February 28, 2018

Announcing NIAF's 2018 La Tavola di San Giuseppe in Washington, D.C.

Around the Web: Excerpt from Off the Menu Episode 57 — "Italian Unification: Good or Bad?"

Historian Charles A. Coulombe and co-hosts Vincent Frankini of Tumblar House briefly discuss Italian Unification on their highly entertaining weekly question and answer show, Off the Menu.

Dominican Rite Mass for the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas in New York City

Wednesday, March 7th (7PM)

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

On March 7, the traditional feast of St. Thomas Aquinas will be commemorated by a Dominican Rite Missa Cantata at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer.

The Schola Cantorum will sing the following music:

Missa L’homme armé á 5 – Cristóbal de Morales
In conspectu angelorum – Sebastián de Vivanco
O sacrum convivum á 6 – Francisco Guerrero

February 27, 2018

Feast of San Gabriele dell’Addolorata

Evviva San Gabriele!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
February 27th is the Feast Day of San Gabriele dell’Addolorata (Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows), Passionist of the Holy Cross. Protector of the Abruzzo Region of southern Italy, he is also the Patron Saint of students, clerics and young people.
To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to Saint Gabriel. The accompanying photo was taken at St. Francis of Paola Church (219 Conselyea Street) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Prayer to Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
O Good Saint Gabriel, God inspired you to see the Passion of Jesus as it was reflected in the heart of Mary His Mother. By her side you stood beneth the cross of Jesus, gazing on Him as she did and learning the meaning of love. O Saint Gabriel, we wish, like you, to grow in love for God and all God’s people. Remember us in our trials, remember especially those who are young. Support us by your prayers all our days. And when this life is done may we join you in heaven in the company of Jesus and Mary. Amen.

February 26, 2018

NYC Auxiliary Malta Walk, February 2018

Francesca Tempesta, DM (right), and the Order of Malta Auxiliary
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Tuesday evening, I once again joined the Knights, Dames and auxiliary members of the Knights of Malta for their monthly Auxiliary Malta Walk. Meeting every third Tuesday of the month at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral parish house (263 Mulberry Street), volunteers prepare and distribute food and toiletries to the homeless.
God Bless Dama Francesca Tempesta, organizer of the monthly walk, Pastor Msgr. Donald Sakano, and all the members of the Order and Auxiliary for their hard work and generosity. As always, it was a tremendous honor to serve with such an outstanding group of people.
Anyone interested in supporting this noble endeavor can contact the Order of Malta Auxiliary at nycaux@orderofmaltaamerican.org or call 917-566-3937. For additional information, the Order can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/maltaauxiliarynyc.

Photo of the Week: Perseus and Andromeda

Fresco of Perseus and Andromedafrom a house in the Insula Occidentalis at Pompeii, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (Photo by New York Scugnizzo)

February 25, 2018

Help Support Caliendo's Banda Napoletana's GoFundMe Campaign: Uniform Hats for Italian Feast Band

This year we will be celebrating our 45th consecutive year under the incarnation of "Caliendo's Banda Napoletana" in Chicago, Ill. We are one of the few authentic Italian festival bands left in the entire United States, and an independent organization dedicated to preserving the beautiful tradition of Italian symphonic band music. All of the years playing outdoors in virtually every type of weather in the feasts have definitely taken their toll on the band musicians' uniform hats. Many are wore out so bad they are barely holding together and many musicians simply don’t have one. We have endeavored all of these years to maintain the strict Italian feast band tradition both in our music and attire, in fact the style of uniforms replicate the similar bands in Italy and our original Neapolitan band in Chicago, the Strocchia Band that originated in the Taylor St. Little Italy in 1926. Understandably in this day and age it's very expensive to outfit the band with new hats, but we are going to try with this Gofundme effort. It is important to note we have never required the musicians to have to purchase their own uniforms due to the high cost; owing to the fact the little $ they make playing the feasts here in Chicago barely covers all the time and efforts they devote to help continue this beautiful tradition of the band. Additionally this is a very special year as it's the 125th Anniversary of the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Melrose Park, and the Centennial of the St. Rocco di Simbario feast is rapidly approaching. We pray that we will get the funding necessary to continue on in the proper manner. 

Announcing the 106th Annual Pilgrimage & Feast of Saints Cosmas & Damian in Utica, New York


February 24, 2018

Happy Birthday Prince Carlo di Borbone!

HRH was born in Saint Raphaël, France on February 24, 1963
Photo courtesy of Real Casa di Borbone
Happy Birthday Prince Carlo di Borbone – Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro and Grand Master of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George! We pray that your special day be filled with the glory and wonder of God’s abiding love, and may you feel His presence throughout the coming year. Peace be upon you. Auguri!

Traditional Latin Masses During Lent at Holy Innocents Church in Neptune, New Jersey

February 22, 2018

Feast of the Chair of San Pietro Apostolo at Antioch

Evviva San Pietro!
February 22nd is the Feast of the Chair of San Pietro Apostolo (St. Peter the Apostle) at Antioch, a celebration of the first Pope’s foundation of the See of Antioch before going to Rome. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a prayer to St. Peter the Apostle. The accompanying photo of Saint Peter Enthroned was taken at St. Ann’s Church in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Prayer to St. Peter the Apostle

O Holy Apostle, because you are the Rock upon which Almighty God has built His church; 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, recollection 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 worthy to appear before the chief and eternal Shepherd of souls, Jesus Christ, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns for ever. Amen.

February 20, 2018

Feast of San Leone, Vescovo di Catania

San Leone defeating Heliodorus
Chiesa del Santissimo Crocifisso
Santa Maria di Licodia, Catania
February 20th is the Feast Day of San Leone, Vescovo di Catania. Patron saint of Rometta (ME), Longi (ME), Sinagra (ME) and Saracena (CS), he was renowned for his compassion and charity. Due to the many healing miracles attributed to him, San Leone was also known as a thaumaturge, or "wonderworker."

Though kind and generous, the beloved Bishop was not one to be trifled with. According to popular legend, a wicked and troublesome magician named Heliodorus (Eliodoro) would regularly harass San Leone and cause disturbances during Mass. Sowing confusion and doubt among the laity with black magic, the fiend repeatedly refused San Leone’s requests to cease and repent.

Fed up with sorcerer’s impudence (and fearful for the wellbeing of his parishioners) San Leone ordered a bonfire built in the piazza. Dragging Heliodorus by his collar, together they jumped onto the burning pyre. Consumed by the flames the charlatan was immolated, leaving behind a pile of smoldering ash. Dusting off his omophorion (shoulder vestment), San Leone returned to the church unscathed and triumphant.
In commemoration, I’m posting a Prayer to San Leone di Catania. Evviva San Leone!
Prayer to San Leone di Catania
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the examples of San Leone di Catania may effectually move us to reform our lives; that while we celebrate his festival, we may also imitate his actions. Look upon our weakness, almighty God, and since the burden of our own deeds weighs heavily upon us, may the glorious intercession of San Leone protect us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Photo of the Week: The Dancing Faun at the Casa del Fauno in Pompeii

Replica of The Dancing Faun at the Casa del Fauno, Pompeii
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

February 19, 2018

Comitati delle Due Sicilie USA Mark Day of Remembrance for the Fallen of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

For Immediate Release: New York - 13 February 2018
The members and friends of the CDS USA on this Day of Memory of the Fallen of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies remember all of the victims of the Risorgimento and the many sacrifices and suffering the Duosiciliani endured since 1860 up until our times. By now for twenty years with pride and love for our ancestral land we have been fighting abroad for the dignity of our people. From the United States, where the Two Sicilies under HM Ferdinando I opened the first embassy of an Italian state and a large consular network from New York, Boston, and Washington to Savannah, Mobile and New Orleans, we are proud to launch programs to spread awareness of our history and of our culture.
The members and friends of the CDS USA likewise express their living solidarity with all of our dear countrymen of the Two Sicilies Diaspora spread throughout the world, and in a particular manner we second the sentiments expressed by Fiore Marro during his intervention at the «Eccellenze di Napoli» conference held on 8 February.  More than ever we need a solid and firm unity based on our historic identity, not on political programs and slogans of a false patriotism. The fact that yet again politicians coming from other latitudes, the bearers and continuation of failed and inapplicable ideologies and the supporters of historiographies based on the empty propaganda of yesterday come seeking collaborations, thrusts us further towards our own.
We observe such nervous and frenetic behaviors on the part of the politicians as good news. We are winning. The more they seek to denigrate our movement, the more they court our votes, the more they send fake and corrupt scholars to challenge and attack our publications, the more it becomes evident that they feel threatened.  And rightfully so: we gave ourselves back our identity. Today we are many, in many countries, in many sectors.  And we make ourselves heard. We abroad are the living proof that the Risorgimento experiment not only failed (after the creation of Italy we left by the millions, from North to South), but that the thesis according to which, we had and still need a so-called civilizing mission to show us the way is a false premise.  As soon as we remove the «Italian» superstructure we execute important projects.  It stands out that abroad we are the most economically powerful and culturally relevant «Italians». We generate jobs, create works of art, carry out engagements at banks and multinationals, conduct scientific research, and we import the greater part of Italian products (including those of the North). Nonetheless, we want to live with dignity at home, reunited with our families.
We wish for a new phase of undertakings, development, commerce and cultural production, worthy of our people and of our best traditions. Such a phase shall commence based on our strong identity. We shall overcome every obstacle, together, shoulder to shoulder, in the spirit of true brotherhood, our own, under our true and only Flag. We must bypass Rome, Milan, Turin and similar places, and go directly to the markets of New York, London, Berlin and Tokyo to make ourselves heard and to make ourselves rise to the place that our ancient civilization merits, without any mediation and no intervention on the part of those who do not have our interests at heart. The more we frequent each other, and exchange ideas and experiences, the more business we do among each other, the further we will go.  We assume full responsibility to protect our interests.  We don’t need the presumed help of third parties and we shall exercise our rights and demonstrate our capacities to the world.  All we need is our unity.  Therefore we invite all those who love our people to join with us and bring forward the work already begun by our ancestors right after the fall of the Kingdom.
A fraternal embrace to our dear brothers and sisters spread throughout the world. We are always with you. Honor to the resistants. We shall see each other in Gaeta!

Comitati delle Due Sicilie USA

Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form on the Second Sunday of Lent, Bronx, New York

February 18, 2018

Weekly Rosary and Stations of the Cross with the Figli Maria SS. Addolorata in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Evviva Santa Rita!
Friday evening I joined our friends from the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata for their hebdomadal prayer service in honor of St. Rita of Cascia. Meeting in the basement of the Nazareth Center, on the corner of 62nd Street and Bay Parkway in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, members convened for week two of their 15 week devotional to the patroness of desperate causes.
Gathered before the statues of the Sacro Cuore di Gesù, the Madonna Addolorata, and, of course, Santa Rita, we began the service by praying the Stations of the Cross in Italian. As part of our Lenten devotion, each Station was read aloud by a different member, with the rest of the group reciting the responsorial and prayers (Padre Nostro, Ave Maria, Gloria al Padre). 
We then took a moment of silence for the victims of the Florida school shooting and their families.
Next, our group prayed the Rosary. As with the Stations, a different member took the lead for each decade and Sorrowful Mystery.

The service concluded with a final prayer, hymn, and the Litany of St. Rita of Cascia.
Afterward, participants retired to the refectory for some coffee, homemade cookies and a game of tombola. Though the sweets looked delicious and the game lots of fun, I had to decline because of my Lenten fast. I did, however, enjoy the fellowship and the hot cup of joe.
Save the Date:
The society will be organizing a pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia in Philadelphia, PA on Sunday, May 20th (Details TBA). There will be a Feast Day Mass and small procession on Tuesday, May 22nd, at 7:30pm at St. Athanasius Church (2154 61st St.) in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Anyone interested in participating with the Figli Maria SS. Addolorata should call Lucrezia at 917-509-2803 or find them on Facebook at Figli Maria S.S. Addolorata.

Announcing the 99th Annual "Feast of All Feasts!" San Antonio di Padova in Boston, Massachusetts


February 16, 2018

Feast of Santa Giuliana di Nicomedia (St. Juliana)

Evviva Santa Giuliana!
February 16th is the Feast Day of Santa Giuliana di Nicomedia (c.285-c.305), Virgin and Martyr. Protector of Frasso Telesino (BN) and Frattamaggiore (NA), she is the patron saint of pregnant women and the sick. According to tradition, Giuliana was born to a noble family in Nicomedia. She converted to Christianity and refused to marry her betrothed, who was a pagan. Denounced as a Christian, she was tortured and eventually beheaded during the great persecutions under Emperor Diocletian. She was only 18 years old. Her remains were to be transferred to Rome, but ended up at Cuma when the ship sank off the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. [Alternate versions claim she was originally from Cuma and the Nicomedian birth and translation were later embellishments to her story.] In 1207 the saint’s relics were translated to Naples, after Cuma was conquered by the Neapolitans. They are currently preserved in the crypt of San Guglielmo at the Santuario di Montevergine in Avellino. In commemoration I’m posting a prayer to St. Juliana of Nicomedia.
Prayer to St. Juliana of Nicomedia
Lord God, You gave St. Juliana the crown of eternal joy because she gave her life rather than renounce the virginity she had promised in witness to Christ. Encouraged by her generosity, help us to rise out of the bondage of our earthly desires and attain to the glory of your kingdom. 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 

Celebrating Martedì Grasso & Jurnata d''a Memoria at Norma Gastronomia Siciliana in New York City

Special thanks to Cav. Charles Sant'Elia, President of the Comitati delle Due Sicilie USA, for organizing this year's Jurnata d''a Memoria 
Tuesday evening, I joined my friends at Norma Gastronomia Siciliana (438 3rd Ave.) in Kips Bay, Manhattan for a joint Martedì Grasso (Fat Tuesday) and Jurnata d''a Memoria (Remembrance Day) dinner. Looking to eat our fill before our Lenten fast, as well as honor the men and women who fought and died defending our ancestral homeland during the northern conquest of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, we gathered at the cozy Sicilian eatery for a traditional Duosiciliano feast.
Some wine to get things started
Warmly greeted, our party was quickly seated beneath a giant mural of an antique map of Sicily, where Norma’s crack wait staff took our sizable drink and dinner orders. 
Boasting an impressive selection of Sicilian wines, we decided on an excellent bottle of Nero d’Avola Lagnusa (Feudo Montoni), Sicily’s famed varietal whose bold fruit flavors paired well with our sumptuous repast.
Before digging in, we began our meal by saying grace, then toasting the memory of our heroic ancestors and kings of yore.
For starters, we enjoyed two distinct and tasty takes on eggplant: timballo di melanzane alla parmigiana, a mouthwatering drum of tender eggplant with mozzarella, parmigiano, basil and tomato sauce; and caponata con mandorle e crostini, a sweet and sour medley of eggplant, celery, olives, cappers, onions, tomato and almonds with crusty bread. The aubergine masterpieces were an auspicious and welcome start to the meal.
Chef Fraterrigo shows his true colors
I rarely pass up an opportunity to eat a rice ball, especially when I see a variation I haven’t tried yet. So when I spotted the arancine nero di seppia, a squid ink risotto stuffed with a spicy shrimp ragù; and the more conventional arancine al burro, made with saffron risotto, mozzarella, butter and ham over a light béchamel sauce; I knew we had to try them. Everything a rice ball should be—crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside—both were packed with lots of flavor and more than lived up to my high expectations.
For our entree we ordered three different pasta dishes. Passing the platters around, we each repeatedly sampled the Busiate al pesto Trapanese, imported Busiate pasta with fresh tomato, basil, Sicilian garlic, almonds and extra virgin olive oil; Anelletti al forno, a baked ring-shaped pasta with green peas, eggplant, ham, pecorino and beef ragù; and Pasta con le sarde a timballo, a breaded drum of spaghetti, fresh Portuguese sardines, wild fennel, pine nuts and saffron. They were all perfectly cooked and delicious, but in my humble opinion the Busiate with its fresh and clean flavors was the star of the evening.
After a short breather, and some café to pick us up, we capped off our meal with a little cannoli, cassatina and tiramisu. This was enjoyed with a delightful Malvasia delle Lipari, a sweet dessert wine aptly nicknamed the “nectar of the gods.” 
To our delight, Executive Chef Salvatore Fraterrigo visited our table and spoke a bit about the food and history of his beloved island and the former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. An all-around terrific dining experience, the maestro and his staff (Emanuela, Enzo, Mirco, et al.) have brought a corner of Sicily to New York City. More than just a place to eat, Norma embodies the warmth and hospitality one expects to find on the celebrated jewel of the Mediterranean. The food was fantastic, the service was friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere was charming. I look forward to going back. 
(Above & below) Due Sicilie pride on display at Norma 
Remembering the defenders of the Kingdom and the sacrifices they made.
May they Rest in Peace and never be forgotten
A giant map of Sicily adorns the restaurant's wall 
Timballo di melanzane alla parmigiana
Caponata con mandorle e crostini
Arancine nero di seppia 
Arancine al burro 
Busiate al pesto Trapanese 
Anelletti al forno 
Pasta con le sarde a timballo
Malvasia delle Lipari, "the nectar of the gods"
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Norma Gastronomia Siciliana ★★★★★
438 3rd Avenue
New York, New York 10016
Tel 212.889.0600

Announcing the 97th Annual Feast of Santa Lucia in Boston, Massachusetts


February 15, 2018

Malta Walks NYC (February 2018)

This Tuesday, February 20th 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@orderofmaltaamerican.org or call 917-566-3937. For additional information, the Order can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/maltaauxiliarynyc.

Also see:

A Week in Review
• NYC's Auxiliary Malta Walk, December 2017
• Auxiliary Malta Walk in NYC, October 2017
• Auxiliary Malta Walks in NYC, July 2017

• Supporting the “Malta Walks” Street Ministry

Solemn High Latin Mass for the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle in Fords, New Jersey

February 14, 2018

Ash Wednesday (Mercoledì delle Ceneri)

Corajisima at the Casa della Cultura
in Palmi, Calabria (Photo courtesy of
Calabria: The Other Italy)
Remember man that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the period preceding Easter devoted to fasting, abstinence and penitence in memory of the forty days Our Lord Jesus Christ spent in the wilderness. A day for contemplating our mortality, crosses are ceremonially drawn on the forehead with blessed ashes made from the burned palm fronds from the previous year’s Palm Sunday. The ashes remind us that life is fleeting and that we need to repent and turn our hearts towards God. In commemoration I’m posting A Prayer for Ash Wednesday. 
The accompanying photo of Corajisima, the mourning wife of Carnevale, is a traditional southern Italian rag doll personifying abstinence during the Lenten season. She holds a spindle and distaff, which represents the passing of time during the 40 days of penitence. Beneath her hangs a lemon (sometimes an orange, potato or onion) with seven feathers stuck in it. Each Sunday a feather is removed, counting down the weeks. The final feather is plucked on Easter, signaling the arrival of spring and the Resurrection.
A Prayer for Ash Wednesday
Gracious God, today begins a period of inner reflection and examination. The days stretch before me and invite me inward to that silent, holy space that holds your Spirit. This special time beckons me to see my life through Christ's eyes and the truth and reality of your love incarnate. Give me the grace to enter the space of these days with anticipation of our meeting. And, when I open my soul to your presence, let your loving kindness flow over me and seep into the pockets of my heart. I ask this for the sake of your love.

Feast of Sant'Antonino di Sorrento

Evviva Sant'Antonino!
Piazza Sant'Antonino, Sorrento
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
February 14th is the Feast Day of Sant'Antonino Abate (Saint Antoninus of Sorrento), protector of Campagna (SA) and Sorrento (NA). 
Born circa 550 AD in Campagna, a small town in the Province of Salerno, Sant'Antonino entered a local Benedictine monastery (some sources say it was the Abbey of Monte Cassino). Forced to flee due to pillaging Lombards, he withdrew to Castellammare di Stabia where he lived as a hermit on Monte Aureo (now Monte Faito), the highest peak of the Lattari Mountains. Following a vision, he erected a sanctuary on the mountain top in honor of Saint Michael the Archangel with the help of his friend Saint Catellus (San Catello Vescovo). Popular among the people of Sorrento, Sant'Antonino eventually succeeded Saint Catellus as abbot of the Monastery of San Agrippino.
Sant'Antonino is reputed to have performed many miracles, including saving Sorrento from Saracen attacks in 1354 and 1358. It is said that he was buried, according to his dying wishes, within the city's ancient walls, thus making them impregnable. During a Lombard attack, the section containing the saint's remains withstood the assault. Legend tells us that Prince Sicard of Benevento was haunted (and beaten!) in his dreams by Sant'Antonino's cudgel wielding apparition until he lifted the siege. 
The Saint, however, is best remembered for rescuing a young child from a giant cetacean. According to the legend, several children were playing along the seashore when a sea creature sprung up and swallowed the boy whole. The child's distraught mother immediately sought help from Antonino. A crowed followed the holy man to the coast, where he called on them to pray for the child's safety. Miraculously, the monster returned and immediately released the frightened, but unharmed, child from its gaping maw.
To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to Sant'Antonino Abate. The accompanying photo was taken during my 2007 visit to Sorrento.
Prayer to Sant'Antonino Abate
Glorious San Antonino, beloved patron of Sorrento, you served God in humility and confidence on earth. In common supplication we turn to you, holy Father Antonino, our gentle patron, asking you to protect this city by the aid of your intercession. May its people be ever devoted to Christ and to you, by serving God and by loving and honoring you. Amen

Feast of San Valentino Martire

Evviva San Valentino!
February 14th is the Feast Day of San Valentino (Saint Valentine’s Day), Bishop and Martyr. He is the patron saint of happy marriages, love, courtship and beekeepers, as well as protector of citrus crops and protection against epilepsy and plague. Widely venerated across southern Italy, he is the principal patron of San Valentino Torio (SA), Vico del Gargano (FG), Abriola (PZ), San Valentino in Abruzzo Citeriore (PE) and Mafalda (CB), among others. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to Saint Valentine. The accompanying photo comes courtesy of Oratorio San Valentino Torio, Salerno.
Prayer to Saint Valentine
Dear Saint and glorious martyr, teach us to love unselfishly and to find great joy in giving. Enable all true lovers to bring out the best in each other. Let them love each other in God and in God in each other. Amen.

February 13, 2018

Fat Tuesday and the Death of Carnevale

In addition to the obligatory Lenten dietary restrictions,
I customarily give up macaroni for Lent
The celebration of Carnevale (Latin for “farewell to flesh”) concludes on Martedì Grasso, or Fat Tuesday. In anticipation of the austerity of Lent, revelers partake in final indulgences before fasting and penitence. In southern Italy the day is typically marked with parades, fireworks and plenty of merrymaking. Large meals consisting of local delicacies, meat and other items eschewed during Lent are greedily enjoyed one last time before the fast. In Naples, the festivities traditionally culminate with the ritual “death” of Carnevale ('A morte 'e Carnevale). Laid out to rest on a decorated funeral bier, a straw effigy personifying the dissolute season is drawn in procession through the crowded streets. Between laments, laughter and revelries, the figure of the self-indulgent Carnevale is immolated and reduced to ashes on a funeral pyre, singling the end of the festive period. In commemoration I’m posting a prayer for Shrove Tuesday.
Shrove Tuesday Prayer
Lord, give us grace to inaugurate with holy fasting the defenses of Christian warfare, so that we who are to fight against spiritual wickedness, may be helped and strengthened by self-denial.

Announcing the 108th Annual Fisherman's Feast of the Madonna Del Soccorso, Boston, Massachusetts


February 12, 2018

Photo of the Week: Venus and Mars with their Sons Cupid and Formido

Venus and Mars with their sons Cupid and Formido, 1st Century Imperial Roman fresco from the House of Mars and Venus in Pompeii, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli. Photo by New York Scugnizzo

Announcing the 98th Annual Feast of the Madonna Della Cava in Boston, Massachusetts