|The Shrine to the Holy Innocents |
located in the narthex of Church of the Holy Innocents
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Thursday, December 26th — the Feast of St. Stephen, the First Martyr
A bit weary from all the traveling and merry-making on Christmas Eve and Day, I decided to host a more subdued soirée this year in honor of il Giorno di Santo Stefano, or St. Stephen’s Day. Nothing too elaborate, we just had a few cocktails, some light fare, and the customary torrone imported from Avellino and Sicily, all while listening to Christmas music by the great Neapolitan composer Francesco Durante (1684-1755). The little get-together with dear friends is my own modest way of observing my saintly Confirmation namesake. Evviva Santo Stefano!
|Soft torrone from Sicily with a glass of Liquore Strega|
Do to a previous engagement, I was unable to make Mass Friday night, however I was able to meet up with my St. Rocco Society brethren for our monthly “boys night out” in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Seeing as I was fasting for the vigil of the Feast of the Holy Innocents, and had an early day ahead of me on Saturday, I did not partake in the dinner, but I did allow myself one celebratory drink in honor of San Giovanni Evangelista.
A few of us exchanged small Christmas gifts, and knowing how much I like prayer cards, my good friend Andrew surprised me with a few he brought back from his recent jaunt in Southern Italy.
Before calling it a night, the monarchists among us did not forget to toast the memory of HM Francesco II di Borbone (1836-1894), the last King of the Two Sicilies. Normally on the anniversary of his death we would have a big to do, but unfortunately this year we were unable to do more. Viva ‘o Rre! Evviva San Giovanni!
|I know it was a gag gift, but I'm not a fan of the Padre Pio cigarette lighter|
|On the other hand, I loved the awesome St. Michael|
Combat Chaplet from Roman Catholic Man
|I got a nice assortment of prayer cards from Matera and Campania|
Ex ore infántium, Deus et lacténtium perfecísti lauded propter inimícos tuos. Psalm 8. 2 Dómine Dóminus noster: quam admirábile est nomen tuum in univérsa terra! V. Glória Patri. Ex ore infántium. 1Early Saturday morning Members of the Fratelli della Santa Fede (Brothers of the Holy Faith) gathered at the Shrine Church of the Holy Innocents (128 West 37th St.) to celebrate the Annual Mass for the Unborn and Rosary Procession. Our first time attending the event, we were unsure what to expect, but were happy to discover a sea of sisters, brothers and laity already packed into the church when we arrived.
Led for many years by Fr. Benedict Groeschel (1933-2014), the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Renewal, Sisters of Life, and the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants still keep the crucial Christmas tradition going strong.
After Mass, there was the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Eucharistic Adoration. This was quickly followed by a solemn procession with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn, to Parkmed NYC, an ungodly abortion mill located on 2nd Avenue. Cordoned off by police barricades, over two hundred pro-life participants prayed 15 decades of the Rosary.
|Hundreds participated in Saturday's Mass for the Unborn and Rosary Procession|
|Young men took turns carrying the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe|
|(L) Returning to Holy Innocents for the Benediction. (R) The beautifully decorated high altar and famed Crucifixion mural by Constantino Brumidi|
Leaving the reception a little early, we skipped dessert and went upstairs to Confession, then meditated and said our penitential prayers. This gave us the necessary hour of abstinence from food or drink that is required before receiving Holy Communion.
Our Pastor, Fr. James L.P. Miara, sang solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Holy Innocents. Fr. Christopher Salvatori, SAC, Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in East Harlem, New York, was the Deacon; and Mr. Jeffrey Collins was the Subdeacon. MC Eddy Toribio, several servers, and the very talented Schola Cantorum of Holy Innocents dutifully assisted the Sacred Ministers.
Because it was the titular feast of the church, a plenary indulgence was granted to those who devoutly attended Mass there and completed the proscribed conditions (Confession, Communion, praying for the intentions of the Holy Father, etc.).
|The Sisters of Life helped serve up the delicious fare|
|Guests break bread in the parish hall|
Dum médium siléntium tenérent ómina, et nox in suo curu médium iter habéret, omnípotens sermo tuss, Dómine, de cælis a regálibus sédibus venit. Ps. 92. 1 Dóminus regnávit, decórum indútus est: indútus est Dóminus fortitúdinem, et præcínxit se. V. Glória Patri. Dum médium. 2Sunday morning the Sanfedisti returned to Holy Innocents and attended both the 9:00am Tridentine Low Mass and the 10:30 am Tridentine High Mass. Fr. Miara celebrated both. Between the Masses, we made our daily prayers of thanks and praise, recited the Holy Rosary, invoked the saints, and prayed for the poor and forgotten Souls in Purgatory.
Briefly joining our fellow parishioners in the parish hall for coffee hour we mingled and discussed our plans to start a new food walk for the homeless at the church. Well received, we should have the charitable venture up and running soon. Please watch for upcoming details.
Making our way back to Brooklyn for our luncheon at Joe’s of Avenue U (287 Avenue U), we celebrated the Feast of San Tommaso Becket, patron saint of Mottola in Taranto, Puglia, with a variety of Sicilian dishes, including the trippa con patate e piselli and the bucatini con cavolfiore alla palermitana. Always enjoyable, the service and food was excellent. Evviva San Tommaso!
~ Giovanni di Napoli, December 30, Feast of St. Raynerius of Aquila
|Trippa con patate e piselli|
|Cavolfiore alla palermitana|
2) While all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, Thine almighty Word, O Lord, leaped down from heaven from thy royal throne. Ps. 92. 1 The Lord hath reigned, He is clothed with beauty: the Lord is clothed with strength, and hath girded Himself. V. Glory be to the Father. While all things. ~ Introit Wisdom 18. 14, 15