November 17, 2018

Feast of San Gregorio Taumaturgo

Viva San Gregorio!
November 17th is the Feast Day of San Gregorio Taumaturgo (St. Gregory the wonderworker), Bishop of Neocaesarea and Confessor. Invoked against earthquakes, floods and desperate causes, he is the patron saint of Laureana di Borrello (RC), San Gregorio (RC), and Stalettì (CZ) in Calabria. According to tradition, during the iconoclasm of the eighth century the body of San Gregorio was cast into the Black Sea at Pontus in Asia Minor. Instead of sinking, the casket containing the saint’s relics miraculously crossed the sea, pushed by the hands of angels, to the sacred Grotta di San Gregorio on the shores of the Gulf of Squillace, an inlet of the Ionian Sea along the coast of Catanzaro. Famous for his many miracles, the great Saint is venerated in both the Eastern and Western churches. To commemorate the occasion, I’m posting a prayer to St. Gregory the wonderworker. The accompanying photo of the 12th century Byzantine Icon, possibly from Constantinople, comes courtesy of the State Hermitage Museum, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Prayer to St. Gregory the wonderworker
O holy Saint Gregory, confessor and priest of the Lord, I pray thee that thou wouldst intercede with our Lord God for me, that, being purified from all vice, I may please Him in all things, and that He will grant me the peace possessed by all His servants. Amen.

Unveiling of the Presepio Della Solidarietà at the Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere in Staten Island, New York

Presepio Della Solidarietà
The Solidarity Crèche was a gift by the Naples (Italy) Chamber of Commerce to the NYC Fire Dept. post the 9/11 tragic terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. It was custom made to honor the victims and brave Firefighters, Police and EMS workers that lost their lives. It is on loan to Casa Belvedere, courtesy of the International Columbia Association of the FDNY. The artisans' meticulous attention to detail and its spectacular beauty and warmth is of museum quality.

Unveiling on Dec. 6th (5:30pm–7:30pm)

For More Information please call 718-273-7660.

The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere
79 Howard Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10301
T. 718-273-7660 F. 718-273-0020
E. info@casa-belvedere.org

www.casa-belvedere.org

Outdoor Rosary for All Souls and Street Evangelization in East Harlem, New York

November 16, 2018

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.

Please Help the Friends of Le Ali Di Checco of New York Purchase Christmas Gifts for Children Battling Cancer in Campania, Italy

November 15, 2018

Unveiling & Exhibit of the Presepio Napoletano at the Westchester Italian Cultural Center, Tuckahoe, New York

Presepio Unveiling: History & Creation Presented by Anita Sanseverino
Friday, November 16 at 7:00 PM
Members $20; Non-Members $25
Depictions of the birth of Christ go back as early as the 3rd century A.D., but the presepio Napoletano brings this art form to a unique level. Explore this Neapolitan art through photographs showing how presepio structures and figures are made. After learning about the traditional presepio Napoletano you will join us as we unveil our grand presepio. 
Exhibit of Newly refurbished, handcrafted, authentic Neapolitan presepio.
On exhibit from November 16, 2018 through January 11, 2019
Monday through Friday, 9:00am–4:30pm
Suggested donation of $10.00
This newly expanded exhibit has been enhanced with new effects like lighting, smoke, sounds, and even smells. Once named the “Grand Neapolitan Christmas Crèche,” this famous exhibit was once the largest in the world. Handcrafted by a father and son in Napoli in the 1980’s, the Presepio was commissioned by Italy Italy Magazine to tour America in exhibition. It was featured in a new church every Christmas season. For years, many have tried to find this marvelous work of art to view the grandeur once more. Now, you can.
Westchester Italian Cultural Center
One Generoso Pope Place
Tuckahoe, New York 10707
914-771-8700

Malta Walks NYC (November 2018)

This Tuesday, November 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.

November 14, 2018

Celebrating the Feast of St. Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr, in Bayside, Queens

Viva St. Josaphat!
EXCITA, quæsumus, Dómine, in Ecclésia tua Spiritum, quo replétus beátus Jósaphat Martyr et Póntifex tuus àniman suam pro óvibus pósuit: ut, eo intercedénte, nos quoque eódem Spíritu moti ac roboráti, ànimam nostram pro frátribus pónere non vereámur. Per Dóminum.*
Monday evening, a couple of us took a ride to Bayside, Queens for the Patronal Feast of St. Josaphat RC Church (34-32 210th St.). Despite the traffic, we made it in time for the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and veneration of the relic of St. Josaphat. Missa cantata was celebrated by Pastor Fr. Stephen Saffron, who was dutifully assisted by a slew of altar servers and talented Schola Cantorum
Warmly received by members of the predominantly Polish congregation, our visit to the church was edifying and uplifting. It was great catching up with Fr. Saffron, who we haven’t seen since his assignment to St. Josaphat a few months ago. Sorely missed in Brooklyn, we continue to pray for him and wish him all the best at his new parish.
The relic of St. Josaphat with a copy of Russian
realist painter Konstantin Savitsky's Enoch the Monk
 
Bye-altars with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Lady of Grace
St. Josaphat on the apse and the Black Madonna of Częstochowa
St. Francis of Assisi and St. Jude Thaddeus
Fr. Saffron. Church sanctuary and high altar
A look inside St. Josaphat 
* Stir up in Thy Church, O Lord, the spirit with which filled blessed Josaphat, Thy Martyr and Bishop, was filled when he laid down his life for his sheep, so that, by his intercession, we also, may be moved and strengthened by the same spirit, and may not fear to lay down our lives for our brethren. Through our Lord. ~ The Collect

November 13, 2018

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.

November 12, 2018

Photo of the Week: Marble Bust at Axel Munthe's Villa San Michele in Anacapri

Marble bust in the loggia at Axel Munthe's Villa San Michele in Anacapri, Capri
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

November 11, 2018

Feast of Saint Martin of Tours

Evviva San Martino!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
November 11th is the Feast Day of San Martino di Tours (St. Martin of Tours). Traditionally a time of feasting and revelry, the commemoration coincides with the Fall harvests and the drinking of new wines before the penitential season of Advent. Credited with introducing viticulture to parts of Gaul, St. Martin is the patron saint of wine makers. He is also the patron of soldiers, tailors, the poor and the town of Setingiano in Catanzaro, Calabria.
In Southern Italy the Feast is typically celebrated with wine tasting and regional delicacies, such as fried cod or zeppole. L'Estate di San Martino, or Saint Martin's Summer, denotes a period of unseasonably mild weather similar to our Indian Summer. Due to climate changes this is less pronounced than in the past, but some of the traditions associated with the seasonal cycle persist, including celebratory bonfires and winter food preparations. Many, however, celebrate with a simple glass of fortified wine and biscuits.
In celebration I'm posting a Prayer to St. Martin of Tours. The accompanying photo of St. Martin offering his crimson cloak to a naked beggar was taken at Most Precious Blood Church in Manhattan's Little Italy. The figures were part of the church's Neapolitan presepio exhibit in 2015.
Prayer to St. Martin of Tours
Dear well-beloved Saint, you were first a soldier like your father. Converted to the Church, you became a soldier of Christ, a priest and then a Bishop of Tours. Lover of the poor, and model for pagans and Christians alike, protect our soldiers at all times. Make them strong, just, and charitable, always aiming at establishing peace on earth. Amen

Around the Web: The Month of Holy Souls in Bath Beach’s Most Precious Blood and a Homily that Hits Home

La Madonna Del Rosario (Our Lady of The Rosary)
Reprinted from italianenclaves.com 
Followers of Italian Enclaves on Facebook, Instagram, and on this blog are familiar with seeing photos featuring various Italian National parishes. To clarify for all of our readers, a National Parish is a parish that is created to specifically cater to a certain ethnic group. Masses are usually held in that ethnicity’s language and the customs specific to that group are found engrained in the practices within their parishes. For example, Italian National parishes were first created at the end of the 19th century to accommodate the tremendous immigration of Italians into the United States. Across America, Italian parishes began popping-up in the West Coast, the Midwest, the South and in the largest density of all, the East Coast. One of my goals in creating Italian Enclaves was to visit the still-existing Italian National parishes of America to not only photo-document them but to also have a chance to worship in these churches by either attending a mass there or venerating whichever saint statues or relics might be present. This is such a tall task because there are and have been so many that it’s possible to live an entire lifetime near a church and never walk into it. Continue reading

November 10, 2018

Remembering the Faithful Departed in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

Parishioners held candles during Mass
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Réquiem ætérnam dona eis Dómine: et lux perpétua luceat eis. V. In memória ætérna erit justus: ab auditióne mala non timébit. 
Absólve, Dómine, ánimas ómnium fidélium defunctorum ab omni vinculo delictórum. V. Et gratia tua illis succurénte, mereántur evádere judicium ultiónis. V. Et lucis ætémæ beatitúdine pérfrui. (4 esdras 2:34, 35; Ps 111:7)*
Thursday evening, I joined some 50 parishioners at Holy Name of Jesus Church (245 Prospect Park West) in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn for the Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, followed by Absolution at the catafalque. Offered for the Faithful Departed, we lit candles and solemnly prayed for the happy repose of the souls of our ancestors.
High altar and catafalque
Mass was sung by celebrant and homilist Rev. Joseph Zwosta, who was dutifully assisted by MC Lorenzo Tinio, Greg Czarncki, Wieszek Dziadura, Ricardo Kinch and John Leicmon. Fr. Tomasz Szczepanczyk was in choir. The motets and Mass setting were composed by choir director David Adam Smith. They were gloriously chanted by Daniel Greenwood, Emerson Sieverts, Pedro D’Aquino, Erik-Peter Mortensen and Sean Salamon.
Thank you Rev. Lawrence D. Ryan, Pastor and members of the Holy Name congregation for your continued warmth and hospitality. Special thanks to Cindy Brolsma and organizers for your hard work and dedication. Once again, it was a great joy to celebrate our faith together. 
Catafalque, a symbolic funeral bier with black funeral pall and candles
* “Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. V. The just shall be in everlasting remembrance; he shall not fear the evil hearing.
Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from every bond of sin. V. And by the help of Thy grace may they be enabled to escape the avenging judgment. V. And enjoy the bliss of everlasting light.

Feast of Sant'Andrea Avellino

Evviva Sant'Andrea!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
November 10th is the Feast Day of Sant'Andrea Avellino (Saint Andrew Avellino), patron saint of stroke victims and against apoplexy. He is also the protector of Castronuovo di Sant'Andrea (formally Castronuovo), a small town in the Province of Potenza in Basilicata, where he was born in 1521. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a prayer to Saint Andrew Avellino. The accompanying photo was taken at Saint Andrew Avellino Roman Catholic Church (35-60 158th Street) in Flushing, New York.
Prayer to Saint Andrew Avellino Against Sudden Death 
I. O most glorious saint, whom God has made our protector against apoplexy, seeing that thou thyself didst die of that disease, we earnestly pray thee to preserve us from an evil so dangerous and so common. Pater, Ave, Gloria. 
Verse  By the intercession of St. Andrew, stricken with apoplexy.   
Response  From a sudden and unprovided death deliver us O Lord. 
II. O most glorious saint, if ever by the just judgment of God we should be stricken with apoplexy, we earnestly beseech thee to obtain for us time enough to receive the Last Sacraments and die in the grace of God. Pater, Ave, Gloria. 
V.  By the intercession of St. Andrew, stricken with apoplexy. 
R.  From  a sudden and unprovided death deliver us, O Lord. 
III. O most glorious saint, who didst endure, before dying, a terrible agony, through the assaults of the devil, from which the Blessed Virgin and St. Michael delivered thee, we earnestly beseech thee to assist us in the tremendous moment of our death.  Pater, Ave, Gloria. 
V.  By the intercession of St. Andrew, stricken with apoplexy. 
R.  From a sudden and unprovided death deliver us, O Lord. 
Amen.

November 9, 2018

Feast of Sant’Agrippino di Napoli Vescovo

St. Agrippinus pray for us
November 9th is the Feast Day of Sant’Agrippino di Napoli (Saint Agrippinus of Naples), third-century bishop and protector of Naples and Arzano (NA). Believed to have been the sixth Bishop of Naples, he was the city’s first in a long line of patrons. Many miracles have been attributed to Sant’Agrippino, including the sinking of a saracen flagship as it attacked the city.* His relics, along with the bodies of Saints Eutiche and Acuzio (companions of San Gennaro), rest beneath the high altar in the Duomo di San Gennaro in Naples. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a prayer to Sant'Agrippino.
Prayer to Saint Agrippinus of Naples
God our Father, enable us who honor the memory of Saint Agrippinus, bishop and protector of Naples, to share with him in the joy of eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen
* “In the time of Pope John XII the Saracens beseiged Naples. Lacking any human aid, the Neapolitans prayed to their patron saints Januarius and Agrippinus. The saints caused the largest Saracen ship to sink, and the other ships fled.” — The Cronica di Partenope: An introduction to and Critical Edition of the First Vernacular History of Naples (c. 1350) by Samantha Kelly, Brill 2011, p. 241

November 8, 2018

Around the Web: The Latest from The Constantinian Chronicle

Cav. John M. Viola with TRH Princess Beatrice
and Prince Carlo of Bourbon Two Sicilies
A Royal Visit to the Reggia di Caserta in Campania

Our esteemed Delegate Cav. John M. Viola joins the Royal Family for an outing at the Reggia di Caserta in Campania. The visit was a touching conclusion to an event packed weekend celebrating both the 25th Anniversary of the Movimento Neoborbonico and the 20th wedding anniversary of TRH Princess Camilla and Prince Carlo of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duchess and Duke of Castro. The trip to the Royal Palace was highlighted with a planting of beautiful Camelia on the estate grounds in honor of the Royal Couple. Visit the Chronicle

San Vincenzo Martire at Most Precious Blood Church
Constantinian Order Featured in the November 2018 Craco Society Bulletin
After participating in the 117th Annual Feast of San Vincenzo Martire di Craco in Little Italy, New York on Sunday, Oct. 28th, the Order was featured in the Nov. 2018 Craco Society Bulletin. In addition to Emperor Constantine's victory at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, the article, reprinted below, explores the possible historical connection between our sacred Order, the Theban Legion, and glorious San Vincenzo.
The Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George and San Vincenzo
The Mass celebrating the 117th Feast of San Vincenzo Martire di Craco in New York at the Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood was graced for the first time by a contingent from the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George. Continue reading
Constantinians volunteer to distribute food to the homeless
Distributing Food to the Homeless on All Saints' Day
For the second month in a row, members of the Constantinian Auxiliary joined the Knights and Dames of the Order to prepare and distribute food to the homeless in Chinatown and Two Bridges, New York. Meeting at the Church of the Transfiguration (29 Mott St.) Thursday evening, volunteers prepared 20 care packages replete with toiletries and ready to eat food, including containers of freshly cooked penne marinara generously donated by our dear friends at Caffé Napoli (191 Hestor Street) in Little Italy. Continue reading
Dame Luisa Cristofano and Cavalieri Vincent Gangone
and John Napoli with Msgr. Nicholas Grieco.
Members of the Order Celebrate the Feast of San Vincenzo, Martire di Craco, and the Anniversary of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in Little Italy, New York
Warmly welcomed by the Craco Society, members of the Order served as honor guard Sunday morning at the 117th Annual Feast of San Vincenzo, Martire di Craco, at the Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood (113 Baxter St.) in Little Italy, New York. Mass was celebrated by Msgr. Nicholas Grieco, who spoke at length about the martyrdom of San Vincenzo, San Maurizio and the Theban Legion. In deference to the Order, Monsignor also said a few words about the anniversary of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312 AD) and the conversion of Emperor Constantine the Great. Continue reading

November 7, 2018

Congratulations Prof. Miriam Tripaldi on Your Well-Deserved Recognition

Fiore Marro, Pesident of the Comitati Due Sicilie, with Miriam Tripaldi
Congratulations to our dear compaesana Prof. Miriam Tripaldi who was honored in Naples Saturday, November 3rd during the festivities of the 25th Anniversary of the Movimento Neoborbonico. Miriam received the award in recognition of her resolute leadership and steadfast commitment to the Riannodiamo i filli (let’s retie the threads) initiative, which strives to connect Duosiciliani diaspora communities to their ancestral homeland. An inspiration to us all, it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person. Auguri!

Traditional Solemn Requiem Mass in Flushing, Queens, New York

November 6, 2018

The Search for our Ancestry (LIII)

Fathers and Mothers
By Angelo Coniglio
As early as 1805, Atti di Nascite, or Civil Records of Birth, were recorded for births of all children in the Kingdom of Sicily (lu Regnu, in Sicilian), which ranged from Abruzzo and Napoli on the Apennine Peninsula to Messina and Palermo on insular Sicily. These were called Napoleonic records because they adhered to the format prescribed by Napoleon’s Civil Code, and were adopted even in states where Napoleon did not rule. They were also instituted at about the same time in the peninsula’s northern duchies and principalities, but were less uniform there because of the varying political authorities.
By 1820, the Kingdom of Sicily had become The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, but still comprised all the territory of the original Regnu. In that year, the entire nation adopted uniform, preprinted forms for the civil registration of all births, marriage contracts and deaths. These forms were in use until 1866.  The civil birth forms recorded the vital birth information on the left, and on the right acknowledged a report from the local parish, saying that the child had been baptized. The civil marriage documents were not ‘marriage records’ as such, but gave the vital details of the betrothed, again with a section on the right, noting when the marriage actually took place at the church. The actual marriage record was produced and retained by the church.
Due in part to the political upheaval of the ‘unification’, civil records from 1867 through 1874 were completely handwritten. In 1875, shorter pre-printed forms were introduced. Both the handwritten and new pre-printed forms generally followed the Napoleonic format.  However, something went missing.  The ‘unification’ resulted in a schism between the new civil authorities and the church. Church properties were appropriated and disbursed among civil jurisdictions or private venture capitalists. Civil records now made no mention of the church or sacraments.
In the most general case, newborn infants were presented for civil registration by the child’s father, to a Town’s Uffiziale dello Stato Civile (Official of the Civil Status). The father would give his name, occupation, and street address, as well as the gender of the child, and state that the child was born of himself and his wife [Name and Surname], and he would state the name that the child was given. In some cases, a midwife or female relative would present the child and give the name of the mother and that of the father, explaining why he could not attend. For certain births, the midwife (or even the mother herself) would present a child, give its mother’s name, and state that the father was ‘ignoto’ (unknown) or ‘incerto’ (uncertain!). In the latter cases, the child kept the mother’s surname.
There were numerous cases in which a midwife or receiver of foundlings would present a child and say that it was found on a doorstep or in the town’s foundling wheel, and that both parents were unknown. Such children were given concocted names, often with a fanciful given name, and a surname meaning ‘castoff’ or ‘foundling’.
And then there were cases where a man would present a child and say that it was born of ‘suo unione naturale con una donna, non minore, non maritata, non parenti, ne affine con lui nei gradi che ostano al riconoscimento, che non consente essere nominata’ (his unwed union with a woman, not a minor, unmarried, not a relative and without consanguinity that would proscribe such union, who does not wish to be identified). What? The father of the child was known, but not the mother?
Having a child out of wedlock was a ‘vergogna’, a disgrace, not only to the woman, but to her family. Having her name officially recorded would magnify that disgrace. Obviously, the man knew who his child’s mother was, as did the whole town, probably, but she was not officially shamed. It may be that in some cases, these were simply reports of children born out of wedlock, where a man protected the honor of his paramour by not naming her.
However, just as likely was this situation: a couple married in church but did not have a civil ceremony. Civil authorities did not recognize church marriages. They were illegitimate, as were any children born to the couple, and those children were so reported in the civil birth records. Again, the mother was not named, to protect her ‘official’ identity. There were scattered instances of feisty women who probably said ‘damn the torpedoes’ and not only appeared at their child’s registration, but had their names recorded, most likely thinking “I was married in church, so there!”  But for her children to qualify to inherit property, or for her to eventually be named on the children’s marriage records or passports, she would have to, at some point, marry in a civil ceremony. That would record the children’s names and dates of birth, and declare them legitimate, by power of the civil marriage.
Coniglio is the author of the book The Lady of the Wheel, inspired by his Sicilian research. Order the paperback or the Kindle version at http://bit.ly/SicilianStory Coniglio’s web page at http://bit.ly/AFCGen has helpful hints on genealogic research. If you have genealogy questions, or would like him to lecture to your club or group, e-mail him at genealogytips@aol.com

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

Angel by Giuseppe Sanmartino
November 20, 2018 – January 6, 2019

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

Exhibition Overview
The Met will continue a longstanding holiday tradition with the presentation of its Christmas tree, a favorite of both New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. The magnificently lit, twenty-foot blue spruce will loom over a vivid eighteenth-century Neapolitan Nativity scene, enshrined in an abundant array of lifelike figures with silk-robed angels hovering above. The scene describes in detail the Mediterranean harbor town's multicultural society.

The installation will be set in front of the eighteenth-century Spanish choir screen from the Cathedral of Valladolid in the Museum's Medieval Sculpture Hall. Recorded Christmas music will add to the enjoyment of the holiday display.

The exhibit of the crèche is made possible by gifts to The Christmas Tree Fund and the Loretta Hines Howard Fund.

www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions

November 5, 2018

Feast of the Holy Relics

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
November 5th is the Feast of the Holy Relics. In commemoration, I'm posting the hymn Sanctorum Meritis. The accompanying photo of reliquary with bone fragments of the 800 Martyrs of Otranto was taken at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (259 Oliver St.) in Newark, New Jersey.

Sanctorum Meritis

Let us together celebrate the glorious delights merited by the Saints, and their heroic deeds: for the mind exults to proclaim in song these the noblest of conquerors. These are they whom the world in its folly abhorred; while they, the faithful followers of Thy name, O Jesus merciful King of the heavenly citizens, despised the world as barren and devoid of fruits and flowers. For Thy sake they scorned the range of men, their savage threats and cruel stripes: the fiercely rending hook, vanquished by their courage, left the brave heart untouched. Like sheep, they are slaughtered by the sword: not a murmur, not a complaint escapes them; but with unqualing heart, the soul, conscious of right, preserves its patience. What voice, what tongue could relate the rewards Thou preparest for the Martyrs? For, adorned with the purple of their own blood, they bind their brows with victory's glittering laurels. We beseech thee, O supreme and only God, that Thou wouldst cleanse away our sins, remove all evils, and grant peace to Thy servants, that they may sing glory to Thee for all ages to come. Amen.

V. The Saints shall rejoice in glory;
R. They shall be joyful in their beds.

November 4, 2018

Around the Web: IAP 74: A Power Hour History of the Italian American Experience Part 1 of 4: Before We Were Italians: 1492 – 1890

Salvatore Catalano
Put on your history hats paisani, and gear up for the Power Hour’s version of Italian American history! This week, in part one of a four-part series, John, Pat, and Dolores hunker down to disseminate their take on the major moments and movements on the Italian American story. In what is sure to be some of the most scholarly episodes the Power Hour will ever produce, we seek to dig out some lesser known episodes in the history of our community and have a few good laughs along the way.

Listen to the episode

Also see:
Around the Web: IAP 66: Do They Still Speak Italian in Italy? An Italian American Guide to Visiting the Motherland
Around the Web – The Inaugural Episode of the Italian American Power Hour
Around the Web – IAP 62: Introducing the Italian American Power Hour
Around the Web - Italian American Podcast Episode 48: The Hidden History of Southern Italy’s Glory, Part 3
Around the Web - Italian American Podcast Episode 46: The Hidden History of Southern Italy’s Glory, Part 2
Around the Web - Italian American Podcast Episode 45: The Hidden History of Southern Italy’s Glory, Part 1

Photo of the Week: Copy of Seated Hermes at Axel Munthe's Villa San Michele in Anacapri

Copy of seated Hermes in the loggia at
Axel Munthe's Villa San Michele in Anacapri, Capri
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

November 2, 2018

Foja Wrap Up US Tour at Farinella’s

Members Dario Sansone (voice and guitar) and Luigi Scialdone (mandolin) were joined by veteran Neapolitan emcee Polo (Alberto Cretara) of La Famiglia
Photo courtesy of Andrew Giordano
Neapolitan folk-rock band Foja wrapped up their US visit Tuesday evening with an intimate acoustic set at Farinella Italian Bakery and Pizzeria (788 Lexington Ave.) in Lenox Hill, Manhattan. Following their successful performances in Charleston, South Carolina the band made a pit stop in NYC before heading to Paris, France to kick off the highly anticipated European leg of their 2018 Tour. For complete tour dates visit www.fojaofficial.it 
Farinella Italian Bakery and Pizza
788 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10065
212-256-1872

http://www.farinellabakery.com/

All Souls' Day

Our Lady & the souls in purgatory with San Sebastiano & San Gregorio Magno
November 2nd is All Souls' Day, the Day of the Dead (La Festa dei Morti). In memory of my ancestors I'm posting "All Soul's Day," a poem by Giuseppe Altobello.* The accompanying photo of the Cappella delle Anime al Purgatorio (Chapel of the Souls of Purgatory), was taken during my 2010 pilgrimage to the Palatine Chapel inside the Castel Nuovo (Maschio Angioino) in Napoli.

All Souls' Day

On every branch of every yellow tree
the fog has left a single tear behind
the sky's so dark today it's hard to see,
it wants to weep for all those in the ground.

A band of melancholy little sparrows
flew inside a heavy thicket all together
and brought their singing hour to a close
as soon as they observed the morning weather.

Without being even jiggled by the wind
every thick cypress tree that felt the rain
trickles its bitter tears down in the ground

and the thick cypress tree, made of a sudden
a giant aspergillum for this land,
blesses it without needing to be shaken.

* Reprinted from Dialect Poetry of Southern Italy, edited by Luigi Bonaffini, Legas, 1997

Feast of All Souls

Souls in Purgatory
November 2nd is the Feast of All Souls. Called Il Giorno die Morti (Day of the Dead) in southern Italy, it is typically celebrated by attending a solemn Requiem. After Mass, people visit family graves with flowers and candles to honor their ancestors. In Sicily, young children who pray are rewarded by their grateful "ancestors" with candy and other small gifts. The presents are usually left in their shoes while the children sleep. Sicilians also make Ossa di Mortu, a hard cookie called "Bones of the Dead" for the occasion.
In commemoration of all those who have died and are now in Purgatory I'm posting a Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory. The accompanying photo was taken in the basement chapel of Sacred Heart Church in Boston's North End.
Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory
O gentle Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in Purgatory, have mercy on them. Be not severe in Your judgments, but let some drops of Your Precious Blood fall upon the devouring flames. And, Merciful Savior, send Your angels to conduct them to a place of refreshment, light and peace. Amen.

New Books (November 2018)

New and forthcoming titles that may be of interest to our readers. Available at Amazon.com

• Financial and Resilience: A Comparative Perspective on the Public Banks of Naples (1462-1808) by Lilia Costabile and Larry Neal

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Publication Date: Sept. 29, 2018
Hardcover: $149.99
Language: English
Pages: 372

Read description

• Carusi: The Shame of Sicily by Louis Romano

Publisher: Vecchia Publishing
Publication Date: Nov. 6, 2018
Paperback: N/A
Language: English
Pages: 290

Read description

• Nature and the Arts in Early Modern Naples by Frank Fehrenbach and Joris Van Gastel

Publisher: De Gruyter
Publication Date: Dec. 15, 2018
Hardcover: $79.99
Language: Englis
Pages: 152

Read description

Click here to see more books

Listing does not imply any endorsement

November 1, 2018

The Feast of All Saints

The Hallowed Ones
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
November 1st is All Saints' Day (la festa di Ognissanti), a celebration in honor of all the saints, known and unknown. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer for the Feast of All Saints Day. The accompanying photo was taken in the old Hall of Saints at the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (275 N 8th Street) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Prayer for the Feast of All Saints Day

God our Father, source of all holiness, the work of Your hands is manifest in Your saints, the beauty of Your truth is reflected in their faith. May we who aspire to have part in their joy be filled with the spirit that blessed their lives, so that having shared their faith on earth may we also know their peace in your kingdom. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

This Month in History (November)

Historical events from each month of the year
November 3
Vincenzo Bellini
By Niccolò Graffio
Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini was born in the city of Catania, Sicily in what was then the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies on November 3rd, 1801. A child prodigy from a family of musicians, legend has it that Bellini could sing an aria of Valentino Fioravanti at the tender age of only 18 months. His father schooled the boy in piano lessons, and by the age of five he could play quite well. At the age of six he composed his first piece, Gallus cantavit, and subsequently began studying composition with his grandfather. Continue reading
November 4
A Measure of Posterity: Gunnery Sgt. “Manila John” Basilone finally gets his due
By Niccolò Graffio
Two of the many fond memories I had of my childhood in Corona, Queens: 1) Growing up in a predominantly (Southern) Italian area 2) Playing “War” in the streets with my neighborhood friends. My paisani need no explanation for the former. The sights, sounds and the smells (especially around dinner time) of the old neighborhood provide me with a lifetime of memories. As for the latter? Those days running around, playfully shooting at “the enemy” while covering the backs of my friends were the first lessons I had about friendship, camaraderie and trust. Continue reading
November 11
A Brief Sketch: Donatus Buongiorno
By Giovani di Napoli
Donatus Buongiorno was born in Solofra, Avelino on November 11, 1865 to Maddalena (née Solimene) and Biagio Buongiorno. He went on to study art in Naples at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Napoli, graduating in 1890. Two year's later the young artist emigrated to New York City, where he worked as a wallpaper designer and painter.
Distinguishing himself as an artist, Buongiorno was commissioned to paint murals for several Italian American churches, including nineteen paintings executed between 1916-1917 at Most Precious Blood Church in New York City's historic Little Italy. Called the Principal Episodes in the Life of Christ, of St. Francis of Assisi, and of St. Anthony of Padua, Buongiorno’s work adorns the apse, ceiling and walls of the church. Sadly, years of neglect and water damage from Hurricane Sandy (2012) has jeopardized several of the paintings, which are in serious need of restoration. Continue reading
November 13
Siege of Gaeta (1860)
By Giovanni di Napoli
November 13th, 1860 marks the beginning of the Siege of Gaeta. Under the command of General Enrico Cialdini the Piedmontese forces sought to finish off the conquest of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies begun by Giuseppe Garibaldi on May 11th, 1860.  The resistance was the heroic last stand of the one hundred twenty six year old Bourbon dynasty in Southern Italy against the House of Savoy. Continue reading
November 25
Say Hello to Marilyn for Me: The “Yankee Clipper” Revisited
By Niccolò Graffio
Since I began writing for this blog, my articles have dealt mainly with famous indigenous inhabitants of Southern Italy/Sicily. It behooves me to mention, though, since the destruction of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1861, the majority of the members of our ethnos were born outside the borders of the modern state of Italy in what I like to term “the Sicilian Diaspora”. I happen to be one of them. Continue reading