January 31, 2019

Feast of San Ciro di Alessandria

Viva San Ciro!
January 31st is the Feast Day of San Ciro di Alessandria (Saint Cyrus of Alexandria), doctor, hermit and martyr. Widely venerated across southern Italy, he is the principal patron of Portici (NA), Vico Equense (NA), Nocera Superiore (SA), Grottaglie (TA) and Marineo (PA), among others. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Cyrus. The accompanying photo of San Ciro was taken at Saint Francis of Paola Church (219 Conselyea St.) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Prayer to Saint Cyrus
O Glorious St. Cyrus, Doctor, Martyr and our merciful Patron, I implore your intercession with confidence. Watch with equally pitiful eye my spiritual and physical infirmities. Do not forsake me, listen to the voice of my heart, and give me your help and your protection. Amen.

Feast of Blessed Maria Cristina di Savoia, Queen of the Two Sicilies

Blessed Queen Maria Cristina 
of the Two Sicilies
January 31st is the Feast Day of Blessed Maria Cristina di Savoia, Queen of the Two Sicilies. Daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele I and Maria Theresa of Austria, she married King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies in 1832. Immensely pious, “Reginella Santa” as she was popularly called, performed numerous acts of charity and important social works for the poor people of Naples. On January 31, 1836, at the age of 23, she died after giving birth to her son Francesco II, the last King of the Two Sicilies. Queen Maria Cristina was Beatified on January 25, 2014 by Pope Francis at the Basilica Santa Chiara, in Naples, where she is interred. In celebration I'm posting a couple of Prayers to Blessed Maria Cristina. Translations courtesy of Cav. Charles Sant'Elia.
Prayers to Blessed Maria Cristina di Savoia
O Dio, che hai posto nei tuoi santi una grande luce e un provvido sostegno per il tuo popolo in cammino, ascolta con bontà la nostra preghiera, e glorifica la sua Serva la Ven. Maria Cristina di Savoia, nella cui vita di sposa e di regina ci hai offerto un modello fulgido di carità sapiente e coraggiosa, e concedi a noi, per sua intercessione, la grazia ..... che da te, con fiducia, invochiamo. Per Cristo nostro Signore. Amen. 
O God, who has placed a great light in your saints and a provident support for your people along the path, listen with goodness to our prayer, and glorify your Servant the Ven. Maria Cristina di Savoia, in whose life as a wife and queen you have offered us a shining model of wise and courageous charity, and grant us,  through her intercession, the grace ..... which from you, with trust, we invoke. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 
O beata Trinità che sebbene felice in voi stessa, pure trovaste le vostre compiacenze nel cuore di Maria Cristina di Savoia, deh! ascoltate le nostre povere preghiere. Questa vostra serva fedele in mezzo ai fastigi della Corte vi servì costantemente in profonda umiltà, in ardente carità, in pietà fervorosa, da rendersi modello di perfezione alla Corte e al popolo. Fiduciosi della divina parola, che Voi avreste onorato che vi avrebbe glorificato, noi vi chiediamo di elevare al culto degli Altari la vostra serva fedele Maria Cristina che vivente altro cercò, altro non volle se non il vostro onore e la vostra gloria. Per questi altissimi meriti concedeteci la grazia che ardentemente vi domandiamo... tornerà a vostra gloria e contribuirà all’esaltazione della vostra diletta serva Maria Cristina di Savoia. 
O blessed Trinity that while happy in yourself, yet you found your gratification in the heart of Maria Cristina di Savoia, ah! Hear our poor prayers. This faithful servant of yours amid the heights of the Court served you constantly in profound humility, in ardent charity, in fervid piety, so as to render herself a model of perfection to the Court and to the people. We are faithful in the divine word, that you would have honored who had glorified you, we ask you to elevate to the worship of the Altars your faithful servant Maria Cristina what while alive nothing did she seek, nothing did she want other than your honor and your glory. For these most high merits grant us the grace that we ardently ask of you... it shall return to your glory and shall contribute to the exaltation of your cherished servant Maria Cristina di Savoia.

Lithograph of Blessed Maria Cristina of Savoy, Queen of the Two Sicilies

B. Nov. 14, 1812, Cagliari—D. Jan. 31, 1836, Napoli
In honor of her Feast Day, we’re posting a picture of a lithographic print of Blessed Maria Cristina of Savoy, the first Queen Consort of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies, from the private collection of John M. Viola. 
Also see:
Photo of the Week: Commemorative Medal for the 280th Anniversary of the Coronation of Carlo di Borbone
Remembering the Kings of the Two Sicilies

January 30, 2019

Around the Web: Italian American Power Hour Episode 84

Greetings from Italian America: Exploring the Italian Community in Buffalo, New York
Ciao paisani! Gear up for an all new episode of the Italian American Power Hour with a brand-new segment we’re calling Greetings from Italian America!  Let’s face it, even though everyone in the Power Hour Team calls New York and New Jersey home, we know that in every inch of this great country of ours, from sea to shining sea, we Italian Americans have created vibrant and distinct communities and we want to experience them all. 
In this episode recorded last summer, members of our Power Hour Team set off on the Great Italian American Road Trip with a visit to the City of Good Neighbors, Buffalo, New York.  We sit down with the President of the Federation of Italian-American Societies of Western New York, our friend Mr. Peter LoJacono so he could guide us through the culture, history and happenings of this incredible Italian American enclave. We hope you enjoy being on the road with us!

Announcing the 2019 Lepanto Conference in NYC

We are happy to announce this year’s Lepanto Conference and Solemn Pontifical Mass will be held on February 16th at the beautiful Church of St. Vincent Ferrer in Manhattan. The conference will begin at noon with a Solemn Pontifical Mass with the Most Rev’d James Massa, Bishop of Brooklyn, as celebrant. Our three speakers will follow in the church hall downstairs, with time for refreshments. There is no pre-registration. We are suggesting a $10 donation to defray the cost of the conference. (Source: www.sthughofcluny.org)

January 29, 2019

Santa Rita Novena in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Evviva Santa Rita!
Thursday, February 7th at 8pm, members and friends of the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata are invited to the Novena for Santa Rita da Cascia, patroness of desperate causes. Participants will meet in the basement of the Nazareth Center on the corner of 62nd Street and Bay Parkway in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Anyone interested in participating should call Lucrezia at 917-509-2803 or find them on Facebook at Figli Maria S.S. Addolorata.
Also see:
Celebrating the 2018 Feast of Santa Rita da Cascia in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Weekly Rosary to Santa Rita da Cascia with the Figli Maria SS. Addolorata in Brooklyn, New York
Way of the Cross and Weekly Rosary to Santa Rita with the Figli Maria SS. Addolorata in Brooklyn, NY
Weekly Rosary and Stations of the Cross with the Figli Maria SS. Addolorata in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Evviva Santa Rita! A Look at the 2016 Feast of St. Rita of Cascia in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Rosa Tatuata: Roots Music of Sicily in Ithaca NY

Saturday, March 30th, 2019 (11:30am - 12:30pm)
Tompkins County Public Library
(Ezra Cornell Reading Room)
101 East Green Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 272-4557

Join the music group Rosa Tatuata for a concert of roots music from Southern Italy - with exotic instruments to make your heart sing and your feet dance! Learn to dance the Tarantella, or just sit back and enjoy this unique folk music experience. All ages welcome, free.

January 28, 2019

Feast of Beato Carlo Magno

Carolo Magno Imperatore
January 28th is the Feast Day of Beato Carlo Magno (Blessed Charlemagne, or Charles the Great), Imperator Romanorum and Pater Europae. Canonized at the behest of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1165 by antipope Paschal III, the decree was ultimately abrogated by the Third Lateran Council in 1179. However, the Emperor's public cultus persisted and was eventually confirmed in the 18th century by Pope Benedict XIV. Though not a saint yet, he is beatified. In commemoration, I’m posting a Prayer to Blessed Charlemagne. The accompanying photo of the statue of Carlo Magno was taken at the Abbey at Montecassino in southern Italy.
Prayer to Blessed Charlemagne
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the examples of Blessed Charlemagne may effectually move us to reform our lives; that while we celebrate his feast, 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 Blessed Charlemagne protect us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Also see: Photo of the Week: Beato Carlo Magno, Facade of the Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome

Photo of the Week: Beato Carlo Magno, Facade of the Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome

Beato Carlo Magno, Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi, Roma
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

Candlemas: Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple in Bayside, Queens

January 26, 2019

New Music: Neapolitan Cantatas by Hasse, Mancini, Porpora, Porsile

New music that may be of interest to our readers.

Neapolitan Cantatas by Hasse, Mancini, Porpora, Porsile

Label: Brilliant Classics
Release Date: February 8, 2019
Audio CD: $na
Number of Discs: 1

Available at Amazon.com

Read description

Candlemas: Feast of the Purification of Our Lady and Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple

January 25, 2019

Feast of the Conversion of San Paolo Apostolo

Viva San Paolo!
January 25th is the Feast of the Conversion of San Paolo (Saint Paul), Apostle and Martyr. Widely venerated across southern Italy, he is the principal patron of Aversa (CE), Solarino (SR), Palazzolo Acreide (SR), Seclì (LE), and Casale di Carinola (CE), among others. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a prayer to St. Paul. The accompanying photo (courtesy of Lucian) was taken outside Saint Paul RCC in Philadelphia, PA.

Prayer to St. Paul

O Glorious St. Paul, after persecuting the Church you became by God's grace its most zealous Apostle. To carry the knowledge of Jesus, our divine Savior, to the uttermost parts of the earth you joyfully endured prison, scourging, stoning, and shipwreck, as well as all manner of persecutions culminating in the shedding of the last drop of your blood for our Lord Jesus Christ. Obtain for us the grace to labor strenuously to bring the faith to others and to accept any trials and tribulations that may come our way. Help us to be inspired by your Epistles and to partake of your indomitable love for Jesus, so that after we have finished our course we may join you in praising him in heaven for all eternity. Amen

January 24, 2019

Our New Header

Many thanks to John Viola for designing our beautiful new header. Replete with southern Italian imagery and symbolism, the illustration perfectly captures the spirit of the blog. It is an honor and a privilege to have such a well respected and important leader of our community take notice of our work and believe enough in our mission to take the time to create original artwork for us. John has always been supportive of our work and in the past has allowed us the use of some of his photos, but this is above and beyond generous. He's a true friend and we cannot thank him enough for this wonderful gift.
Unfortunately the blog’s template doesn’t allow the header to expand, so we’re posting the image here, highlighting some details, in an attempt to circumvent the limitation and allow viewers to get a better look.
On the right side of the header we see the demigod Heracles, son of Zeus and Alcmene, reclining on a sun-drenched hilltop somewhere in Sicily. Swathe in the skin of the Nemean lion, the burly hero holds a golden fleur-de-lis, the ancient symbol of the Royal House of Bourbon. At his side lies a toppled pillar and a bust of Archimedes, Sicily’s greatest inventor and mathematician. In the background Mt. Etna smolders.
To the left, we see the Siren Partenope emerging from the Sea holding aloft the coat-of-arms of the Royal House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. Hovering above is Tyche, the Greek goddess of fortune and prosperity. Her mural crown with an unbridled horse on the crest is the emblem of the city of Naples. The tutelary deity also carries a golden shield emblazoned with the Trinacria, the ancient symbol of Sicily. Behind them sprawls Napoli, the capital of the ancient kingdom, and her beautiful Bay. Looming in the distance is sleeping Vesuvius. 

Announcing the 11th Annual Sicilian Heritage Festival in Independence, Louisiana

For more information visit www.indysicilianfest.com

January 23, 2019

Birthday Weekend

Enjoying dinner and drinks at Peppino's with my San Rocco confratelli
Many thanks to family and friends for a terrific birthday weekend, may God bless you all!
Boys Night Out
The festivities began Friday night with my San Rocco Society brethren at the always roisterous monthly “boys’ night out” dinner at Peppino’s Restaurant (7708 3rd Ave.) in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Looking to pick up where we left off the night before at the falò di Sant'Antuono, our jovial party ate and drank its fill of chef Mancino’s hearty fare. 

Seppie ripiene al forno

In addition to the usual hot and cold antipasti (insalata di mare, vongole al forno, cozze alla marinara, etc.) we were treated to a couple of the evening specials, crostini con burrata and tender seppie ripiene al forno, stuffed cuttlefish.

Crostini con burrata
For my entrée I enjoyed the perfectly cooked baccalà oreganata with a side of scarola aglio e olio.
Baccalà oreganata
A bit knackered from the two days of revelry (and drawing near to closing time), we eventually called it a night, capping off the celebration with digestivi, coffee and dessert, and to my surprise a rousing, if somewhat off-key, rendition of Happy Birthday.
Books and Booze
Saturday, an old friend surprised me with a few thoughtful gifts. Knowing I’m a bit of a bibliophile and what my interests are, he gave me Emilio Lussu’s A Soldier on the Southern Front (Rizzoli Ex Libris, 2014), E.M. Cioran’s Tears and Saints (University of Chicago Press, 1998), and a bottle of Jägermeister.
I’ve been meaning to read Lussu’s classic WWI memoir for a while, now its next on my never-ending reading list. Cioran is an old favorite, whom I haven’t leafed through in ages. A few years back, I was enthralled with the Franco-Romanian philosopher and binge-read whatever I could find by him, as I'm wont to do when I discover a new writer that I find interesting. They are welcome new editions to my library and I look forward to reading them both.
The Jägermeister harks back to our younger days, when the herbal liqueur was our drink of choice while sitting around the campfire. Though it’s been some time since I’ve gone camping (and it's much easier now to find southern Italian amaro), we still enjoy doing shots after dinner whenever my friends and I eat at a German restaurant. We always have a glass on September 20th for the Feast of Sant’Eustachio (Saint Eustace), who along with Saint Hubertus is the inspiration for the stag and radiant cross logo on the label.
Cavatelli con ragù alla Napoletana
Birthday Tradition
After morning Mass, I spent a relaxing day with family playing chess, watching the playoffs, and enjoying our traditional Sunday repast, replete with southern Italian delicacies, including my favorite, cavatelli con ragù alla Napoletana.
Though far less extravagant, my customary birthday dinner vies with Christmas Eve (la vigilia di Natale), St. Joseph’s Day (la tavola di San Giuseppe) and Thanksgiving for my favorite meal of the year. Failing to blow out the 50 candles on my cake on the first try, my wish didn’t come true, and like all good things must, my amazing birthday weekend came to an end. 

Announcing the 74th Anniversary Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Staten Island, New York

For more information visit the OLMC Fraternal Society on Facebook

January 22, 2019

Feast of San Domenico di Sora

Viva San Domenico!
January 22nd is the Feast Day of San Domenico di Sora, Benedictine abbot and founder of several hermitages and monasteries in the Kingdom of Naples. Renowned for his healing miracles, San Domenico is invoked against poisonous snakebites, rabid dogs, fever and toothaches. Widely venerated across Southern Italy, the great healer is the principal patron of Sora (Terra di Lavoro), Colcullo (AQ), Pizzoferrato (CH), Villalago (AQ) and Fornelli (IS), among others. 
Each May in Colcullo, the town celebrates the Festa dei Serpari, or Feast of the Snake Handlers, in honor of their beloved patron. The event draws thousands of pilgrims each year.
During the festivities, San Domenico’s statue is covered with live snakes and paraded through the streets with great fanfare. Among the saint’s relics on display at the local church are his molar and his mule’s iron horse shoe. The tooth is reputed to heal snake bites, while the horse shoe (a common symbol for good luck) is said to protect the town’s animals from danger. 
Popular custom says if you pull the chain of the church doorbell with your teeth you will be protected from toothaches. It’s common to see people wrap a handkerchief around the chain links, bite down, and ring the bell.
Some believe the snake ritual dates back to pagan times when the local Marsi tribes worshiped the telluric snake-goddess Angitia, daughter of Aeëtes, who taught the art of medicine to her devotees. The snake, among other things, is an ancient symbol of healing. Consider the serpent entwined Rod of Asclepius, the staff of the ancient Greek god of medicine and healing still used today by medical institutions.
To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to San Domenico Abate. The accompanying photo of the saint comes courtesy of Made in South Italy Today.
Prayer to San Domenico Abate
O glorious San Domenico, beloved patron and miracle worker, you served God in humility and confidence on earth. Now you enjoy His beatific vision in heaven. You persevered till death and gained the crown of eternal life. With your strength protect us, your devotees, from the venom of wild animals and the torment of toothaches. Amen.

January 21, 2019

Feast of Sant'Agnese, Vergine e Martire

Evviva Sant'Agnese!
January 21st is the Feast Day of Sant'Agnese (Saint Agnes), Virgin and Martyr. Patron saint of young girls, chastity and rape victims, she is the principal protectress of Pineto (TE), Corropoli (TE), and Sava di Baronissi (SA). To commemorate the occasion, I’m posting a prayer to St. Agnes. The accompanying photo was taken at Saint Agnes Church (143 43rd St.) in Midtown Manhattan.
Prayer to St. Agnes
O Little St. Agnes, so young and yet made so strong and wise by the power of God, protect by your prayers all the young people of every place whose goodness and purity are threatened by the evils and impurities of this world. Give them strength in temptation and a true repentance when they fail.  Help them to find true Christian friends to accompany them in following the Lamb of God and finding safe pastures in His Church and in her holy sacraments. May you lead us to the wedding banquet of heaven to rejoice with you and all the holy martyrs in Christ who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Photo of the Week: Commemorative Medal for the 280th Anniversary of the Coronation of Carlo di Borbone

Commemorative medal from the private collection of John M. Viola
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

January 20, 2019

Feast of San Sebastiano Martire

Viva San Sebastiano!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
January 20th is the Feast Day of San Sebastiano (Saint Sebastian), martyr and patron saint of soldiers and athletes. Widely venerated across southern Italy, he is the principal patron of Melilli (SR), Cerami (EN), Tortorici (ME), Maniace (CT), Acireale (CT), San Sebastiano al Vesuvio (NA), Caserta (CE), Conca della Campania (CE), Aiello del Sabato (AV) and Martirano (CZ), among others. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Sebastian. The accompanying photo was taken at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Montclair, New Jersey.  
Prayer to Saint Sebastian
Dear Commander at the Roman Emperor's court, you chose to be a soldier of Christ and dared to spread faith in the King of Kings, for which you were condemned to die. Your body, however, proved athletically strong and the executing arrows extremely weak. So another means to kill you was chosen and you gave your life to the Lord. May soldiers be always as strong in their faith as their Patron Saint so clearly has been. Amen.

Viva 'o Rre! Remembering HM Carlo di Borbone, Re di Napoli e di Sicilia

b. Madrid, January 20, 1716 – d. Madrid, December 14, 1788
Also see:
Photo of the Week: Commemorative Medal for the 280th Anniversary of the Coronation of Carlo di Borbone

• Tricentennial of the Birth of King Carlo di Borbone
• The Great Restorer: Charles of Bourbon
• Remember Bitonto!
• Remembering the Battle of Bitonto
• Photo of the Week: L’Obelisco Carolino di Bitonto
• Photo of the Week: Statue of Charles of Bourbon

January 19, 2019

Meridiunalata IX: "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe Translated into Neapolitan

In this installment of Meridiunalata/Southernade, Cav. Charles Sant'Elia translates "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe into Neapolitan. Up to now we have only published the vernacular (Neapolitan, Sicilian, et al.) works of contemporary and historical Duosiciliano poets into English; however, we thought in celebration of Poe's 210th birthday (he was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 19, 1809) it would be fun to translate the work of one of our favorite American poets into Neapolitan.

The Raven
Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
          Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
          Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
          This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
          Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there 

      wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
          Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
          ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
          Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure 

      no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
          Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
          With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
          Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
          Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, 

      and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
          Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
          She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an 

      unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he 

      hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
          Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
          Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
          Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, 

“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from 

      off my door!”
          Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
          Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Lo Cuorvo
Edgar Allan Poe
(traduzione napoletana di Cav. Charles Sant’Elia)

Na mezanotte cupa, pe tramente i’ stancato e débbule, penzavo,
Ncopp’a assaje libbre curiuse e bizzarre de storia scurdata—
Pe tramente capozzejavo, quase addormuto, de botta venette 

      no tozzolejà,
Comme fosse quaccheduno tozzolejanno, tozzolejanno a la porta de 

      la cámmera mia.
"Nce stesse no visitatore" me dicette nfra de mme "ca tozzoléja a la porta de la cámmera mia—
          Sulo chesto e niente cchiù. "

Ah, m’arrecordo chiaro e tunno chillo dicembre cupo e niro; 
E d’ogne tezzone ca mureva smiccejavo ‘o fantésema ncopp’a lo suolo.
Co mpaciénzia vulevo lo juorno;—mmáttola cercavo
da li libbre mieje sullazzo de lo dulore—dulore pe la Lenora perduta—
Pe la picciotta rara e brillante ca li ángele chiámmano Lenora—
          Ca nisciuno ccà, ha dda chiammà maje cchiù.

E co lo fruscio appecundruto de seta d’ogne tenna purpúreja
Me sentevo lo friddo ncuollo—me regneva co paure fantastiche 

      maje sentute;
Ca mo, pe fà stà zitto lo vátteto de lo core mio, i’ tornavo a dícere:
“Nce stesse no visitatore ca cerca de trasì a la porta de la 

      cámmera mia—
Quaccheduno attardato ca cerca de trasì a la porta de la 

      cámmera mia;—
          È sulo chesto e niente cchiù.”

Po me facette cchiù core e senza cchiù me ntricà
"Signore," i’ dicette, "o Signora, ve prego, perdonáteme,
Ma stevo no poco addurmuto, e accossì lieggio veníveve a tozzolejà,
Ca sto tozzolejà vuosto m’ha fatto dubbità
De v’avè sentuto overamente".- Po ccà i’ spaparanzaje la porta:—
          Nce steva lo scuro e niente cchiù.

Tenenno mente int’a lo scuro, assaje i’ restaje, pensano, 

      metténnome appaura,
Dubbitanno, sunnanno suonne ca nisciuno cristiano ha osato 

      sunnà maje primma;
Ma lo silenzio nun fuje rutto, e la carma nun dette treva,
E la sola parola lloco pronunziata fuje, “Lenora?”
Chesta i’ zuzzurraje, e n’eco accopp’a la mano ace 

      murmulejaje, “Lenora!”—
          Sulo chesto e niente cchiù.

Int’a la cámmera mia votanno, tutta l’ánema mia c’abbrusciava,
Ampressa n’ata vota sentette a no tozzolejà no tantillo chi 

      forte de primma.
“Cierto” dicette i’, “cierto ha dda éssere quaccosa a la mposta mia;
Famme vedé, po, chello ca nce stesse, e chisto mistério appurà—
Fa’ stà cojeto lo core mio no momento e chisto mistério appurà;—
          È lo viento e niente cchiù!”

Tanno i’ spaparanzaje la mposta, quanno, sbattenno assaje le scelle,
Trasette no Cuorvo majestuso de li tiempe sante antiche;
Manco na leverénzia facette isso; manco no zico se fremmaje 

      o restaje;
Ma, co aria de damma o de cavaliere, se posaje ncopp’a la porta mia—
Se posaje ncopp’a no busto de Minerva ncopp’a la porta mia—
          Se posaje, e s’assettaje, e niente cchiù.

Po chist’auciello d’ébbano co lo decoro austero e tuosto de la 

      faccia soja
Mezzejaje le fantasíe appecundrose mieje a no sorriso,
“Pure si la cresta toja è rasata e carosella,” dicette i’, “tu nun sì 

      no meschino,
Cuorvo tristemente cupo e antico, arrante da la riva Notturna—
Qual’è lo nomme nóbbele tujo a la riva Plutonia de la Notte!”
          Dicette lo Cuorvo “Maje Cchiù.”

Assaje mme maravegliaje a sentì parlà accossì chiaro 

      st’auciello sgrazziato,
Pure si la resposta soja poco vuleva dì—poca rilevanza teneva;
Ca tuttequante fósseno d’accordo ca nisciuno cristiano
Ha maje visto ncopp’a la porta soja—
Nè auciello nè béstia ncopp’a lo busto ncopp’a la porta soja,
          Co tanto de nomme comm’a “Maje Cchiù.”

Ma lo Cuorvo, assettato sulagno ncopp’a lo busto práceto, dicette sulo
Chelle parole, comme si tutta l’ánema jettava int’a chelle llà,
Niente cchiù dicette—manco na penna sbattette—
Nfì ca nun murmulejaje “Ate compagne già volájeno—
Craje isso m’ha dda lassà, comme già volájeno le speranze meje.”
          Tanno l’auciello dicette “Maje Cchiù.”

Appaurato a lo silénzio rutto da tale resposta justo justo parlata,
“Certamente,” dicette i’, “chello ca dice ha dda éssere lo solo 

      repertório sujo
Mparato da quacche patrone poveriello ca da lo Desasto spiatato
Secutato e secutato ampressa nfì ca no sulo ritornello tenetténo 

      li cante suoje—
Nfì ca li cante fúnebbre de la Speranza soja chillo piso 

      malincóneco portájeno
          De ‘Maje—maje cchiù’.”

Ma lo Cuorvo ancora abbaglianno tutte le fantasie meje nzí a la resella,
I’ jettaje nnanz’a l’auciello, lo busto e la porta na potrona vellutata;
Po, pe tramente lo velluto cadeva, me mettevo a penzà
Fantasia appriess’a fantasia, penzanno ca st’auciello malauriuso 

Che cosa maje chist’auciello sivero, sgrazziato, malauriuso e turdo
          Voleva dícere ciaulejanno “Maje Cchiù.”

Accossí rommanevo assettato, addivinanno, ma senza dì na parola
A ll’auciello co ll’uocchie suoje ca m’abbrusciávano ncore;
Chesto e ate cose ancora addivinavo, co la capa mia
Acalata ncopp’a lo velluto de lo cuscino addò luceva la lampa,
Ncopp’a lo culore viola de lo velluto addò luceva,
          Chillo ca Essa nun ha dda prémmere, ah, maje cchiù!

Po, me pareva ca l’aria se faceva cchiù denza, profumata 

      da no ncenziere annascuso,
Pennulejato da Zarrafine, li passe lloro rentinnejanno 

      ncopp’a lo tappeto.
“Meschino,” i’ alluccaje, “Dio t’ha mannato- co chist’ángele 

      t’ha mannato
Abbiento—abbiento e nepente da le memmórie de Lenora;
Vevetillo, oh vevetillo chisto nepente e scordatella cheta 

      Lenora perduta!”
          Dicette lo Cuorvo, “Maje Cchiù”

“Profeta!” dicette i’, “cosa de lo male!—profeta pure, si auciello 

      o diávulo!—
O mannato da ll’Avverzário, o trascinato da lla tempesta a rriva ccà,
Desolato ma nzisto, a sta terra deserta e affatata—
A sta casa da ll’Orrore secutato—dimmello, famme sta grázia—
Nce sta—nce sta no bárzamo a Gallâde?—dimme—dimme, 

      famme sta grázia!”
          Dicette lo Cuorvo “Maje Cchiù.”

“Profeta!” dicette i’, “cosa de lo male!—profeta pure, si auciello 

      o diávulo!
Pe lo Cielo ca da llà ncoppa s’acala a nuje—pe chillo Dio ca 

      addorammo nuje duje—
Di’ a st’ánema addulorata mia, si a ll’Èddene lontano,
Ha dda abbraccià n’ata vota a na picciotta santa ca li ángele 

      chiámmano Lenora—
Ha dda abbraccià a na picciotta rara e brillante ca li ángel 

      chiámmano Lenora.”
          Dicette lo Cuorvo “Maje Cchiù.”

“Ca fósseno le parole d’addio, auciello o criatura de lo male!” 

      i’ alluccaje, auzánnome—
“Tornatenne a lla tempesta e a lla riva Plutonia de la Notte!
Nun lassà na sola penna nera comme signo de la buscía ch’he ditto!
Lassa l’appecundría mia accossí!—lassa lo busto ncopp’a lla porta mia!
Leva lo pizzo da dint’a lo core mio, e la fiura toja d’accopp’a lla porta!”
          Dicette lo Cuorvo “Maje Cchiù.”

E lo Cuorvo, maje sbolacchianno, sta ancora assettato, 

      ancora assettato
Ncopp’a lo busto pálleto de Minerva justo ncopp’a la porta 

      de la cámmera mia;
E páreno ll’uocchie suoje própeto chille de no demmónio ca sonna,
E la luce de la lampa jetta nterra ll’ombra soja ncopp’a lo suolo;
E l’ánema mia da chell’ombra ca jace abbolanno ncopp’a lo suolo
          Nun s’auzarrà —maje cchiù!

Feast of San Catello Vescovo

Evviva San Catello!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
January 19th is the Feast Day of San Catello (Saint Catellus), Bishop and protector of Castellammare di Stabia, a commune in the province of Naples. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to San Catello. The accompanying photo was taken at Saint Michael's Church in New Haven, Connecticut.
Prayer to San Catello
Glorious San Catello, beloved patron of Castellammare di Stabia, you served God in humility and confidence on earth. Now you enjoy His beatific vision in heaven. You persevered till death and gained the crown of eternal life. Remember now the dangers and confusion and anguish that surround me and intercede for me in my needs and troubles. Enlighten, protect and guide me towards eternal salvation. Amen.

January 18, 2019

Celebrating the Feast of Sant’Antonio Abate in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn

A towering inferno in honor of Sant'Antonio Abate
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
A handful of devotees braved the cold Thursday night for the St. Rocco Society’s annual falò di Sant'Antuono, or St. Anthony’s Bonfire. Keeping the tradition of our ancestors, every January 17th a large pyre is set ablaze in honor of the great saint who, according to the Promethean legend, stole fire from the Devil for the sake of humanity. The conflagration and revelry is said to ward off suffering, disease and evil spirits. Viva Sant’Antonio!
After a delicious pork dinner, Stephen and the boys erect the pyre 
Everyone watches in anticipation as our host lights the bonfire
Stephen leads us in prayer 
Driving away the evil spirits 
(Above & below) Family and friends
joyously celebrating our faith and culture
The adults enjoyed a little amaro alla rucola from Ischia
Aiz’ aiz’ aiz’, acal’, acal’, acal’, accost’, accost’, accost’, a salut’ vost’ 
A few diehards didn't want to let the fire die down...
...but after a couple hours we ran out of combustible material
and continued the party indoors

Feast of the Chair of San Pietro Apostolo at Rome

Altar of the Chair of Peter by Bernini
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
January 18th is the Feast of the Chair of San Pietro Apostolo (St. Peter the Apostle) at Rome, a celebration of the Pope's first service in the Eternal City and the infallible chair (cathedra). Known as the “Prince of Apostles,” St. Peter is the patron saint of fisherman, sailors, bakers, bridge builders, clock makers and, of course, the Papacy. He is also invoked against fever, hysteria and foot ailments. Widely venerated across southern Italy, he is the principal patron of San Pietro al Tanagro (SA), San Pietro Apostolo (CZ), Riposto (CT), San Pietro Vernotico (BR), and San Pietro in Lama (LE), among others. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a prayer to St. Peter. The accompanying photos were taken during my 2007 pilgrimage to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

Prayer to St. Peter

Pilgrim touching the foot of St. Peter
O blessed St Peter, head and chief of the Apostles, thou art the guardian of the keys of the heavenly kingdom, and against thee the powers of hell do not prevail; thou art the rock of the Church and the shepherd of Christ’s flock; thou art great in power, wonderful in thy heavenly bliss; thou hast the right of binding and loosing in heaven and on earth. The sea supported thy footsteps, the sick upon whom even thy shadow fell were cured of their ills. By the memory of that right hand which supported thee on the waves of the sea, lift me from the ocean of my sins, and by those tears which thou didst shed for thy Lord, break the bonds of my offenses and free me from the hand of all my adversaries. Help even me, O good shepherd, that I may in this life serve Christ Jesus and thee, that with thy help, after the close of a good life, I may deserve to attain the reward of eternal happiness in heaven, where thou art unto endless ages the guardian of the gates and the shepherd of the flock. Amen.

Around the Web: IA Power Hour History of the Italian American Experience, Part 4 of 4

Reading Recommendations for the Discerning Italian American
Buon Anno and Happy 2019 to all of our paisani out there! This first episode of the New Year is the fourth and final part of our four-part Power Hour series on Italian American history. John, Pat and Dolores reunite to reveal the books behind their knowledge of the Italian American experience.
We bet you can’t listen to this episode without adding at least one of these amazing works to your home library!