presentation by Anita Sanseverino and Lou Barrella

Tuesday, November 28th @7:00PM

The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere
79 Howard Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10301

The Presepe Napoletano is more than a Nativity scene! It is a unique art form which combines the birth of Christ with the daily life of the people of Naples. This art form places Naples at the center of the monumental event of the birth of Christ! The art form reached its pinnacle in 18th century Naples, but still continues today. Come and learn the history of this art form and appreciate the detailed re-creation of the traditional Presepe as crafted by local artist, John Miniero. Two new original presepe creations will be displayed.

An award-winning photographer dedicated to the subject of Italy, as well as a lecturer and scholar of Italian history and culture, Sanseverino began her career by photographing New York City more than 20 years ago. She is a recipient of the Woman of Achievement in the Arts Award, and has had solo exhibitions at the Westchester Italian Cultural Center, the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, Wagner College, Ramapo College and the Columbus Citizens Foundation. Her work highlighting the unique beauty of the Puglia region of Italy was featured in BRIDGE Apulia-USA Magazine. Her photographs are on permanent display at the Frederick Gallery in Spring Lake, New Jersey and at Wagner College, and are held in various private collections in the United States, Italy, and Argentina.

Please reserve in advance for this wonderful program so that we can plan accordingly for the group.

Suggested Donation: Non-Members $25; Members $22

Refreshments and light fare will be provided.

Pre-payment is recommended and appreciated. We accept credit cards over the phone.

For any questions or to register for this program, please call 718-273-7660 or E-mail

Parking will be located directly across the street at Notre Dame Academy Elementary School.

November 17, 2017

In the Musical Wonderland of Alessandra Salerno

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Monday, Nov. 27th @ 6PM—8PM

Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò
New York University
24 West 12th Street
New York, NY 10011

The artist from Palermo, and guest of honor at the past NIAF annual gala, will introduce herself by singing and playing at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Merimò.

She’s a young voice between the past and the future. Considered the spiritual winner of “The Voice of Italy 2015,” Salerno’s music is enchanting.

“Alessandra is able to create a world from which I would never leave. When I hear a voice like hers, I want to stay in that world and remain in silence for a minute after I leave it…” (Robi Facchinetti – Pooh)

Alessandra Salerno’s “blind audition” is used as the Promo for the show one week prior to its first broadcast. According to WebTopTrends Italia, it has become a true web phenomenon with over 2 million web views, over 40 thousand shares, and her name at the top ten most commented Tweets. In Latin America, her video has 3 million web views and over 50 thousand shares.

As the original interpreter of Rosa Balistrieri, she has a repertoire that includes various genres. She also has a production under her own name. And surprise–she also plays the autoharp: “I began to study it after falling in love with June Carter and Johnny Cash.”

Q & A with Stefano Albertini (Director of Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò) and Letizia Airos (Editor in Chief of i-Italy Network)

Naples '44 at Film Forum, New York

November 16, 2017

Feast of San Giuseppe Moscati

Evviva San Giuseppe!
November 16th is the Feast Day of San Giuseppe Moscati, the "Holy Physician of Naples." Born on July 25th, 1880 in Benevento, Giuseppe was the seventh of nine children of Rosa (née de Luca, Marchesi dei Roseto) and Francesco Moscati, a magistrate from Santa Lucia di Serino. He studied medicine and surgery at the University of Naples, graduating summa cum laude in 1903. In 1906, during an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, he risked his own life evacuating patients from the crumbling Riuniti Hospital in Torre del Greco.
With the outbreak of WWI, Dr. Moscati volunteered his services and cared for thousands of wounded soldiers. After the war, he returned to his practice in Naples caring for the poor at the Hospital for the Incurables. Not only did he refuse payment from his impoverished patients, Dr. Moscati would often give them money for their prescriptions. He tragically died on April 12th, 1927 at the age of 46. Beatified on November 16th, 1975 by Pope Paul VI, he was canonized just sixty years after his death on October 25th, 1987 by Pope John Paul II. He is the patron saint of physicians and bachelors. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a prayer to Saint Giuseppe Moscati. 
Prayer to Saint Giuseppe Moscati
Dear St. Joseph Moscati, true model of Christian doctors, in the exercise of your medical profession, you always took care of both the body and soul of every patient. Look on us, who have recourse to your heavenly intercession, and obtain for us both physical and spiritual health, and a share in the dispensation of heavenly favors. Soothe the pains of our suffering people; give comfort to the sick, consolation to the afflicted and hope to the despondent. May our young people find in you an ideal, our workers an example, the aging a comfort, the dying the hope of eternal salvation. To all of us be a pattern of industriousness, honesty and charity; so we may comply with our Christian duties and glorify God our Father. Amen.

Malta Walks NYC (November 2017)

This Tuesday, November 21st 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 or call 917-566-3937. For additional information, the Order can be found on Facebook at

Also see:

Auxiliary Malta Walk in NYC, October 2017
Auxiliary Malta Walks in NYC, July 2017

• Supporting the “Malta Walks” Street Ministry

Mass in Honor of Sant'Agnello Abate di Napoli in Asbury Park, New Jersey

November 14, 2017

Congratulations Cav. Thomas Barra on Your Investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George

Cav. Thomas Barra
Sunday, November 5, 2017, Cathedral of St. Mathew the Apostle, Washington DC
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Congratulations Cav. Thomas Barra on your investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George. All the best from your friends at Il Regno.
May you never cease to emulate our heavenly patron with alacrity to follow in the footsteps of His only begotten Son, who is our alpha and our omega, our beginning and end.

The Mediterranean Diet: Past, Present and Future

A Tribute to Ancel Keys and Flaminio Fidanza
Wednesday, November 15th @ 6:00 PM

Italian American Museum and The Ph.D. School in Cultural Heritage, Educational & Territory Faculty of Humanities University of Rome Tor Vergata cordially invite you to attend a seminar on the Mediterranean Diet.

Orlandino Greco
Chancellor, Regione Calabria
Ancel Keys a Nicotera

Antonino De Lorenzo
University of Rome Tor Vergata
The Healthy Value of Mediterranean Diet

Franco Salvatori
University of Rome Tor Vergata
Territory and Health: A Journey Through the Italian Food Landscapes

Fabio Parasecoli
The New School, New York
Knowing Where It Comes From: Labeling Traditional Foods to Compete in a Global Market

Msgr. Hilary Franco

Light refreshments will be served
Suggested donation of $10 per person

Italian American Museum
155 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10013

For reservations, call 212-965-9000 or fax at 347-810-1028

Neapolitan Crèche at the Art Institute of Chicago

Photo courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago
November 18, 2017 — January 7, 2018

Art Institute of Chicago

(Gallery 209)
111 S Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60603

After its widely popular debut in 2013, our spectacular 18th-century Neapolitan crèche returns once again this holiday season. One of the very few and finest examples of such a work outside of Naples, the crèche is an intricate Nativity scene that reflects the vitality and artisanship that the city is still known for. The Art Institute’s crèche features over 200 figures—including no less than 50 animals and 41 items of food and drink—all staged in a spectacular Baroque cabinet with a painted backdrop. Elaborate, complex, and wondrous, the Neapolitan crèche is a rare example of the genre and a once-in-a-lifetime acquisition for the Art Institute.

Sacred imagery reenacting the Nativity has its roots in fourth-century Rome but by the 13th and 14th centuries, in part due to its association with St. Francis of Assisi, such scenes had become a permanent feature of Neapolitan churches. During the 18th century, the period from which most of the figures of the Art Institute’s crèche date, these relatively simple tableaux underwent a transformation into highly dramatic and theatrical renderings. Traditional sacred elements of Nativity scenes—the Holy Family, wise men, angels, and shepherds—were combined with profane aspects not of Bethlehem but of contemporary Neapolitan life—rowdy tavern scenes and bustling street activities—in dazzling displays of artistic techniques. Churches, wealthy citizens, members of the nobility, and the royal family all competed to commission the most complex presentations of this popular art form from leading artists and artisans, the same people who were creating monumental sculptures and altars for churches and palaces. These artists rendered figures in oil-painted terracotta to achieve the most realistic expressions in crèches and constructed painstakingly detailed costumes of luxurious fabrics that mimicked the fashions of the time. The Art Institute’s crèche represents the pinnacle of this artistic practice, born of the centuries-old tradition of Nativity scenes yet bursting with the energy of 18th-century Neapolitan life.

Due to the fragility of the original silk costumes and exquisite embroidery, the Neapolitan crèche can only be on view for a few weeks every year. Don’t miss your chance to revel in Baroque artistry this season!

Source: Art Institute of Chicago

November 13, 2017

The Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George Investiture Mass in Washington DC

After Mass, Dama Rosanna Minervivi and Cavs. Vincent Gangone,
John Napoli and Charles Sant'Elia show their Two Sicilies pride.
Investiture by command of His Royal Highness Prince Carlo Maria di Borbone delle Due Sicilie, by the Grace of God and Hereditary Right, Duke of Castro, Head of the Royal House of Bourbon–Two Sicilies, Grand Master of the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House
Sunday, November 5th, I had the honor of joining Her Royal Highness, Grand Prefect and Dame Grand Cross of Justice with Collar, Princess Beatrice of Bourbon–Two Sicilies, our US Delegate H.E. Cav. John M. Viola and the rest of my esteemed brethren in welcoming some 30 new and promoted Knights and Dames into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George and Royal Order of Francis I at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle (1725 Rhode Island Ave.) the official chapel of the Order in Washington, DC. 
The Investiture Mass was concelebrated by Cav. Rev. Msgr. Charles Antonicelli, Cav. Rev. Msgr. W Ronald Jameson, Cav. Rev. Msgr. Christopher Hynes, Cav. Rt. Rev. Msgr. Economos Romanus V. Russo, Cav. Rev. Msgr. James Watkins, Rev. Fr. Michael Duffy, Cav. Rev. Fr. Michael Lankford-Stokes, Cav. Rev. Fr. Dr. Richard Seagraves, and Cav. Rev. Fr. David Skoblow, Esq. Sadly, due to illness His Eminence, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Prior of the Delegation, Bailiff Grand Cross of Justice, was unable to attend.
Masters of Ceremony were Deacon James Garcia and Chancellor Pasquale Menna; Marshals Cav. Nicholas Nicholson and Cav. Joseph Sciame; Lectors Hon. Michael Steele and Dr. Catherine Stevenson; Organist Suzanne Bechamps and Cantor Ellen Kliman; and Offertory gift bearers Cav. George Malone and Dama Susan Malone.
Postulants Hon. Wayne Bacchus, Thomas Barra, and Rocco Berardi
Honors and promotions of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George were presented to Hon. Samuel Alito, AJSC, Knight Grand Cross of Merit; Hon. Dominic Massaro, Knight Grand Cross of Merit; Nicola D’Elia, Knight Commander Jus Patronato of Grace; Baron Dr. Robert Alessandro LaRocca, Knight Commander of Justice; Rev. Msgr. W. Ronald Jameson, Knight Commander of Ecclesiastical Grace; Timothy Pickles, Knight Commander with Star; Rev. Fr. William Farge, SJ, Knight of Ecclesiastical Grace; Rev. Fr. Michael Lankford–Stokes, Knight of Ecclesiastical Grace; Rt. Rev. Msgr. Economos V. Russo, Knight of Ecclesiastical Grace; Rev. Fr. David Skowblow, Knight of Ecclesiastical Grace; Hon. Anita Bevaqua McBride, Dame of Merit with Star; Hon. Wayne Bacchus, Knight of Merit; Thomas Barra, Knight of Merit; Rocco Berardi, Knight of Merit; Nicholas Caiazzo, Knight of Merit; Linda Carlozzi, Dame of Merit; Aileen Mary Ann Shapiro Carlucci, Dame of Merit; Robert Edward Carlucci, Knight of Merit; Luisa Maria Cristfano, Dame of Merit; Nicholas Fedeli, Knight of Merit; Cav. Vincent Gangone, Knight of Merit; Rosanna Minervini, Dame of Merit; Joseph Panepinto, Sr., Knight of Merit; Joseph Panepinto, Jr., Knight of Merit; Marc Reynolds, Knight of Merit; Dr. Thomas Rossi, Knight of Merit; and Debra Costa Turano; Dame of Merit.
Contantinian sword, spurs and celestial blue collar with Cross,
symbols of our Order's oath to defend the faith
Honors and promotions of the Royal Order of Francis I were presented to H.E. Dama Dr. Margaret Badum Melady, Dama di Commenda; Louis Andre Mendola-Mantegna, Knight Commander; Scott MacMillan Baron Rathdown, Knight Commander; and Hon. Ambassador David Thorne, Knight Commander.
After Mass we adjourned to the historic Decatur House (748 Jackson Place) on Lafayette Square for a Benefit Dinner to help raise money for the hurricane victims in Texas. Following the cocktail reception in the courtyard, guests relocated to the dining hall where we were welcomed by Master of Ceremony Chancellor Menna. 
Newly knighted Joseph Panepinto Sr. and Joseph Panepinto Jr.
with HRH Princess Beatrice di Borbone
Before enjoying our sumptuous repast, Cav. Msgr. Hynes delivered the Invocation and H.E. Cav. Viola offered a heartfelt toast. Between courses, we were given a brief history of the house and reminded of the heroics of US navel officer Commodore Stephen Decatur Jr. and his Sicilian pilot Salvatore Catalano during the First Barbary War (1801-1805). 
Individuals were recognized for their service and felicitations were offered to our new brethren. I was especially moved by the reinstitution of Don Nicola D’Elia of Toronto to the Jus Patronato Commandery, which was stricken from his ancestors in 1861 after the conquest of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Don Nicola and his family expressed great joy and pride in reclaiming their familial history and patrimony.
Don Nicola D’Elia with his proud family
After dinner HRH Princess Beatrice warmly addressed the audience. Referring to us as family, she encouraged us all to hold on to our traditions, remember our roots and to keep our faith. She received a rousing standing ovation.
The evening came to a close with the Benediction by Cav. Rt. Rev. Economos Russo.
Congratulations to our new and honored confratelli and consorelle, we wish you all the best and much success in the Order. Thank you to the Knights and Dames of the Order of St. Michael of the Wing, The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, Johanniter Order and the Order of Malta for celebrating with us.

We remember in our prayers our Prior, His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, asking our heavenly patron St. George to assist in his recovery.
Dama Rosanna Minervivi flanked by uniformed knights,
Vice Chancellor Patrick O'Boyle and Cav. Anthony O'Boyle.
(L) Dama of Merit miniature ribbon.
(R) Knight Commander Jus Patronato of Grace miniature medal
(L) At the Decatur House, Chancellor Hon. Pasquale Menna and Cav. Msgr. Hynes. (R) A few remarks and toast by Delegate John M. Viola
(L) HRH Princess Beatrice di Borbone addresses the audience.
(R) A few words before Cav. Rt. Rev. Economies Russo leads us in prayer
(L) Our beloved Delegate was presented with a certificate of appreciation by the Comitati Delle Due Sicilie USA. (R) Cavs. Sant'Elia and O'Boyle
Cav. Lt. Col. Robert Ruffolo and Cav. John Napoli
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Also see:
For Altar and Throne: Investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George
Investiture and Mass in the Presence of the Royal Family of the Two Sicilies at St. Patrick's

Feast of Saint Frances Cabrini

America's first saint
November 13th is the Feast Day of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, patron saint of immigrants. The first United States citizen to be canonized, she came to America on March 31, 1889 at the urging of Pope Leo XIII to help Italian immigrants. She founded numerous institutions dedicated to caring for the poor, the uneducated and the sick, including the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to Mother Cabrini. The accompanying photos were taken at the Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine in Washington Heights, New York.
Prayer to Mother Cabrini
Almighty and Eternal Father, Giver of all Gifts, show us Thy mercy, and grant, we beseech Thee, through the merits of Thy faithful Servant, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, that all who invoke her intercession may obtain what they desire according to the good pleasure of Thy Holy Will. (here name your request) St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, beloved spouse of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, intercede for us that the favor we now ask may be granted.

Traditional Mass for Feast of St. Albert the Great

Wednesday, November 15th @ 7:00PM – 8:30PM

Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena
869 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Our Parish will offer a Missa Cantata in the Dominican Rite for the Feast of the Saint Albert the Great, O.P., Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and teacher of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The Mass will take place on November 15 at 7 pm at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer.

The Schola will sing the Taverner’s Missa Sancti Wilhelmi devotio, Palestrina’s Justus ut palma (I); and Willaert’s O salutaris hostia.

November 12, 2017

Congratulations Cav. Rt. Rev. Economos Romanos V. Russo on Your Investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George as Knight of Ecclesiastical Grace

Cav. Rt. Rev. Economos Romanos Russo receiving medal of the Order
from Delegate Cav. John Viola. Sunday, November 5, 2017,
Cathedral of St. Mathew the Apostle, Washington DC
Photo courtesy of Cav. Charles Sant'Elia
Congratulations Cav. Rt. Rev. Economos Romanos V. Russo on your investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George as Knight of Ecclesiastical Grace. All the best from your friends at Il Regno.
May you never cease to emulate our heavenly patron with alacrity to follow in the footsteps of His only begotten Son, who is our alpha and our omega, our beginning and end.