April 30, 2019

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

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

April 29, 2019

Novena & Consecration to San Michele Arcangelo

The Archangel Michael smiting Lucifer, 16th century painting by Giovanni Angelo d'Amato da Maiori, Duomo di Ravello. Photos by New York Scugnizzo
April 29th — May 7th (Feast of the Apparition, May 8th)

Consecration to St. Michael

St. Michael the Archangel, invincible prince of the angelic hosts and glorious protector of the Universal Church, I greet thee and praise thee for that splendor with which God has adorned thee, especially to remain faithful when Lucifer and his followers rebelled, and to battle victoriously for the honor of God and the divinity of the Son of Man.

St. Michael, I consecrate to thee my soul and body. I choose thee as my patron and protector and entrust the salvation of my soul to thy care. Be the Guardian of my obligation as a child of God and of the Catholic Church as again I renounce Satan, his works and pomps. Assist me by thy powerful intercession in the fulfillment of these sacred promises, so that imitating thy courage and loyalty to God, and trusting in thy kind help and protection, I may be victorious over the enemies of my soul and be united with God in Heaven forever. Amen.

San Michele Arcangelo by Renato Rossi,
Vietri sul Mare, Salerno
Novena Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and His people, I turn to thee with confidence and seek thy powerful intercession. For the love of God, Who made thee so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Angels, be pleased to hear my prayer. Thou dost know the value of my soul in the eyes of God. May no stain of evil ever disfigure its beauty. Help me to conquer the evil spirit who tempts me. I desire to imitate thy loyalty to God and Holy Mother Church and thy great love for God and men. And since thou art God's messenger for the care of His people, I entrust to thee this special request: (Here mention your request).

St. Michael, since thou art, by the will of the Creator, the powerful intercessor of Christians, I have great confidence in thy prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God's holy will, my petition will be granted.

Pray for me, St. Michael, and also for those I love. Protect us in all dangers of body and soul. Help us in our daily needs. Through thy powerful intercession, may we live a holy life, die a happy death and reach Heaven where we may praise and love God with thee forever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

April 28, 2019

Feast of the Madonna delle Galline

Evviva Maria!
The Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Madonna delle Galline, or Our Lady of the Hens, protectress of Pagani, a small town in the Province of Salerno. One of the so-called "Seven Sisters of Campania,” an appellation given to the region's major Marian devotions under different titles, the feast commemorates the discovery of a miraculous Marian icon painted on a wooden table top. According to popular tradition, the image of the Madonna del Carmine was brought to light by a brood of rasping chickens, hence the title Our Lady of the Hens. Dating back to the 8th or 9th century, it is believed that the table was hidden by a group of monks trying to save it from the destruction of marauding Saracens. Discovered in the 16th century, eight miracles, including the healing of a cripple, has been attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Mother through the sacred image. In celebration I'm posting a Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The accompanying photo of the Madonna delle Galline with painting of St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, St. Costanza and St. Agatha interceding to liberate the souls of Purgatory (attributed to Giovanni Vincenzo Forli, c.1580–c.1625) comes courtesy of Diocesi Nocera Inferiore – Sarno. The icon and painting are enshrined above the High Altar inside the Santuario della Madonna delle Galline in Pagani.

Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

O most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity (make your request). O star of the sea, help me and show me herein you are my Mother. O holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of heaven and earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart, to aid me in my need; there are none that can withstand your power. O show me herein you are my Mother. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. (three times) Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands. (three times)

April 27, 2019

Feast of the Madonna Incoronata

Viva Maria!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
The last Saturday of April is the Feast of the Madonna Incoronata (Our Lady Crowned), an ancient tradition dating back to the beginning of the 11th Century A.D. To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting Praise to the Queen of Heaven (Salvi Rigina), a traditional Marian prayer from Prayers and Devotional Songs of Sicily, edited and translated by Peppino Ruggeri.(1) The accompanying photo was taken at St Lucy's Church, National Shrine of Saint Gerard in Newark, New Jersey.
According to tradition, the Count of Ariano got lost while hunting in the forest near the River Cervaro in Foggia, Puglia. He took refuge in a nearby cottage when the woods turned unusually dark. At dawn the Count noticed a bright light shining through the trees. Drawn to the mysterious radiance, the Madonna appeared before him wearing a magnificent crown and levitating above a large oak tree. She revealed a statue of the Black Madonna perched in the branches. Awestricken, the Count promised to build a chapel to house her miraculous image.
Soon after, a shepherd named Strazzacappa, who was grazing his oxen close by, was also drawn to the light. Immediately recognizing the vision as the Blessed Mother, the humble herdsman set up a makeshift votive lamp with his caldarella in her honor beneath the tree. It is said that the oil was not consumed by the flame.
The Count fulfilled his vow and news of the miracle spread far and wide. The shrine quickly became a popular destination for devotees and those making the pilgrimage to the nearby Sanctuary of the Archangel Michael at Monte Sant'Angelo in the Gargano peninsula. Today, after several renovations, the Basilica Santuario Madre di Dio Incoronata is a major religious center visited by thousands annually. The Black Madonna and a branch from the oak are still on display.
Praise to the Queen of Heaven

Hail to you Mary, Mother of Mercy
Life, sweetness, and spring of joy
In you we trust when in trouble or pain
To you we come when we are in tears
In affliction your comfort we obtain.

Hear our pleas, our sweet defender
Virgin Mother with all sorrow laden
To our God you prayers direct
Because our actions have no effect
The door of paradise open to all
When death for comes to call. Amen.
(1) Prayers and Devotional Songs of Sicily, edited and translated into English by Peppino Ruggeri, Legas 2009, p.139

Feast of the Madonna dei Miracoli

Ave Maria!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
April 27th is the Feast day of the Madonna dei Miracoli (Our Lady of Miracles), patroness of Collesano in Provincia di Palermo, Sicily. In commemoration, I’m posting a prayer to Maria SS. dei Miracoli in Italian. The Accompanying photo of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin, was taken at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and Saint Stephen's Church in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
Vergine SS. Madre dei Miracoli, tu che in tante occasioni to sei mostrata nella portentosa immagine dell’Annunziata, Regina ed Avvocata del popolo di Collesano, deh I tu lo ricoveri sempre sotto il tuo manto stellato affinchè raccolto alle tu ginocchia, non paventi le insidie di Satana, nè sia desolato dai mali e dai flagelli. Che anzi qualora questo popolo a te si rivolga con fiducia e ti preghi nella tua cappella oh i allora esaudisci dall’eccelso soglio della tua gloria affinchè, dopo aver sperato ed ottenuto il tuo soccorso quì in terra, ottenga goderti eternamente nel Cielo.

April 26, 2019

Announcing the 2019 Feast in Honor of Maria SSma di Mellitto

Annual Mass in Honor of Maria SSma di Mellitto
Sunday, May 5th, 2019 @ 11:00AM
Our Lady of M. Carmel Church
627 E 187th St., Bronx, NY 10458

Annual Feast in Honor of Maria SSma di Mellitto
Sunday, May 26th, 2019
Mass at 11:30AM
Ceremony and Procession at 2:30PM
2423 95th St., North Bergen, NJ 07047

For more information visit

April 25, 2019

Celebrating Pasquetta and the Third Annual Sagra della Pizza Chiena in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Andrew Giordano's totally awesome pizza chiena
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Monday evening, scores of revelers gathered from far and wide at the Our Lady of the Snow Society clubhouse (410 Graham Avenue) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to celebrate Pasquetta (Easter Monday) and the Third Annual Sagra della Pizza Chiena. Partygoers mingled, danced and enjoyed a wide variety of homemade delicacies, including frittata di maccheroni, Casatiello, pastiera Napoletana and, of course, a lot of Pizza chiena (aka pizza rustica and pizza gain). 
The Madonna della Neve 
Vinnie Raymond, President of the Our Lady of the Snow Society,
warmly welcomed everyone to the clubhouse
Sagra organizer, Elena Loguercio gets the party started
(Above & below) Giovanna Lomonte shows off her delicious Paschal lamb cake 
Partygoers help themselves to a wide range of southern Italian delicacies
Pastiera Napoletana 
I enjoyed some pastiera and rafaiul cu sanguinaccio, a fried ravioli-shaped pastry stuffed with a rich chocolate and pig’s blood pudding
Elena's sanguinaccio recipe from Sassano is phenomenal 
Rucolino, a delicious amaro alla rucola from Ischia
Revelers ate, drank and danced the night away
Celebrants show their Due Sicilie pride
For more information visit the I love Pizza Gain a.k.a. Pizza Chiena group on Facebook
Also see:
Celebrating Pasquetta at the 2nd Annual Our Lady of the Snow Sagra della Pizza Chiena
Celebrating Pasquetta at the Our Lady of the Snow Sagra della Pizza Chiena (Pizza Rustica Festival)

Feast of the Madonna delle Armi

The interior of the Sanctuary
Photos courtesy of Olivia Cerrone
By Giovanni di Napoli
April 25th is the Feast of the Madonna delle Armi,* patroness of Cerchiara di Calabria, an ancient town in the province of Cosenza, in northeastern Calabria. The accompanying photos (courtesy of Olivia Cerrone) were taken at the Santuario Santa Maria dell Armi on the slopes of Mount Sellaro above Cerchiara. Built in the fifteenth century over the ruins of the Byzantine era monastery of S. Andrea, the sanctuary houses a sacred stone depicting the Blessed Mother and Child.
According to tradition, in 1450 a group of hunters from nearby Rossano were tracking a stag through the oak woods of Mount Sellaro. As they closed in on their prey the animal ascended the rocky ridge and squeezed into a small cave in the side of the mountain. The huntsmen followed the deer into the crevice, but to their surprise the animal was nowhere to be found; instead they discovered a set of wooden tablets depicting the Holy Evangelists. Excited about their discovery the hunters decided to take the icons back to Rossano. 
Stone with the Madonna and Child
The next day, however, the icons were missing. The men returned to the cave and were surprised to find the tablets exactly where they first discovered them. Three times the Rossanesi tried to bring the tablets back to town, but each time they would miraculously translate back to the cave. Finally, they decided to build a chapel outside the grotto to protect the icons and allow pilgrims to visit them.
During construction of the sanctuary an oval stone unsuited for the structure kept finding its way into the hands of a mason. Fed up with the troublesome stone the mason struck it with his mallet, splitting it perfectly in two. Incredibly, one side revealed the image of the Blessed Mother and Child, the other Saint John the Baptist. Sadly, the half with St. John is missing (some believe it was smuggled to Malta). In 1750 the Duke of Monteleone had an ornate silver reliquary made to properly display the sacred stone.
Over the centuries, many miracles have been attributed to the relic. The most famous taking place on April 25, 1846 when the desperate townspeople of Cerchiara invoked the Virgin Mary to help save their failing crops from the oppressive heat. Our Lady of the Cave immediately answered their prayers, saving the harvest and preventing a famine. Grateful for her divine grace, the locals celebrate the Blessed Mother's intervention to this day with a spectacular festival in her honor. 
* Armi is said to be a corruption of the original Greek name for the grotto, Των αρμων or Tōn armōn.

Feast of San Marco Evangelista

Viva San Marco!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
April 25th is the Feast Day of San Marco Evangelista (St. Mark the evangelist), patron saint of notaries. Widely venerated across southern Italy, he is the principal protector of San Marco Evangelista (CE), San Marco Argentano (CS), Futani (SA), San Marco in Lamis (FG), Rionero in Vulture (PZ), and Pacentro (AQ), among others. In commemoration, I'm posting a prayer in honor of Saint Mark. The accompanying photo of San Marco was taken at the Basilica Santa Trofimena in Minori. 
Prayer to Saint Mark
O Glorious St. Mark, through the grace of God our Father, you became a great Evangelist, preaching the Good News of Christ. May you help us to know Him well so that we may faithfully live our lives as followers of Christ. Amen.

April 24, 2019

Evviva San Giorgio! Celebrating the 2019 Feast of Saint George in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Evviva San Giorgio!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Tuesday morning, I joined my St. Rocco Society and Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George brethren in honoring glorious San Giorgio Martire on his Feast Day at Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary and St. Stephen RC Church in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Warmly welcomed by Pastor, Rev. Msgr. Guy Massie and members of the congregation, Mass was celebrated in the small chapel left of the East Wall. As is the custom, we brought flowers (courtesy of the LaRocca family) to the church’s magnificent bust of the warrior saint originating from Testaccio in Barano d'Ischia, lit a few candles, meditated and said our prayers, including the daily orison of the Order. Tranquil and serene, our short, but gratifying visit was the perfect way to begin our day.
Each year, the LaRocca family offer the saint a beautiful bouquet of flowers
Side-altar with the Madonna del Carmine, San Giorgio & Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Prayer cards and daily Prayer of the
Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George
Beautifully decorated High Altar with the Risen Christ. Alleluia!
The nave
Also see:
Evviva San Giorgio! Celebrating the Feast of Saint George in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Evviva San Giorgio! Celebrating Saint George's Day in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Announcing the 2019 High Mass in Honor of the Madonna Dell'Incoronata di Foggia in East Harlem

Also see: Celebrating the Feast of the Madonna Incoronata in East Harlem, New York

Announcing the 2019 Festa Della Madonna Dell'Arco, Ridgewood, Queens, New York

Also see: 

April 23, 2019

The Neapolitan Language and Its “Accademia”

Thursday, April 25, 6:30PM

Massimiliano Verde, Neapolitan Academy in conversation with journalist Angela Vitaliano

"Neapolitan: more than a sentiment!" A language of art, culture, song, philosophy, genuine food and... "sapé campà!"

Dr. Massimiliano Verde, president of the Neapolitan Academy will talk - in conversation with journalist Angela Vitaliano (Grazia) - about his work to promote this heritage that is also very present in the United States and will explain why this treasure must be preserved and passed on.

Cause...Napule è...‘na lengua!


Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò
New York University
24 West 12th Street
(btw 5th and 6th Ave)
New York, NY 10011

Feast of San Giorgio Martire

Viva San Giorgio!
April 23rd is the Feast Day of San Giorgio Martire (St. George the Martyr), patron saint of valor, chivalry and soldiers. Widely venerated across southern Italy, he is the principal protector of Reggio Calabria (RC), Modica (RG), Ragusa (RG), Prizzi (PA) and Barano d'Ischia (NA), among others. As a devotee and Knight of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George, the feast has an additional special significance to me. In commemoration of the great warrior saint I'm posting a Prayer to Saint George. The accompanying photo of the statue of San Giorgio, protector of Testaccio in Barano d'Ischia, was taken at Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary and Saint Stephen's Church in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
Prayer to Saint George
Faithful servant of God and invincible martyr, Saint George; favored by God with the gift of faith, and inflamed with an ardent love of Christ, thou didst fight valiantly against the dragon of pride, falsehood, and deceit. Neither pain nor torture, sword nor death could part thee from the love of Christ. I fervently implore thee for the sake of this love to help me by thy intercession to overcome the temptations that surround me, and to bear bravely the trials that oppress me, so that I may patiently carry the cross which is placed upon me; and let neither distress nor difficulties separate me from the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Valiant champion of the Faith, assist me in the combat against evil, that I may win the crown promised to them that persevere unto the end. Amen

Photo of the Week: Carved Lion Head at Axel Munthe's Villa San Michele in Anacapri

Photo by New York Scugnizzo

April 22, 2019

Feast of the Madonna dell’Arco

Fujenti with a picture of the Madonna dell'Arco
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
The Monday after Easter, or Pasquetta, is the Feast of the Madonna dell’Arco, one of the so-called "Seven Sisters of Campania,” an appellation given to the region's major Marian devotions under different titles. Patroness of Sant’Anastasia, Napoli, the miraculous image, which got its name from its proximity to an ancient Roman arch, draws devotees called fujenti (those who come) from towns and villages throughout Campania. In celebration I’m posting a prayer to the Madonna dell’Arco. The accompanying photo was taken during the 2015 Festa della Madonna dell’Arco in Ridgewood, Queens.
Prayer to the Madonna dell’Arco
O Virgin of the Arch, who by means of this holy image painted on the plaster of a modest wall on the public street, worked many great marvels and portents to arouse the amazement of the peoples, showing them to have a particular benevolence towards this place, I beg you to obtain for me from your divine Son Jesus the love and obedience to His holy and divine will for all my life. Ave Maria

The Isle of Ischia and the 'Ndrezzata

Gulf of Naples
By Giovanni di Napoli
At the northern periphery of the Gulf of Naples lies the enchanting Island of Ischia. Steeped in history and legend, this jewel of the Tyrrhenian is the birthplace of the 'Ndrezzata, a traditional folk dance whose origins are shrouded in mystery. Twirling with increasing speed, armed participants strike and parry with wooden swords and mazzarelli (cudgels) in a dance, some say, symbolizes the war between the sexes (or nymphs and satyrs). Depending on whom you ask, there are any one of a number of stories offering an explanation.
According to one legend the 'Ndrezzata was taught to local villagers by the island's nymphs. It was supposed to remind them of happier days when the spirits of the wood gaily danced to the celestial sounds of Apollo's golden lyre. During the sybaritic festivities the sun god fell in love with the beautiful nymph, Coronis, and the two conceived a child, Asclepius, the god of healing and medicine. Blessed, the island became famous for its therapeutic qualities. Continue reading

April 21, 2019

Happy Easter!

The Resurrection by Arturo DiModica
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
On behalf of everyone here at Il Regno, I want to wish all of our readers a very Happy Easter! Buona Pasqua! In celebration I'm posting The Tomb, a traditional Sicilian prayer reprinted from Prayers and Devotional Songs of Sicily, edited and translated into English by Peppino Ruggeri, Legas, 2009, p. 94-95. The accompanying photo of the Resurrection by Sicilian-American sculptor Arturo DiModica was taken at the Italian American Museum in 2010.
The Tomb
Holy tomb, which often has been visited
With blood you have been made clean
For two days you were washed
So us sinners you could redeem.

O Sipurcu
O Sipurcu visitatu
chi di sangu fustu lavatu
fustu lavatu pi quarantottu uri
pi nuiautri peccatori.

Addendum: Typical southern Italian Easter desserts include La Pastiera Napoletana, or Pizza Gran; Pizza Chiena, or Pizza Rustica; and Cuzzupe di Pasqua, a delicious Calabrese bread with hard-boiled eggs baked in it.
La pastiera Napoletana
Pizza Chiena
Cazzupe di Pasqua

Via Crucis – The Way of the Cross 2019

Bensonhurst’s Good Friday Procession and Prayer Service
Statue of the Dead Christ outside Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Despite the threat of rain, some 1,500 mostly Italian American Catholics came out in force in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, Friday evening for the annual Good Friday procession and prayer service. Led by the Most Reverend Bishop Raymond Chappetto, parishioners from Saint Athanasius, Saint Dominic, Regina Pacis, Saints Simon and Jude, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Saint Finbar, Saint Mary Mother of Jesus, Saint Bernadette and Saint Frances Cabrini took part in this solemn tradition. They were joined by members of the Italian-American Apostolate, the Knights of Columbus, Gruppo Italiano Sant'Atanasio (G.I.S.A.), the St. Rocco Society of Potenza, and the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata, among others.
Rotating between the churches, this year Our Lady of Guadalupe (1514 72nd St.) had the honor of hosting the Benediction and prayer service. Bishop Chappetto concluded the outdoor ceremony in English and Italian with a blessing with the Relic of the True Cross.
The Most Reverend Bishop Raymond Chappetto
and clergy led the participants in prayer
The Knights of Columbus served as Honor Guard
The Red Mike Festival Band
Devotees carry the statue of the Dead Christ through the neighborhood 
Members of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church 
Members of the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata 
Members of the Holy Name Society of Saint Bernadette 
Members of the Holy Name Society and the Saint
Rocco Society of Potenza sang hymns and prayed in Italian
Members of Santa Rosalia Regina Pacis 
Members of St. Dominic's Church  
The faithful from St. Dominic's re-enact the Way of the Cross
Members of St. Finbar Church 
Members of the Italian-American Apostolate of St. Mary, Mother of Jesus 
Members of the St. Frances Cabrini Society of Brooklyn
Members of Gruppo Italiano Sant'Atanasio (G.I.S.A.)
Thousands gather in the rain outside 
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church for the benediction 
(Above & below) The prayer service was held in English and Italian
Bishop Chappetto addresses the crowd in Italian
Fr. Alessandro offers prayer in Italian
The prayer service concluded with
blessing with the Relic of the True Cross
Also see:
Via Crucis – The Way of the Cross 2018: Bensonhurst's Traditional Good Friday Procession
Via Crucis – The Way of the Cross 2017: Bensonhurst's Traditional Good Friday Procession
Via Crucis – The Way of the Cross 2016: Bensonhurst’s Traditional Good Friday Procession
Via Crucis – The Way of the Cross 2015: Bensonhurst’s Traditional Good Friday Procession
Via Crucis – The Way of the Cross 2014: Bensonhurst’s Traditional Good Friday Procession