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, 

      upstarting—
“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 

      antico—
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! 

Traditonal Latin Mass for the Feast of St. Vincent Pallotti in East Harlem, New York

January 17, 2019

Feast of Sant'Antonio Abate

Viva Sant'Antuono!
By Giovanni di Napoli

January 17th is the Feast Day of Sant'Antonio Abate, also known as Saint Anthony the Great, one of the founders of Christian monasticism. He is regarded as the patron Saint of livestock, fire and contagious diseases, particularly skin maladies (e.g. shingles) and ergotism, a toxic condition caused by eating grains contaminated with ergot fungus. Also known as St. Anthony's Fire, ergotism causes gangrene in the extremities and drives its victims mad, symptoms previously associated with demonic possession.

In Southern Italy huge wooden pyres called the Bonfires of Saint Anthony (not to be confused with St. Anthony's Fire) are burned on the eve of his festival in public squares throughout the night. The purification ritual, which is meant to ward off evil spirits, also signifies the coming end of winter and the anticipation of spring. Local wines and delicacies are enjoyed, as well as fireworks, processions, music and other festivities. Continue reading

Sicilian Language Course in Elmhurst, Queens

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 7:30 PM – 9:15 PM

Italian Charities of America
83-20 Queens Blvd.
Elmhurst, NY 11373

Are you of Sicilian Descent? OR just interested in Sicilian? Come join us for Sicilian Language lessons. We will have a native Sicilian to teach you from beginner level, you will learn the language; reading, writing and speaking!

12 Lessons for $120, lessons start on September 15th, lessons will run through December 8th. The class runs 1 hr and 45 min. Schedule will be provided or call to inquire. Textbook is required and email will be sent out to registrants with information.

Did you know? Sicilian is neither a dialect nor an accent. It’s not derived from Italian. It’s not spoken only in Sicily. Sicilian (u sicilianu in Sicilian and siciliana in Italian) is the oldest of the Romance languages derived from Latin, and it’s spoken in Sicily and in parts of southern Italy such as Reggio di Calabria and southern Puglia. It’s derived from Latin, with Greek, Arabic, French, Provençal, German, Catalan and Spanish influences.

Sicilian is currently spoken by most of the 5,000,000 inhabitants of Sicily, plus another 2,000,000 Sicilians around the world.

To reserve your space please call to register, provide your name, phone # and email. Payment is by check or cash. Payment can be mailed, paid in the office or on first day of class. Payment must be made in full either prior to stat of class or on the first day of class. Thank you.

Please call for more information: 718-478-3100

Around the Web — More Italian National Parishes To Close In Chicago: Sign The Petition To Prevent It!

Reprinted from italianenclaves.com
By Raymond Guarini
The hardest part about documenting Italian National churches in America is that so many have already closed and so many are in the process of being closed. There is also the fact that it’s hard to coordinate travels with the times that the churches are opened. Taking that into account, also add that there is no single place where one can find a list every Italian National Parish, yet. Italian Enclaves is proud to announce that as we transform into a nonprofit, one of our first orders of business will be to do just that; an online list and archive of photos pertaining to each Italian National Parish in America.
Which Churches Are Closing In Chicago?
In Chicago, the same eventuality of closure that has fallen upon many other Italian National Parishes in the United States, is about to happen to Santa Lucia Church. Located at 3022 S Wells St, Chicago, IL 60616, Santa Lucia is one of the cornerstones of the Italian American community in the Armour Square neighborhood, a formerly dense Italian Enclave. The closure is not being limited to the Church, but the Santa Lucia Catholic School as well. Continue reading

January 16, 2019

Remembering the Kings of the Two Sicilies

Coin with portrait of HM King Francesco II di Borbone
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Last September, I had the good fortune of viewing a few pieces of my friend John’s impressive collection of Duosiciliano and Neapolitan Bourbon memorabilia. I meant to share the photos in intervals, saving those of King Ferdinando I and King Ferdinando II di Borbone for the anniversary of their shared birthdays on January 12th, but I just plumb forgot. Of the opinion that it is better to do something late than never at all, I’m posting them belatedly, together with a coin bearing King Francesco II di Borbone's portrait on His Magesty's birthday.
Lithograph of the statue of HM Ferdinando I sculpted by Antonio Canova 
Bust and portrait of HM Ferdinando II
Medal and coin with the portrait of HM Ferdinando II
Wall reliefs with the profiles of TM Maria Theresa and Ferdinando II 
Portraits of TM Ferdinando II and Maria Theresa 

Viva 'o Rre! Remembering HM King Francesco II di Borbone of the Two Sicilies

Napoli, January 16, 1836–Arco, December 27, 1894
Also see:
Remembering the Kings of the Two Sicilies

• Memorial Mass for King Francesco ll of the Two Sicilies in Newark, New Jersey
• Praying for Good King Francis
• In Memory of HM King Francesco II di Borbone
• Honoring Francesco II di Borbone in New York City

Announcing the 2019 Feast of the Madonna del Sacro Monte in Clifton, New Jersey

January 15, 2019

Celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

High altar
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Dómine Jesu Christe, qui Maríæ et Joseph súbditus domésticam vitam ineffabílibus virtútibus consecrásti: fac nos, utriúsque auxílio, Famíliæ sanctæ tuæ exémplis ínstrui; et consórtium cónsequi sempitérnum: Qui vivis. ~ The Collect*
Madonna and Child bye-altar
Sunday evening my friends and I joined some sixty parishioners at beautiful Holy Name of Jesus Church (245 Prospect Park West) in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn for Solemn High Traditional Latin Mass for the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. With so few Tridentine Masses offered in the area, we didn't want to miss it.
The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was sung by Celebrant and Homilist Fr. Joseph Zwosta. Fr. J. Patrick Hough S.J. was the Deacon and Fr. Evans Julce was the Subdeacon. The sacred ministers were dutifully assisted by servers Eddy Toribio, Brian Hilley, Lorenzo Tinio, Robert Jurman and Arthur Gange. The Ordinary of the Mass and motets were composed by director and organist David Adam Smith and gloriously chanted by Elizabeth Merrill, Augusta Caso, Garrett Eucker, Ryland Angel, Sean Salamon and Michael Hofmann.
St. Joseph bye-altar
Thank you Rev. Lawrence D. Ryan, Pastor and all the Parish staff and congregation for your warmth and hospitality. Special thanks to Cindy Brolsma and organizers for your hard work and dedication. Once again, it was a privilege to celebrate our faith together. 
The next Traditional Latin Mass at Holy Name of Jesus Church will be celebrated on March 16th at 11:30am on Ember Saturday in Lent.
* O Lord Jesus Christ, who when Thou wast  subject to Mary and Joseph didst sanctify home life with ineffable virtues: grant that by their assistance, we may be instructed by the example of Thine Holy Family and become partakers of their eternal happiness.
Nativity scene in the sanctuary

Feast of San Mauro Abate

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
January 15th is the Feast Day of San Mauro Abate (Saint Maurus the abbot), wonder-worker and healer of the sick. Widely venerated across southern Italy, he is the principal patron of Viagrande (CT), Aci Castello (CT), San Mauro Castelverde (PA), San Mauro Forte (MT), San Mauro La Bruca (SA), and Casoria (NA), among others. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to Saint Maurus. The accompanying photo of the Madonna and Child with San Mauro Abate by Francesco Solimena was taken at the Museo Civico di Castel Nuovo in Naples.
Prayer to Saint Maurus
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord, that the prayers of thy holy Abbot, blessed Maurus may commend us unto thee, that we, who have no power of ourselves to help ourselves, may by his advocacy find favor in thy sight, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Announcing the 2019 Feast of Santa Marina in Inwood, Long Island

For more info visit the Santa Marina Society of Inwood on Facebook

January 13, 2019

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Traditionally celebrated on January 13th, the Octave day of the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6th), the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord commemorates Christ’s Baptism in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist. This manifestation, or epiphany, of Christ marks the beginning of His public ministry. In celebration I’m posting a Prayer for the Baptism of the Lord. The accompanying photo of Gerolamo Starace-Franchis’ painting Battesimo di Cristo was taken at the Museo Civico di Castel Nuovo in Napoli.
Prayer for the Baptism of the Lord
Almighty ever-living God, who, when Christ had been baptized in the River Jordan and as the Holy Spirit descended upon him, solemnly declared him your beloved Son, grant that your children by adoption, reborn of water and the Holy Spirit, may always be well pleasing to you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Feast of La Sacra Famiglia

Traditionally la Festa della Sacra Famiglia, or the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph, is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Epiphany (January 6th). To commemorate the occasion I'm posting the Consecration to the Holy Family. The accompanying photo was taken inside the Our Lady of Lourdes and Madonna di Ripalta chapel at Most Precious Blood Church in Manhattan’s Little Italy.
Consecration to the Holy Family 

O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Thy teaching and example, didst will to pass the greater part of Thy life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to Thee this day. Do Thou protect us, guard us and establish amongst us Thy holy fear, true peace and concord in Christian love: in order that by living according to the divine pattern of Thy family we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness. 

Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by the kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of Jesus, and obtain for us His graces and blessings. 

O Saint Joseph, most holy Guardian of Jesus and Mary, help us by thy prayers in all our spiritual and temporal needs; that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Savior Jesus, together with Mary and thee, for all eternity. Amen. 

Say an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be three times.

January 12, 2019

Viva 'o Rre! Remembering HM King Ferdinando I di Borbone of the Two Sicilies

Napoli, January 12, 1751–Napoli, January 4, 1825
Also see:
• Remembering the Kings of the Two Sicilies

• Viva 'o Rre! His Majesty King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
• Photo of the Week: HM Ferdinando IV di Napoli, King of the Two Sicilies, at Montecassino
• Photo of the Week: Equestrian Statue of HM King Ferdinando I di Borbone, Piazza del Plebiscito
• Photo of the Week: Statue of HM King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
• Photo of the Week: Grand Staircase with Statue of HM King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
• Photo of the Week: HM King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli
• Photo of the Week: Statue of HM Ferdinando IV di Napoli, King of the Two Sicilies, at Montecassino
• Photo of the Week: The Apotheosis of King Ferdinand and Queen Maria Carolina

Viva 'o Rre! Remembering HM King Ferdinando II di Borbone of the Two Sicilies

Palermo, January 12, 1810 — Caserta, May 22, 1859
Also see:
• Remembering the Kings of the Two Sicilies

• Viva ‘o Rre! His Majesty King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies 
• Precursors To The Fall: Early attempts to destroy the sovereign Kingdom of the Two Sicilies 
• Why We Are Neo-Bourbons

January 10, 2019

The Search for our Ancestry (LV)

I Know Nothing
By Angelo Coniglio
In previous columns, I have discussed general approaches for finding ancestral information. I want to take a different tack, using a case study. I see innumerable remarks in my email and in response to my genealogy columns that go something like this. “I know nothing but my father’s name. He said he was born in Sicily. Can you help me find my ancestry?” 
My usual response is “I’m sure you know more about your father. When was he born? Where did he live? What was his occupation? What were the names of his siblings, in order of age?” The reader responded: “My father’s name was Calogero Montante. He was born in about 1913 in Sicily and lived in Rochester, New York in the 1940’s, marrying my mother Marie. He was the eldest, and his siblings, were Leonard, Raymond, and Carmela. He worked in a glass factory. But I know nothing about his ancestry.”
That’s not a lot of information, but neither is it “nothing.” Start with the most recent information, wary of misspellings. I looked for the Montante surname in the 1940 U.S. Census for Rochester, on Ancestry.com, familysearch.org and other venues. In the census, taken on 1 April 1940, I found a Calogero ‘Montanti’, age at last birthday 50, born in ‘Italy.’ That’s the right name, but he would have been born in about 1890, not 1913. However, in addition to his wife Rose, the census lists children Leonard, Raymond and Carmela. The sons were born in Pennsylvania, and the daughter in New York State. This looked like the right family. A son Calogero wasn’t listed, but being the eldest, he may have lived elsewhere in 1940.
In the U. S., “Charles” is commonly used for “Calogero. I searched the 1940 census for “Charles Montante” and found one, born in ‘Italy’, age 27 (born about 1913), a mechanic in a glass factory, with a wife Marie and two children, at a different address from the other ‘Montanti’ family. I then searched for the family in the 1930 Census, and found “Charlie” Montante, age 40, with wife Rose and children “Charles,” age 17, Leonard, Raymond and Carmela. The 1940 Census gives no immigration information; while 1930’s states that “Charlie” Sr. immigrated in 1913 and had been naturalized. 
Continuing back in time, and since the censuses said some of the children were born in Pennsylvania, I searched the 1920 U.S. Census for that state. I found a Charley ‘Muntanti’, age 30, an alien born in ‘Italy,’ living in Pittston, PA with wife ‘Rosy’ and sons ‘Charles’, Leonardo and Raimondo. So the elder Calogero immigrated in about 1913, and was naturalized as a U.S. citizen sometime between 1920 and 1930. None of the censuses gave any birthplace details except ‘Italy,’ (‘Italy’ included Sicily). Usually no town or city is named, unless the immigrant was from a major city like Rome. Now, one of two approaches might work. Knowing that Calogero Sr. was naturalized between 1920 and 1930, we could search for his naturalization records. These would give his date and place of birth, date of immigration, the ship’s name, his U.S. address, and the names and birth dates of his family members. Such records are not that easy to find, but may be held at a County Clerk’s or local court office.
Another avenue is to search for the ship’s passenger manifest of Calogero Sr. Records are available on-line on familysearch.org, Ancestry.com, and ellisisland.org. I searched, and found a record for Calogero Montante, emigrating on the SS Berlin in May 1913 at age 24, traveling to his brother Antonio in Pittston. The name of the closest relative left behind was Calogero’s wife Rosa Latona, in the town of Occhibanna, Sicily. It also gave Occhibanna as Calogero’s last place of residence and birthplace.
Knowing the critical piece of information, the ancestral town, the next step was to find Calogero Montante Sr.’s birth record. Records for many towns are available on Ancestry.com, familysearch.org & on the official Italian ‘Ancestors’ site at http://bit.ly/ItalianRecordsPortal. 1890 is the approximate year indicated by Calogero Sr.’s age in the census and passenger manifest. His name wasn’t in the 1890 birth index for Occhibanna, so I checked 1889. He was born on 26 April 1889, confirming the report in the 1 April 1940 census: “50 at his last birthday.” The birth record gives his father’s name and age, his mother’s name, and a margin note stating that Calogero married Rosa Latona in 1912. Starting with this information, earlier records were located that extended the reader’s family tree back to the early 1800’s with the names of many of his g-g-g-g grandparents, back to the early 1700’s. All from nothing. 
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 www.bit.ly/SicilianStory Coniglio’s web page at http://bit.ly/AFCGen has helpul 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

January 9, 2019

Il Regno Launches its New Briganti Book and Gaming Club

Inspired by recent Christmas shopping sprees at the Strand Book Store (828 Broadway) and Chess Forum (219 Thompson St.) in New York City, Il Regno has added its new Briganti Book and Gaming Club to our growing list of fun social initiatives. As with our other cultural and recreational activities (hikingbocceforaging, etc.), contributors and friends are invited to participate in our convivial gatherings.

Starting off small, we chose six books that we haven't already read (but probably should have) for our first year. Alternating monthly between book discussions and playing games (chess, backgammon and tombola around Christmas time), members will meet at various locations (TBD) around the New York metropolitan area.

Doing our best to keep a broad range of subjects, styles and authors, we decided to read Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick (1851); Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764); Louis Mendola’s The Kingdom of Sicily, 1130-1860 (2015); Joris-Karl Huysmans' The Cathedral (1898); Francis Marion Crawford’s The Upper Berth, For the Blood is the Life, and Other Horrors (2018); and Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America (1835).

By limiting ourselves to just half a dozen books, a few really interesting suggestions (e.g. Richard Barber’s The Holy Grail: Imagination and Belief (2004) and William Shakespeare's The Tempest (c.1610)) had to be shelved for another time. A toss-up between F.M. Crawford's horror fiction anthology and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (1818) for Halloween, we ultimately went with the former because of his comparisons with the master of horror, H.P. Lovecraft.

Depending on the success of the venture and the commitment of the participants, we may consider opening up club membership to the general public at a future date.

Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Holy Family in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

January 7, 2019

Photo of the Week: Mount Vesuvius looming over the Cantina del Vesuvio Winery

Mount Vesuvius looming over Cantina del Vesuvio, a picturesque winery situated on the slopes of the Volcano. Photo by New York Scugnizzo

January 6, 2019

La Befana and the Feast of the Epiphany

The Adoration of the Magi
Neapolitan School
January 6th is the Feast of the Epiphany, a solemn celebration of the revelation of Christ to the Magi, thus symbolizing His physical manifestation to mankind. Originating in the Eastern Church, Epiphany comes from the Greek epihania, meaning, "to show forth." While in the West the Adoration of the Magi is the principal focus of the celebration, the Epiphany is actually a commemoration of three events that reveal Christ's divinity: The visitation of the Magi, His baptism and the first miracle at the wedding in Cana.  

In Italy, the Epiphany is popularly celebrated with la Befana, a benevolent witch who rewards good little boys and girls with presents, typically fruit, nuts and candy; naughty children get ash and coal. Despite the obvious similarities, she is often erroneously referred to as the "Italian Santa Claus." Traditionally in Southern Italy Christmas was a much more reserved holiday, Saint Nicholas would bring gifts on his Feast Day (December 6th). Santa Claus, or Babbao Natale (Father Christmas) as he is called, is a recent importation. La Befana (a corruption of epihania) is a much older tradition (some claim she has pre-Christian roots). Whatever her origins, she is distinctly Italian (but not without some regional differences) and a quaint embellishment to the Epiphany celebration.

According to legend, while following the star to Bethlehem, the Three Wise Men came across an old crone doing her housework. She welcomed them into her modest home and treated them very hospitably. In gratitude the Magi invited her to join their caravan and partake in their quest of the newborn Messiah. She politely declined and they continued on their journey without her. Realizing her mistake she had a change of heart, but it was too late; she was unable to find them or the manger. To this day la Befana wanders the earth on her magical broomstick (or flying donkey, depending on whose telling the tale) leaving her gifts in hopes of finding the Christ Child.

In commemoration I'm posting an Epiphany Prayer. The accompanying photo of The Adoration of the Magi was taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. 

Epiphany Prayer

Jesus, Light of the World, at Epiphany, we celebrate Your revelation to the world—Your majesty, in the visit of the Magi, Your mission, in Your baptism in the Jordan, Your ministry and miraculous powers, at the marriage feast of Cana.

This new year, may we ever more faithfully seek You, worship You and walk by your light, so that we may help bring Your Love and life to all people and Your Kingdom to earth. Amen