March 30, 2019

April 2019 Constantinian Food Walk

This Thursday, April 4th at 7:00PM join the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George Auxiliary Corps for their monthly food walk. Volunteers will meet at the Church of the Transfiguration cafeteria (29 Mott Street—entrance on Mosco St.) in Chinatown, New York to prepare and distribute food to the homeless.

Anyone interested in supporting this charitable endeavor can contact Cav. John Napoli at jnapoli@smocsg.org or Anna Mavrianos-Cesare at MsAnnaNY@aol.com. For additional information, the Order can be found on FacebookTwitterInstagram or at The Constantinian Chronicle. IHSV

Feast of Saint Irene the Healer

Saint Sebastian Cured by Saint Irene by Luca Giordano (c.1665)
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
March 30th is the Feast Day of Saint Irene of Rome. She was the widow of Saint Castulus, who was martyred during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian. She famously nursed Saint Sebastian back to health after he was left for dead, his body riddled with arrows. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer to Saint Irene. The accompanying photo of Saint Sebastian Cured by Saint Irene by Luca Giordano was taken at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Prayer to Saint Irene
O Glorious Saint Irene you served God in humility and confidence on earth, now you enjoy His beatific vision in Heaven. Help me to strengthen my faith and protect me in conflict. Obtain for me the grace to live a holy life, so that one day I may join you in the Kingdom of Heaven. Amen

March 29, 2019

Matera, European Capital of Culture

Thursday, April 4, 2019 @6pm–7pm PDT

Sahara West Library
9600 W Sahara Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada 89117

The talk is part of the Discovering Italy Series offered through the Sahara West Library. Matera is a town in Basilicata in the arch of the boot of Italy.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Matera is famous for its remarkable “Sassi” neighborhoods carved out of stone and this year has been named European Capital of Culture. Come hear this ancient city’s unique story of survival and human achievement and see the evocative beauty that captivates film directors and attracts visitors from all over the world.

The talk will be given by Karen Haid, the award-winning author of Calabria: The Other Italy, a nonfiction book that explores daily life, culture, history, food and tourism of the region in the toe of the Italian boot. She is currently working on a book about Basilicata, the home to Matera.

Announcing the 94th Annual Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian in Cambridge, Massachusetts

www.cosmas-and-damian.org

March 28, 2019

Feast of San Giovanni da Capestrano

Viva San Giovanni!
March 28th is the traditional Feast Day of San Giovanni da Capestrano, patron Saint of military chaplains and jurists. He is also the protector of Capestrano, a commune in the Province of L'Aquila (Abruzzo), where he was born in 1386. 
San Giovanni is revered as the "soldier saint" for his role in the valiant defense of Belgrade against the Ottoman Turks in 1456. With his fiery sermons, he helped raise a peasant army and assisted John Hunyadi, the heroic White Knight of Wallachia, in breaking the siege and routing the invaders. 
To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer in honor of St. John of Capistrano.
Prayer to St. John of Capistrano
Lord, you raised up Saint John of Capistrano to give your people comfort in their trials. May your Church enjoy unending peace and be secure in your protection. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

March 26, 2019

Help Fund the 'At The Table With Tony' Podcast With Anthony Scillia

Photo courtesy of Anthony Scillia
After much deliberating and motivation from my family & close friends, especially Dr. Rob Quicke, I have decided to take a very large step and start a podcast entitled “At The Table With Tony.” For many years now, I have been active on all forms of social media. I have done my best to bring a taste of Italian-Americana to my friends and followers. I feel it is now time to step out of my comfort zone and bring my brand to a wider audience. 
The goal of this podcast, in addition to being entertaining, is also a way of preserving the Italian-American culture, traditions, and of course, the food for future generations. As I’ve grown older, I have seen more and more businesses close and that breaks my heart. I understand the inevitability of some of these closures. However, it is my goal and my wish to preserve a taste of our heritage through this audio medium. 
I was also inspired by a project sponsored by the Library of Congress a number of years back in the early 1990s. A group of people through pictures and audio recordings profiled 21st Avenue in Paterson, New Jersey. This neighborhood was one of the three or four distinct “Little Italy” neighborhoods of Paterson. It was in the waning years of the neighborhoods strong Italian roots. The efforts of these people to preserve this taste of Paterson’s Little Italy was extremely motivating and commendable. 
It is my hope and ultimate goal to help to preserve some of these neighborhoods by documenting namely their food cultures and the people behind them. Continue reading

Announcing the 95th Annual Santa Lucia Festival in Omaha, Nebraska

www.santaluciafestival.com

March 25, 2019

Feast of the Annunciation

The Annunciation by Renato Rossi, hand painted ceramic tiles on the facade of the Confraternity of Annunziata and Rosario (next door to the Chiesa San Giovanni) in Vietri sul Mare. Photos by New york Scugnizzo
March 25th is the Feast of the Annunciation and the Mystery of the Incarnation, when the archangel Gabriel visited the Virgin Mary and announced she would conceive a Child by the Holy Spirit. The Feast is also the traditional day to make your Total Consecration to Jesus through the Blessed Virgin Mary. In celebration I'm posting The Angelus, a devotional prayer honoring the Blessed Mother's role in the Incarnation, which should be repeated three times daily (morning, midday and evening).
The Angelus

Prayer at dawn:

The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary:
And she conceived by the Holy Spirit

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Prayer at noon:

Behold the handmaid of the Lord:
Be it done unto me according to Thy Word.
Hail Mary…

Prayer at twilight:

And the Word was made flesh:
And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary…

Conclusion after each prayer time:

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen

March 24, 2019

Feast of San Gabriele Arcangelo

The Annunciation by Luca Giordano
March 24th is the Feast Day of San Gabriele Arcangelo (St. Gabriel the Archangel), the exalted messenger of God. He is the patron saint of postmen, diplomats, messengers and telecommunication workers. In celebration I’m posting a Prayer to Archangel Gabriel. The accompanying photo of The Annunciation by Luca Giordano was taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
A Prayer to the Archangel Gabriel
O Blessed Archangel Gabriel, we beseech thee, do thou intercede for us at the throne of divine Mercy in our present necessities, that as thou didst announce to Mary the mystery of the Incarnation, so through thy prayers and patronage in heaven we may obtain the benefits of the same, and sing the praise of God forever in the land of the living. Amen.

March 23, 2019

Announcing the 5th Annual La Primavera Vinni Dance Party with Rosa Tatuata in New York City

Tuesday, March 26th 
(8PM–Doors open at 7:30)

Goddard Riverside Senior Center
593 Columbus Ave. & 88th St.
New York, NY 10025

It's time to shake off the winter blues and dance into spring! Each year, just as Persephone returns to the Land of the Living, bringing with her warm weather and sunshine, Rosa Tatuata, perform the joyous, raucous, and passionate music of Sicily and Southern Italy to welcome her back and usher in Spring! Wherever they take their celebration becomes a piazza in Sicily where the audience can dance to the Folk and Roots music of Sicily and Southern Italy and learn some dance steps while they celebrate.

www.michelamusolino.com

Also see:
• Celebrating Spring at the Second Annual La Primavera Vinni Concert with Rosa Tatuata and LassatilAbballari

March 22, 2019

The First Decade

Illustration courtesy of John M. Viola
Ten years on and we are still as committed and inspired as we were from day one. To be sure a lot has changed—contributors have come and gone, ideas and opinions evolved, and our time and resources have waxed and waned—but through it all we remain steadfast to our mission and the Two Sicilies cause.
Since its inception, the site was only meant to augment our activities, it wasn’t suppose to be an end in itself. We wanted to learn more about our history and people, get involved in the cultural and religious life of our community, and share the experiences, discoveries and our excitement with others.
We try to do it in a positive way, though looking back we may not have always been successful. But unlike the vulgar trolls and blinkered neckbeards hiding behind their computer screens or smartphones, our circle of netroots attempt to forge a resilient counterculture at the grassroots level through our many religious, charitable, educational, social, and cultural efforts.
(Un)Social Media
Fed up with social media, we dropped our various accounts (TwitterInstagram, et al.) and never looked back. Trying to increase site traffic had become taxing and felt like a full time job, for which we have not the time or the will. Even if we did, it has been shown that the yield was not worth the effort. Since leaving the intrusive platforms our web analytics revealed virtually no change in our numbers. 
Another contributing factor for our leaving was the hypocritical rules, skewed guidelines and algorithms working against traditional and conservative users. We choose (as much as possible, considering how much sway they hold over the means of communication) not to be complicit with those who are working against our community’s best interests. [This also holds true for individuals, groups, businesses and institutions.] 
Thanks to the sorry state of journalism and partisan politics, the web has become ever more disquieting. Politicians and media (both mass and social) are untrustworthy and unhinged. We find our news feeds glutted with vapid drivel, pernicious agitprop, and boldfaced lies.
In hindsight, it is a wonder our withdrawal from these unsavory platforms had not come sooner.
Online Oases
“Never let the perfect be the enemy of the good” ~ Charles Coloumbe, Off the Menu: Episode 89
A vast desolation of incivility, perversion and inanity to be sure, there are still plenty of oases out there in cyberspace to briefly escape the madness. Among our favorites are Jeff Mathew’s Naples: Life, Death and Miracles; Karen Haid’s Calabria: The Other Italy; and Raymond Guarini’s Italian American Enclaves. We also recommend the very informative and entertaining Italian American Power Hour podcast with John Viola and his cacophonic “partners in crime,” Pat, Dolores, Anthony and the enchanting Rossella. 
Other great sites, though not specifically geared towards Italian Americans, are Tumblr House’s Off the Menu podcast with Vincent Frankini and the perspicacious Charles A. Coulombe; and the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny, which is dedicated to promoting the Traditional Mass in accordance with the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. Losing the Mad Monarchist in 2018 was a grievous blow, but thankfully his important and prolific work is still available online to peruse and reference.
To be sure there are more, but these are some of our most frequented.
Filthy Lucre
Some have suggested that we monetize the site. While we appreciate the feedback and are flattered that they think well enough of us to believe that we—with such limited popular appeal—could generate anything more than a mere pittance, the idea of monetizing Il Regno is anathema to us. 
First of all, we are strictly voluntary. Those of us who contribute do it out of a sense of duty, not for money or profit. Though it helps, the fact that we love what we are doing is incidental.  
We also value our independence and don’t want to be beholden to the almighty dollar or impinging sponsors. Advertising will inevitably lead to ugly and obtrusive ads, clickbait and other disagreeable content. It’s best not to go down that path.
Pray Pal
This goes as well for those few generous souls who wish to fund us. Forget the money, offer it to more needy and important causes. Italian American Saint Societies, for example, can always use the support.

If you really want to help us carry on and you can’t contribute constructive content or participate in our public ventures, we are happily accepting donations in the form of prayers. If you like what we do and want us to continue doing it, please say a prayer for us. Your generosity and thoughtfulness are greatly appreciated. God bless you all.
                           ~ Giovanni di Napoli, Brooklyn, March 21, 2019, The Feast of Bl. Maria Candida of the Eucharist

March 20, 2019

Happy Spring!

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
The March or vernal equinox marks the beginning of spring, a time of rebirth and fertility. In celebration of the new season I would like to share a poem by the great Sicilian poet and 1959 Nobel Laureate Salvatore Quasimodo from The Night Fountain: Selected Early Poems translated by Marco Sonzogni and Gerald Sawe, Arc Publications, 2008, p. 26-27. The accompanying photo of Primavera (Spring), or Flora, the goddess of fertility and springtime, from the Villa Arianna, Stabiae, first century AD, was taken at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli in 2010.
Wild Flowers

Blood clots hanging over torn green velvet:
the wounds of the fields!
Breathing in the sweet air, spring has broken
the veins of its swollen breasts.
Wind gusts with eager lips: a kiss!
Blood-red wild flowers float on threadlike
and foamless waves.

Primule

Grumi pensili di sangue sul lacero velluto verdognolo.
Oh le ferite dei prati!
La primavera respirando voluttuosamente l'aria soave, ha rotte
le vene del suo seno turgido.
Un fiotto di vento con le labbra avide; un bacio! E le
primule sanguigne galleggiano su l'onde filamentose e
senza spuma.

March 19, 2019

Evviva San Giuseppe! A Look at the 2019 Festa di San Giuseppe in Ridgewood, Queens

Due to the fragile condition of the traditional processional statue, organizers borrowed one from St. Francis of Paola Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Hundreds gathered at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church in Ridgewood, Queens Sunday afternoon for the Feast of San Giuseppe sponsored by the Associazone Cattolica Italiana di Miraculous Medal.
(Above & below) Devotees carry San Giuseppe from the Notre Dame Catholic Academy gymnasium to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church 
The statue is placed near the altar in the sanctuary
(Above & below) A look at the newly painted church
The church has a beautiful semidome above the altar
After Mass, the statue is processed out of Miraculous Medal Church 
A large crowd of devotees gather outside the church for the procession
Donations are pinned to the statue
Our friends Anna and Franca from the Our Lady of the Snow Society
The procession departs from the church 
The Giglio Band
(Above & below) The procession wends its way through the neighborhood 
Along the way, devotees greet us with their own statues of St. Joseph 
After a couple of hours the procession makes its way back to the church
(Above & below) San Giuseppe is returned to the gymnasium with great fanfare
Partygoers stand for the National Anthem before the refreshments 
President Tony Mulé kicks off the festivities
Our dear friend Stephen La Rocca, President of the St. Rocco Society, is honored for his devotion and generosity to San Giuseppe
Loaves of blessed bread and prayer cards are distributed to the pilgrims
Children help draw the numbers for the raffle contest
This year's prizes included statues of the Holy Family and San Giuseppe
A few cuties with their beloved patron

Feast of San Giuseppe

Viva San Giuseppe!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
March 19th is Saint Joseph's Day. As a carpenter and spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster-father of the Infant Jesus, he is the patron saint of workers and protector of the family. He is also invoked in the fight against Communism.
In Sicily the day is popularly celebrated with La Tavulata di San Giuseppe or Saint Joseph's Table. Dating back to Medieval times, the ritual meal is held in honor of the Saint's intercession during an especially bad famine. According to legend, a severe drought struck the island inflicting widespread suffering and starvation. Saint Joseph answered the peoples' prayers and relieved them from the dreadful plight. Continue reading

March 18, 2019

Photo of the Week: Torquato Tasso, Sorrento

Statue of the 16th-century poet from Sorrento, best know for his epic poem Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered), Piazza Tasso, Sorrento 
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

Solemn High Mass for the Feast of St. Joseph in East Harlem, New York

March 17, 2019

Meridiunalata XI: "Hjumara" by Achille Curcio

Inspired by Cav. Charles Sant'Elia's Meridiunalata/Southernade,* an evocative bilingual (Neapolitan/English) collection of poetry written between 1989 and 2010, we offer the reader an accessible introduction to vernacular (Neapolitan, Sicilian, et al.) verse with the aim of awakening enthusiasm for contemporary and historical poesia Duosiciliano
In this installment we're featuring the poetry of Achille Curcio
Achille Curcio was born 26 May 1930 in Borgia (province of Catanzaro), where his father was county secretary, before moving to nearby Montauro, on the Ionian side of the province of Catanzaro. He became a school teacher in Catanzaro in the elementary school system, and then spent 40 years teaching in a juvenile detention center there. He began writing very young and chose to write in his native Calabrese dialect. He collaborated with various dailies and magazines. After the publication of his collections Lampari (1970) and Hjumara (1974), his home in Catanzaro and his other home on the Ionian Sea in Calalunga, became meeting places for many leading 20th century figures including Bigongiari, Bonea, Del Pino, Campus, Raul Maria De Angelis, Buttitta and Gerhard Rohlfs. In the mid 1970’s Curcio began a constant effort to bolster Calabrese poetry and he held readings of his work in various cities around Calabria, as well as in Florence, Zurich and Berne, and later in the 1990’s in Canada and Australia as well.
After publishing his personal collection in 1975, Visioni del Sud, which gained him a vaster readership, and his 1983 book Chi canti, chi cunti? he wrote a series of satires, an important collection of Calabrese proverbs, and a collection of short stories, L’eremita di Sant’Anna (1984). Curcio published two further collections of poetry, ’A vertula d’o poeta (1991) and ’U poeta non rida (2005), followed by works centered on the rediscovery and memory of his native land (’U morzeddhu, 2007, and La mia Cantanzaro, 2010). In addition to being translated into Hungarian (L’unda mi cunta/Hullámok dala, 2007), two conventions on dialect poetry were dedicated to him: 1981, La poesia dialettale del Novecento (in Catanzaro, with Ignazio Buttita), and in 2006, Il dialetto come lingua della poesia (in Trieste, with Franco Loi and younger generation poets). His work appeared in many anthologies, including Le parole di legno. Poesia in dialetto del ‘900 italiano, edited by M. Chiesa and G. Tesio (Mondadori, 1984). Luigi Tassoni wrote a critical monograph on Curcio, Lezione di poesia. Il dialetto contemporaneo di Achille Curcio (Bologna, Archetipolibri 2010). In March 2010 the University of Pécs dedicated an international seminar on poetry readings to Curcio, when Pécs was the European Culture Capital. On 26 May 2010, for his 80th birthday, the city of Catanzaro held a day of studies and presentations, and the mayor gave him the keys to the city. For his 85th birthday the MARCA museum of Catanzaro dedicated the La poesia che pensa event under the direction of Rocco Guglielmo and Luigi Tassoni.
Hjumara

De tutti li jochi chi fici guagliuna
non resta cchiù nenta nte chista sirata;
eppuru sti strati, stu vecchiu portuna
mi furu cumpagni nte chiddha jornata,
chi tuttu era jocu, chi tuttu era cantu
si u celu mustrava d’azzurru nu mantu.

De tutti i speranzi cuvati nt’o cora
non resta na scagghia cà tuttu spariu;
chist’anima trema videndu cà fora
na negghia passandu stu celu tingiu
e tuttu cumpara de niru velatu
stu mara, stu sula, stu nundu cangiatu.

Nte chista sirata domandu a lu ventu
duva iddhu portau la mia giovinezza;
e duva mo porta stu caru lamentu
de st’anima nira, cchiù nira ‘e na pezza.
Lu ventu respunda cà tuttu scumpara,
cà resta la vita na vera hjumara.

Hjumara chi porta luntanu l’affanni
d’o riccu signora, d’o peju sciancatu
li belli jornati, l’amuri e li nganni,
speranzi, suspire, nu sonnu spezzatu.
Hjumara maligna chi tuttu trascina
e poi cu nu vuddhu ti scriva la fina.

River
By Achille Curcio (1974)
Translated by Cav. Charles Sant’Elia

Of all the games I played as a child
Nothing is left in these evenings;
Even these streets, this old great doorway
Were my companions in those days,
When all was a game, when all was song
If the sky shown itself as a blue mantle.

Of all the hopes lodged in my heart
There is left not a splinter, for all disappeared;
This soul trembles seeing that outside
A passing fog stained this sky
And all appears veiled in black
This sea, this sun, this changed world.

In this evening I ask the wind
where he brought my youth;
and where he now brings this dear lament
of this blackened soul, blacker than a rag.
The wind responds that all disappears,
that life remains a true river.

River that brings afar the grief
of the rich lord, of the worst off beggar
the beautiful days, love and deceits,
hopes, sighs, a shattered dream.
Evil river that drags everything
And then with an eddy writes your end.


* Self-published in 2010, Meridiunalata/Southernade is a treasury of poems gleaned from Cav. Sant'Elia's previous collections (Nchiuso dint''o presente, 'A cuntrora, and 'O pino e l'éllera), which were circulated among friends in New York City and Naples. Special thanks to Cav. Sant'Elia for allowing us to reprint his poetry and translations.

March 16, 2019

Restoration of the Madonna Della Stella

Reprinted from the March 2019 Craco Society Bulletin
Don Antonio Lopatriello, the parish priest in Craco contacted us with information about plans to restore the chapel of the Madonna della Stella. His letter follows: 
Dear all,  
I’ve already had the great pleasure of meeting many of you. I know that you are a lot and, in these first 16 months of service in Craco, I’ve understood how much you are related to your land. To all of you, I send my warmest greetings.  
On 29 September 2017, I started my pastoral ministry as parish priest of the Parish of St. Nicholas Bishop. Since that day, I have married that portion of God's people who lives in Craco and even those, like you, whose heart has never left our country and that are physically far away. I went into their home and I found in Craco’s inhabitants a family that was able to welcome me with affection, generosity, trust and hope. Trust and hope that I have al-ways tried to reward while carrying out the task that the Church has entrusted to me. There are many things we have done together with all the “ Crachesi” , starting from the work that has affected the parish church, without forget-ting the many initiatives, primarily pastoral, but also cultural and social, which have been put in place. So much has been done, but even more is to do, as a praise to the Lord and for the faith of the people of Craco.  
Knowing the people, I have experienced their faith and going into their houses, I met an Illustrious person, belonging to every family of Craco. In every house, in fact, there is something that speaks of Her, the woman who is the Mother of all Crachesi and, therefore, also my mother: the Madonna della Stella. Thinking of you, Crachesi scattered around the world, I imagine your devotion to Our Lady of the Star and I feel that She is certainly the one who guards the unity of us.  
Knowing Craco, I had to know his story and I immediately understood that it is a story of strength and sacrifice. Everyone here knows what it means to lose their houses or to roll up their sleeves to give the life back to a country.  
The fringe events and floods have not saved the symbolic places of the faith of Craco, including the home of our beloved mother. The Church of the Madonna della Stella, in fact, presents important critical issues and it needs a serious restoration, as well as the statue, which I imagine portrayed in photography, even in your houses.  
You know the reality of Craco better than me and you know very well that it is a humble country. The economic situation, as in the rest of Southern Italy, is not that great, and even the Parish, which has had to bear many expenses and it has counted on the great generosity of our companions, lives a difficult situation.  
I therefore appeal to your children's heart, in the certainty that our mother, Our Lady of the Star, will not forget the offer that you will want to donate and that She will repay you as only the Mother can do.  
In the hope of meeting all of you, I’ll pray for you and I ask you to pray the God for me so I can carry on what He asks me to do, the best, at the service of his Craco people.  
I bless you affectionately.  
Your parish priest  
Don Antonio Lopatriello 
Contributions to support the restoration effort can be made directly through PayPal to: pasquale.ragone@alice.it 
Anyone needing more information about it can contact us on: https://www.facebook.com/Parrocchia-San-Nicola-Vescovo-Craco-MT-1557411681233080/ 

Mass in Honor of the Feast of the Good Thief Sponsored by the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George in Washington, DC

March 15, 2019

Feast of San Longino Martire

Evviva San Longino!
March 15th is the Feast Day of San Longino (St. Longinus), the Holy Martyr. According to tradition, St. Longinus was a Roman centurion from Lanciano, Abruzzo, present at the Crucifixion of Jesus on Mount Golgotha in Judea. In order to confirm Christ's death, Longinus pierced the side of Our Lord with his spear. Visually impaired from a wound he sustained in battle, Longinus miraculously had his eyesight restored when the blood and water of Christ spattered him in the face. Exclaiming "Truly, this was the son of God!" he converted and retired from the army. Taking instruction in the faith from the Apostles, Longinus became a monk and preached in Cappadocia. Arrested for profaning the gods, Longinus was brutally tortured and beheaded. Over the centuries, his lance, known as the Spear of Destiny, has been sought after by many conquerors as a weapon of great power. It is said, whoever possesses the sacred relic would be invincible in battle. 

To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a prayer to St. Longinus. The accompanying photo of Gian Lorenzo Bernini's magnificent marble sculpture was taken during my 2007 pilgrimage to the shrine of San Longino inside St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.
Prayer to St. Longinus
O St. Longinus, you crucified Our Lord out of unquestioning loyalty to a pagan empire. Yet, the blood of Christ opened your eyes to see the truth. You, who trembled in fear at the foot of the cross, and declared that “Truly, this was the Son of God,” pray with us now for that Sacred Heart you pierced. Pray with us now for the Body of Christ crucified today throughout the world. Implore Our Lord with us to touch the hearts of the persecutors, who act in perverse zeal and religious error to let the blood of these blessed martyrs open their eyes, just as Christ’s precious blood opened yours. May Our Lord lead them from these depraved acts toward a path of righteousness and deliver them from evil for the rest of their days. Amen.

Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Annunciation in Greenwich, Connecticut