June 29, 2018

Feast 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.

Announcing the 128th Annual Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Newark, New Jersey

June 27, 2018

A Look at the 8th Annual Feast of San Donato in Montclair, New Jersey

Viva San Donato!
Photos courtesy of Joe Santoro
Thanks Joe for sharing your wonderful photos from Sunday’s Feast of San Donato at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Montclair, New Jersey.
Members of the San Donato Society of Montclair, NJ
enjoying the fruits of their labor
The color guard led the procession through the neighborhood 
Devotees pin donations on to the statue 
(Above & below) Afterward, partygoers enjoyed a
delightful luncheon and some fireworks

Around the Web: The Castle of Sant’Aniceto (aka Santo Niceto) in Motta San Giovanni

Ruins of the Castle of Sant'Aniceto (Photo courtesy of Calabria: The Other Italy)
On a clear day, the Castle of Sant’Aniceto appears to float above the Strait of Messina as it basks in the glory of Mt. Etna. Breathtaking panoramas from the medieval fortress extend for miles in every direction. Many liken the castle’s irregular shape to a ship with the bow pointing inland to Calabria’s Aspromonte Mountains.
Castle of Sant’Aniceto, San Niceto, Santo Niceto...
The Castle of Sant’Aniceto’s origins lie in the history of its names, which can be confusing, as the fortification has been called by several. Historic documents mention Santo Nicito, Santo Niceto, Santo Nuceto and Santo Nocito. “Motta Sant’Aniceto” came along at the end of the 19th century, rather recently in the scheme of things, by way of a study of four mottes (a hill serving the site of a castle) in the area of Reggio Calabria. The name Sant’Aniceto caught on. Continue reading

June 25, 2018

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 tradition, 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 11th Annual Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Visit the Figli Maria SS Addolorata on Facebook

June 24, 2018

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. The church also commemorates his Passion on August 29th. 

As my name day, the Feast has an additional special significance to me. Buon onomastico to my fellow Duosicilicani 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 2018 Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Norristown, Pennsylvania

June 23, 2018

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 St. Leonard's Church during the 2014 Feast of Santa Agrippina in Boston's North End. Boston is home to many descendants of Mineo, Sicily, and they venerate 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)

Happy Birthday Princess Maria Carolina!

HRH was born in Rome, Italy on June 23, 2003
Photo courtesy of Real Casa di Borbone
Happy Birthday Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duchess of Calabria and Palermo! May God's love and affection be with you always! Auguri Altezza Reale!

June 22, 2018

Feast of San Paolino di Nola

Viva San Paolino!
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.

NYC Malta Walk, June 2018

Francesca Tempesta, DM (second from right), and the Order of Malta Auxiliary
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Tuesday evening, our dear friend Chef Giuseppe Marrone of Acqua Restaurant (21 Peck Slip) in the South Street Seaport once again selflessly donated freshly made food for the Order of Malta Auxiliary’s monthly homeless outreach walk. Committed to the charitable enterprise, the popular and respected gourmet took the time before his dinner rush to serve up another hearty and tasty dish, orecchiette al forno con tartufo e provola affumicata, or “little ears” pasta with truffles and provola cheese. 
Chef Marrone
Promptly delivered to the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral rectory (263 Mulberry Street) in downtown Manhattan, some twenty volunteers led by Dama Francesca Tempesta portioned out generous servings of Giuseppe’s delicious victuals, along with water, utensils and other necessities.

Packed and raring to go, our group recited the Daily Prayer of the Order of Malta before pounding the pavement. Fanning out to cover as much ground as possible, we traversed the Bowery and surrounding neighborhoods to distribute the care packages to those in need. 
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.

ACQUA Restaurant & Wine Bar

21 Peck Slip @ Water Street
New York, New York 10038
Tel 212.349.4433

Also see:
Walking the Walk: Chef Giuseppe Marrone Helps Provide Meals for the Homeless

Solemn Mass for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul in East Harlem, New York

June 21, 2018

Traditional Latin Masses for the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist in New York

Happy Summer!

Apollo (Photo by New York Scugnizzo)
In celebration of the summer solstice, or midsummer, I would like to share a poem by the great Sicilian poet and 1959 Nobel Laureate Salvatore Quasimodo from The Night Fountain: Selected Early Poems translated by Marco Sonzogni and Gerald Sawe, Arc Publications, 2008, p. 48-49. The accompanying photo of Apollo was taken at the Temple of Apollo (below) in Pompeii. In addition to being the god of music, poetry and prophecy, Apollo was, of course, the god of the sun.


The untouched soul, in the airy batiste apron,
with sacred gesture spreads seeds.

You have to love her with pure eye,
when her naked feet skim the earth
and the sun burns the silk of her hair:
because the earth is her temple
and the sun is her Lord.

L'anima intatta, nel vaporoso grembiule di batista,
con gesto sacro, sparge la semente.
Bisonga amarla con occhio di purezza,
quando i suoi piedi nudi sfiorano la terra
e il sole le brucia la seta dei capelli:
ché la terra è il suo tempio,
e il sole suo Signore.
Temple of Apollo, Pompeii (Photo by New York Scugnizzo)

Brooklyn Folk Arts and Artists Series Presents: Rosa Tatuata

Michela Musolino
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Concert and Interview with Michela Musolino

June 26th @ 1pm

New Utrecht Public Library
1743 86th Street, 
at Bay 17th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11214

As part of the Brooklyn Arts Council's mission to present traditional artists and preserve traditions, Rosa Tatuata will give a concert of Sicilian Folk Music. Afterward, Michela Musolino will be interviewed by Julia Patinella.
Presented by the Brooklyn Arts Council and the Brooklyn Public Library

June 20, 2018

Feast of San Silverio

Evviva San Silverio! 
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
June 20th is the Feast Day of San Silverio, Pope, martyr and protector of the island of Ponza. San Silverio is also the co-patron of Frosinone (FR) and Scerni (CH), where he shares his patronage with Sant’Ormisda and San Panfilo di Sulmona, respectively. To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting a Prayer to San Silverio.(*) The accompanying photo was taken during the 2014 Columbus Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Prayer to San Silverio
O Glorious San Silverio, pastor of the Universal Church and hero of the Faith, you were blessed with the courage to die in witness to Christ and the Gospel. Through your example, may we be filled with the courage to profess our faith in Jesus Christ, and to serve Him with generosity in our neighbor. Amen
* Prayer courtesy of the San Silverio Society of Dover Plains, New York. For more about the society visit http://sansilverioshrine.org

Announcing the Titular Feast Mass at Most Precious Blood Church in Little Italy, New York

June 19, 2018

A Look at the 2018 Festa di San Pio da Pietrelcina in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Viva San Pio!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo 
A shrine was erected outside St. Dominic's Church (2001 Bay Ridge Parkway) Saturday afternoon for the Cadutti Superga Mola Soccer Club's annual Festa di San Pio. Devotees offered flowers, votive candles and donations
(Above & below) After Mass, which was celebrated in Italian,
the statue was placed on the vera
The vera was adorned with flowers 
Donations were pinned to the statue's cape
Our friends Joseph, Cathy and Maria manned the religious gift table
Our celebration caught someone's attention
Prayer cards were offered to donors
(Above & below) We depart from the fairground 
(Above & below) The procession saunters down Bay Ridge Parkway
(Above & below) Members of the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata joined together with the Caduti Superga Mola Club
A good time was had by all
Our dear friends Lucrezia and Josephine
with soon-to-be ordained Deacon Alessandro from Calabria
Devotees sang and prayed for nearly two hours 
The Metropolitan Festival Band 
We briefly stopped by the Cadutti Superga Soccer Club for some water
A beautiful shrine was set up outside the clubhouse
Back at the fairground, the procession concluded with the benediction
The statue was returned to the shrine and revelers enjoyed plenty of food, games and entertainment at the street fair 
Afterward, we enjoyed a little brioche con gelato at nearby Villabate Alba's 
Also see:
A Look at the 2016 Festa di San Pio da Pietrelcina in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
A Look at the 2015 Festa di San Pio da Pietrelcina in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn