April 11, 2021

Divine Mercy Sunday

St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy, Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My mercy (Diary 699)
As proclaimed by St. Pope John Paul II during the Canonization of St. Mary Faustina Kowalska (1905—1938) in St. Peter’s Square on April 30, 2000, the Octave Day of Easter (Low Sunday) is the Feast of the Divine Mercy, or Divine Mercy Sunday. The proclamation was the fulfillment of Our Lord’s wishes, which He communicated through Sister Mary Faustina of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland. Faithfully recorded in Sr. Faustina's diaries, Our Lord attached great promises of mercy and the forgiveness of sins to the devotion. The plenitude of Our Lord's graces can be obtained by devout and penitent souls who make a good confession, publicly venerate the image of the Divine Mercy, and attend Mass and receive Holy Communion on the day.

The devotion is practiced by praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily and the Novena (which begins on Good Friday), as well as by performing corporal and spiritual acts of mercy. The prayers can be said at anytime, but if possible they should be prayed at 3pm, the “Hour of Great Mercy” when Our Lord died.

In celebration, I’m posting the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. The accompanying photo of St. Faustina and the image of the Divine Mercy was taken in the Our Lady of Lourdes chapel at the Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood (113 Baxter St.) in Little Italy, New York. The red and blue rays streaming from the Sacred Heart of Jesus represent the blood and water Our Lord spilled when pierced by the spear of St. Longinus.

Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Make the sign of the Cross and say: In the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a font of mercy for us, I trust in You! (3x)

Our Father, Hail Mary, the Apostles’ Creed

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and the whole world. (10x)

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and the whole world.

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Amen.

Feast of the Madonna delle Galline

Madonna delle Galline, ora pro nobis
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. Ave Maria!

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)

Feast of San Leone Magno

San Leone Magno, ora pro nobis
April 11th is the Feast of San Leone Magno (St. Leo the Great), Pope and Doctor of the Church. Reigning from September 29, 440 to his death on November 10, 461, St. Pope Leo I ardently fought against Manichaeism, Monophysitism, Nestorianism and Pelagianism. He famously persuaded Attila the Hun not to invade Rome in 452. According to tradition, the Scourge of God yielded to the pontiff because he was flanked by two imposing angels brandishing flaming swords. In 455, St. Leo was unable to prevent the Vandals from conquering of the Eternal City, but did convince the Chieftain Genseric to spare the Roman people and churches. He is the patron saint of Cairano (AV) and Ruviano (CE). In celebration, I’m posting a prayer to St. Leo I. The accompanying photo of the first class relic was taken in 2015 by Anthony Scillia at the Treasures of the Church Exposition at St. Leo’s Church in Elmwood Park, New Jersey. Evviva San Leone Magno!

Prayer to St. Leo I

God our Father, you will never allow the powers of hell. to prevail against your Church, founded on the rock of the apostle Peter. Let the prayers of Pope Leo the Great keep us faithful to your truth and secure in your peace. 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.

April 10, 2021

Feast of San Michele dei Santi

San Michele dei Santi, ora pro nobis
April 10th is the Feast of San Michele Dei Santi, Mystic, discalced Trinitarian Priest and patron saint of cancer patients. Miguel Argemir was born in Vich, Catalonia on September 29, 1591. Embracing a religious life, in 1603 he joined the Order of the Most Holy Trinity. Taking his vows in 1607, he took the name San Michele Dei Santi (St. Michael of the Saints). In 1609 he entered the more austere discalced branch of the Trinitarians in order to live a more ascetic life. Giving great importance to Eucharistic devotion, many miracles were attributed to him and his reputation for holiness spread. Despite his young age, he was elected superior of the house of Valladolid and served as spiritual advisor to Philip III, King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily and Sardinia. San Michele died on April 10, 1625. He was canonized by Pope Pius IX on June 8, 1862. In celebration, I’m posting a prayer to St. Michael of the Saints for cancer patients. The accompanying photo, courtesy of Anthony Scillia, was taken at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Evviva San Michele Dei Santi!

Prayer for Cancer Patients

Most Holy Trinity, Thou Who didst give us Saint Michael of the Saints as trusted friend and intercessor, and as patron of those afflicted with cancer, look with kindness on Thy servants who this day invoke his name. Through his intercession, comfort those in distress, confirm those in doubt. Satisfy their spiritual needs from the treasury of Thy grace. Remember all those who call on Thy help, but be especially solicitous of [Mention Name]. Restore health to this person and to all who are sick. Sanctify those who endure pain with Christ-like acceptance and grant to all of us a just reward in the life of glory to come. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. 

Upcoming Tridentine Masses at The Shrine Church of the Holy Innocents in NYC (April 12th — 18th)

The Shrine & Parish Church of the Holy Innocents
128 West 37th Street, NYC 100018

Monday, April 12th - Paschaltide Feria, 4th Class - Low Mass, 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 13th - St. Hermenegild, Martyr, 3rd Class - Low Mass, 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 14th - St. Justin, Martyr, 3rd Class - Low Mass, 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 15th - Paschaltide Feria, 4th Class - Low Mass, 6:00 p.m.

Friday, April 16th - Paschaltide Feria, 4th Class - Low Mass, 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 17th - Our Lady on Saturday, 1st Class - Low Mass, 1:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 18th - Second Sunday after Easter, 1st Class - Low Mass, 9:00 a.m. and Chant Mass, 10:30 a.m.

Source: April 11, 2021 Bulletin

April 9, 2021

Feast of San Demetrio di Tessalonica

San Demetrio di Tessalonica, ora pro nobis
April 9th is the Feast of San Demetrio di Tessalonica, third century Deacon and Martyr. Widely venerated in Southern Italy, he is the patron saint of soldiers as well as the towns of San Demetrio Corone (CS), Morigerati (SA), Mosorrofa (RC), Piana degli Albanesi (PA), and San Demetrio ne' Vestini (AQ), among others. In the Byzantine Synaxarion his feast is celebrated on October 26th. 

Second in importance only to St. George, San Demetrio was very popular among the early crusaders, especially after his intervention at the Battle of Antioch during the First Crusade. Capturing the city in 1098, the Christians soon found themselves besieged by Kerbogha, Atabeg of Mosul. Witnessing a vision of an army arrayed in white atop a hill and led by Saints George, Mercurius (or Theodore) and Demetrius, the beleaguered knights rallied and routed the enemy. 

Devotion to San Demetrio was first introduced into Southern Italy with the arrival of Eastern refugees fleeing the iconoclast controversy in the 8th and 9th centuries. It was later reinforced by the crusaders returning from the Holy Land and further still during the 15th and 16th centuries by those escaping the Ottoman scourge in the Balkans.

According to tradition, San Demetrio openly preached the Word of God, performed miracles, and converted many to the faith. In the West he is said to have been a deacon in Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica in modern-day Serbia), while the Orthodox Churches believe he was a senator, or proconsul, from Thessalonica in Macedonia. All agree he was denounced as a Christian, arrested and brought before Emperor Maximian to be tried. 

Imprisoned at the local baths, San Demetrio awaited his fate while the Emperor attended the games at the arena. As the bloody spectacle raged on, St. Nestor of Thessalonica visited the holy prisoner and received his blessing before dispatching the hulking Lyaeus in hand-to-hand combat before a stunned crowd.  

Angered that his favorite gladiator was bested by a Christian, Maximian took out his frustration on his helpless captive and had San Demetrio run through with a spear. His rage undiminished, the bloodthirsty tyrant had St. Nestor beheaded the next day. San Demetrio’s discarded corpse was recovered and properly buried by fellow Christians. 

Over the centuries many miracles have been attributed to San Demetrio, the most famous being the slaying of the Bulgarian Tsar Johanista (Kalojan). It is said during the siege of Thessalonica in 1207 San Demetrio came to the aid of the city mounted on a white charger and killed Kalojan with his lance while he slept in his tent. Their leader dead, the Bulgarians lifted the siege and withdrew to their homeland.

Back in 2009 I was fortunate enough to see a 16th century icon depicting the miracle at the “Origins of El Greco: Icon Painting in Venetian Crete” exhibit at the Onassis Cultural Center in Manhattan. Painted by Donato Bitzamanos the panel originates from Otranto in Apulia and is currently housed at The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

In celebration, I’m posting the prayers to San Demetrio from Byzantine Catholic Prayer for the Home [link will open PDF file]. They are meant for private use. The accompanying photo of the statue, courtesy of Anthony Scillia, was taken at Holy Rosary Church in Jersey City, New Jersey. The image of the icon was taken from the Origins of El Greco: Icon Painting in Venetian Crete exhibit catalogue. Evviva San Demetrio di Tessalonica!

Tone 3 The world has seen you as a defender of those imperiled, and a conquerer of the nations, O martyr. In cutting down the arrogance of Leo, you bolstered Nestor by your courage. O holy Demetrius, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!
Kontakion Tone 2 God washed the Church red in the rivers of your blood, and presented you to her as an invincible power. Keep this city safe, for you are its patron. 

O glorious martyr Demetrius, like a bright star you glisten forever for your fatherland because you always protect it from destruction at the hands of enemies, and you deliver it from every strife and menace. Therefore, O blessed one, your people annually observe your memory and celebrate with joy, and with faith and love they extol the Lord who glorified you.
Glory be...now and ever...Today the universal feast of the martyr summons us. Come, therefore, O lovers of feasts, let us celebrate his memory in splendor and say: Rejoice, for you overcame the snares of the enemy by the might given to you by the one God. Rejoice, for you suffered wounds by the thrusts of a sword, and thus spiritually depicted for us the blessed passion of Christ. O Demetrius, O inspiration of martyrs, implore Him that we be delivered from visible and invisible enemies, and that our souls may be saved. 

Sessional Hymns
Let us devoutly observe today the feast of the martyr Demetrius, for he prays constantly to Christ to grant great mercy to us all.
Glory be...now and ever...O faithful, let us bless the Theotokos, the fervent defender of those in danger. She is our help and our conversion to God. Through her we have been delivered from corruption. 

New Music: Sonate a Quattro

New music that may be of interest to our readers.

• Allessandro Scarlatti: Sonate a Quattro by Les Recreations

Label: Ricercar

Release Date: February 18, 2021

Audio CD: $18.99

Number of Discs: 1

Available at Amazon.com

Read description

Eastertide Vespers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in East Harlem, New York

April 8, 2021

Memorial of Servant of God Maria Rosa Zangara

April 8th is the anniversary of the death of Servant of God, Mother Maria Rosa Zangara, virgin and Mystic of the Cross. Born to a devoutly religious family on November 8, 1844 in Partinico, Palermo, she moved at an early age to the coastal town of Balestrate with her two brothers to help the sick and impoverished. Devoting her life to God, she entered the Monastery of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in 1890 and experienced many preternatural phenomena, including ecstasies and diabolic assaults. On August 13, 1892 she established the Figlie della Misericordia e della Croce (Daughters of Mercy and the Cross), an austere religious institute for women dedicated to helping the sick and abandoned children. In 1901 she was suspected of fanaticism by the Archbishop of Monreale and removed as head and founder of the congregation. Banished to a small religious house in Borgetto, she suffered from paralysis and spent the last decade of her life bedridden. A month before her death she was exculpated of any wrongdoing and restored to her rightful dignity by the Archdiocese. Maria Rosa died on April 8, 1914.

In commemoration, I’m posting a prayer in Italian asking for the glorification of the Servant of God Maria Rosa Zangàra. I acquired the prayer card (pictured above) several years ago at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church (259 Oliver St.) in Newark, New Jersey.

Preghiera alla SS. Trinità per chiedere la glorificazione della Serva di Dio Madre Maria Rosa Zangàra a per ottenere grazie particolari con la sua intercessione. 
O Santissima Trinità, Padre, Figlio e Spirito Santo, Ti adoro unito alla Vergine Addolorata, a tutti gli Angeli e Santi del Paradiso e Ti ringrazio dei doni e privilegi che hai concesso alla tua serva Suor Maria Rosa Zangàra, delle virtù di cui l’hai adornata in vita e del trionfo che già—come spero—le fai godere in Cielo.
Ma ora, Signore, compi la tua opera, glorificando la tua serva fedele anche su quest’ira terra. Perciò concedimi, ad intercessione della Madre Zangàra, la grazia particolare di cui ho tanto bisogno e che con umiltà Ti domando (…).
Mio Dio, io confido nella tua infinita misericordia. Per la tua maggior gloria, per la esaltazione della Santa Croce e per l’edificazione della Chiesa fammi sperimentare l’efficacia dei meriti di Maria Rosa Zangàra, esaudendo la mia preghiera. Amen.
Tre “Gloria.”

April 6, 2021

Grazie Easter Bunny!

After Mass, I came home to find a basket full of goodies
As usual, the Easter bunny left me another terrific basket brimming with fruit, nuts and other treats, including Ernst Jünger’s Interwar Articles and a few stamps for my ever-growing philatelic collection. Buona Pasqua!

(L) 1920 stamp from Fiume with portrait of Gabriele D'Annunzio
and (R) 1956 Hungarian stamp with John Hunyadi on horseback
(L) 1913 Albanian stamp with likeness of George Kastrioti (Skanderbeg)
and (R) 1918 stamp from Bosnia & Herzegovina with portrait of Empress Zita
1932 Kingdom of Italy stamp with portrait of Torquato Tasso

Photo of the Week: The Risen Christ in the Museum Space at the Basilica Madonna dei Martiri in Molfetta

Photo by Andrew Giordano

April 5, 2021

Pasquetta – Little Easter 2021

Frittata di maccheroni
In remembrance of the risen Christ's meeting and subsequent dinner with his disciples on the road to Emmaus, a small town outside Jerusalem, Duosiciliani (Southern Italians) celebrate Pasquetta, or Little Easter. Traditionally family and friends would pack a lunch and take a short trip to the shore or countryside in commemoration of Christ’s journey, but because Easter Monday is not a national holiday here in the States, and people have to work, it’s not always easy to organize a group outing. As expected, COVID made it more difficult and once again deterred my usual fellow day trippers. Nonetheless, I still try to keep the tradition whenever possible, even if it is by myself. So I packed my picnic basket with Easter leftovers, some frittata di maccheroni and a good book, and found a peaceful location to reflect on my many, many blessings. Buona Pasquetta!

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

Feast of San Vincenzo Ferreri

O' Munacone
April 5th is the Feast of San Vincenzo Ferreri (Saint Vincent Ferrer), patron saint of builders and protector of Naples. In celebration, I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Vincent Ferrer. The accompanying photo of the winged saint, known as the "Apocalyptic Angel" for his fiery sermons, was taken at St. Francis of Paola Church (219 Conselyea St.) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The Statue depicts San Vincenzo with flames above his head, symbolizing his divine gift of tongues. San Vincenzo Ferreri, ora pro nobis.
Prayer to St. Vincent Ferrer
O almighty and eternal God, you bountifully enriched St. Vincent Ferrer, your holy servant, with many graces and merits, and through his intercession have given a return to health to so many sick and infirm. Grant, we beg you, that by following his example and aided by his prayers, we may obtain the grace to despise the things of this world and to look to those of heaven, and thus be cleansed of our sinfulness. Grant that through his powerful aid we may be freed from all evils of body and soul. Amen.

The Isle of Ischia and the 'Ndrezzata

Gulf of Naples
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.
A View of Ischia from the Sea (1842) 
by Jean-Charles-Joseph Rémond (1795-1875)
This all came to an end, however, when Coronis betrayed Apollo with the faun, Ischi. A white raven looking for the god's favor exposed the infidelity, but Apollo's fury singed the bird's feathers, forever turning the species black. In a jealous rage he killed the lovers, but unborn Asclepius was saved. In some versions of the story the sun god's sister, Artemis, slew Coronis. Bitter over his mother's death, Asclepius made the hot springs of Ischia undrinkable. Be that as it may tourists still visit the ancient nymphaeum, fumaroles and thermal baths.

Colonized by Euboean Greeks during the first half of the eighth century BC, it has been suggested the martial aspects of the dance harken back to the military prowess of the ancient Hellenic warriors. Others say the custom doesn't date from the Classical Era, but simply recalls a military victory over Saracen raiders during the sixteenth century. Considering the great frequency and ferocity of these attacks (in one raid alone the infamous Turkish corsair, Barbarossa, captured 4,000 slaves) any success in repelling the invaders would be worth celebrating.
Sorrowful Woman of Ischia (1822) by unknown artist
Nevertheless, the most popular interpretation claims the dance represents the reconciliation between the neighboring villages of Barano and Buonopane. In 1540 a Baranese boy fell in love with a Buonopanese girl. He secretly gave her a belt made of coral as a token of his love and symbolizing their union. The transgression was discovered by a rival suitor and led to an open feud between their clans. A battle ensued, but thanks to the divine intervention of the Madonna della Porta cooler heads prevailed and the belt was burned at the Church of San Giovanni Battista on Lunedì dell’Angelo (Easter Monday), satisfying both parties. It remains unclear who got the girl.

Tradition has it that one cannot be taught the 'Ndrezzata, it's a special gift bestowed at birth to the people of Ischia from the nymphs of Nitrodi. The dance is performed only twice a year — during Easter Monday and Midsummer (June 24th), the feast day of St. John the Baptist, patron saint of Buonopane. Whatever its true origins, the 'Ndrezzata is a beautiful reminder of the long history and rich heritage of Southern Italy.
~ Giovanni di Napoli

Happy Birthday Princess Camilla di Borbone!

HRH was born in Rome, Italy on April 5, 1971
Photo courtesy of Real Casa di Borbone
Happy Birthday Princess Camilla di Borbone — Two Sicilies, Duchess of Castro and Dame Grand Cross of Justice of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George! May God almighty bless you with a life full of joy and happiness. May you always find favor in His eyes. Peace be upon you. Auguri!

April 4, 2021

Buona Pasqua! 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 I: 
Typical southern Italian Easter sweets include marzipan Paschal Lamb, or Lamb of God; and pupa cu l'ova, a delicious sweet bread with dyed hardboiled eggs baked in it.
"Paschal Lamb"
Pupa cu l'ova
Addendum II: Typical southern Italian Easter desserts include La Pastiera Napoletana, aka Pizza Gran; Pizza Chiena, aka 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

Feast of San Benedetto il Moro da San Fratello

San Benedetto il Moro, ora pro nobis
April 4th is the Feast of San Benedetto il Moro (San Fratello c.1524–Palermo, April 4, 1589). Invoked against pestilence, famine and other natural disasters, he is the protector of San Fratello, Sicily, as well as one of the co-patrons of Palermo. Descended from African slaves that converted to Catholicism, the freed youth entered a Franciscan hermitage under Girolamo Lanza. Following the passing of their founder, Benedetto was elected their superior. However, in 1562 the hermit communities were disbanded by Pope Pius IV and the confreres were encouraged to join Franciscan orders. Benedetto joined the Order of Friars Minor and eventually rose from cook to superior of the Friary of Santa Maria di Gesù. Revered for his sanctity, he was often consulted by priests, prelates and even the Viceroy of Sicily, Marcantonio Colonna. After his death, San Benedetto’s cult spread from Sicily to Spain and to the new world with the Spanish. He was beatified by Pope Benedict XIV in 1743 and canonized by Pope Pius VII in 1807. His patronal Feast Day in San Fratello is commemorated on September 17th. In celebration, I’m posting a prayer to San Benedetto in Italian. The prayer card pictured was a gift from a friend who is a fervent devotee of “il santo Moro.” Evviva San Benedetto il Moro!


O celeste patrono S. Benedetto che per seguire fedelmente Gesù abbracciasti volontariamente la poverta', insegnaci a distaccare il nostro cuore dai beni terreni per non divenire schiavi. TU che vivesti nell' ardente amore di Dio e del prossimo, ottienici di praticare la vera carita' e di avere il cuore aperto a tutte le necessita' dei nostri fratelli. TU che conosci le ansie e le speranze di questa tua terra , proteggici sempre e donaci di poter conseguire con te la gloria eterna. Amen

Upcoming Tridentine Masses at The Shrine Church of the Holy Innocents in NYC (April 5th — 11th)

The Shrine & Parish Church of the Holy Innocents

128 West 37th Street, NYC 100018


A nine day novena of Holy Masses in honor of Our Risen Lord will take place at Holy Innocents beginning on Easter Sunday (April 4th) and ending on the day after Divine Mercy Sunday (April 12th). Envelopes for this purpose are located throughout the church. Please return the envelope with the names of all those you wish to remember in this special series of Masses to the rectory, collection basket, or any of the offering boxes in the church by Holy Week so they can be placed on the altar for Easter. 

• Monday, April 5th - Easter Monday, 1st Class - High Mass, 6:00 p.m.

• Tuesday, April 6th - Easter Tuesday, 1st Class - High Mass, 6:00 p.m.

• Wednesday, April 7th - Easter Wednesday, 1st Class - High Mass, 6:00 p.m.

• Thursday, April 8th - Easter Thursday, 1st Class - High Mass, 6:00 p.m. 

• Friday, April 9th - Easter Friday, 1st Class - High Mass, 6:00 p.m.


This Friday, April 9th, is Easter Friday. It is a First Class Feast and a Solemnity. Therefore, the obligation to observe this day as a day of penance and abstinence from meat is suspended with. Easter week is celebrated as an Octave and therefore considered one continuous Easter Sunday. 

• Saturday, April 10th - Easter Saturday, 1st Class - High Mass, 1:00 p.m.

Jesus King of love, I trust in Thee!
• Sunday, April 11th - Low Sunday (Octave Day of Easter), 1st Class - Low Mass, 9:00 a.m. and Chant Mass, 10:30 a.m. 


Next Sunday, April 11th, is the Feast of Divine Mercy. Following the 12:30 p.m. Mass the Most Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for adoration. A Holy Hour will begin at 2:00 p.m. consisting of the recitation of the sorrowful mysteries of the Holy Rosary with meditations taken from the Diary of St. Faustina and various prayers in honor of our Merciful Savior. At 3:00 p.m. the Hour of Mercy will be celebrated at which time the Divine Mercy Chaplet will be sung and the glorious mysteries of the Holy Rosary prayed. A Eucharistic Procession and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament and veneration of the First-Class relic of St. Faustina will conclude the devotions for the day. Please note that Vespers will not be sung this Sunday! 

Source: April 4, 2021 Bulletin

April 3, 2021

Paulaner Bier for San Francesco di Paola

For the second year in a row, we did not celebrate the Feast of San Francesco di Paola with our usual pizza and Paulaner party.
Last year, due to COVID, we did it virtually, but unsurprisingly it just wasn’t the same. This year, for an infinitely better reason, we did not celebrate because the great Calabrian saint’s feast day fell on Good Friday.

Be that as it may, returning from the Three Hours Agony Devotions and the afternoon liturgical service at my parish, I did allow myself to have a “liquid lunch” in his honor. Fasting and abstaining from all meat, eggs and dairy I did not eat any pizza, or anything else for that matter, but I did break in my new stoneware stein with a nice cold Paulaner bier.

For the sake of new readers unfamiliar with our custom, we drink Paulaner because it was originally brewed in Bavaria in 1634 to help support the charitable works of the Minims, a mendicant order of monks founded by St. Francis in the fifteenth-century. The name Paulaner itself is a corruption of Paola, the town in Provincia di Cosenza where St. Francis was born. It also helps that the golden Bavarian elixir taste great. Evviva San Francesco di Paola!

Santo Sabato (Holy Saturday)

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Santo Sabato, or Holy Saturday, is the final day of Holy Week and the traditional Paschal Fast. A day of mourning, the sacred altar is bare and there is no Mass prior to sundown and the lighting of the Paschal candle, which symbolizes the light of Christ coming into the world. Commemorating the body of Jesus lying in the sepulcher until his resurrection on Easter Sunday, Holy Saturday is a time to meditate on Our Lord’s Passion, death, and descent into Hades (Sheol). Often referred to as the Harrowing of Hell, Jesus liberates the righteous captives in the underworld who died before His Coming (e.g. Adam, Eve, the good thief, etc.). In commemoration, I’m posting a Prayer for Holy Saturday. The accompanying photo of the Dead Christ with Our Lady of Sorrows was taken at the Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood (113 Baxter St.) in Little Italy, New York.

Prayer for Holy Saturday

All-powerful and ever-living God, your only Son went down among the dead and rose again in glory. In your goodness raise up your faithful people, buried with him in baptism, to be one with him in the eternal life of heaven, where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Feast of Santa Fara (Burgundofara)

Evviva Santa Fara!
Photo courtesy of Bill Russo
April 3rd (and December 7th) is the Feast Day of Santa Fara (also Burgundofara or Fare), virgin and abbess. Patroness of Cinisi, a town and commune in the Province of Palermo, Sicily, she is invoked by those suffering from eye ailments. In commemoration, I'm posting an invocation by Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira (1908-1995), Brazillian intellectual and Catholic activist.*
"We ask [Santa Fara] to imbue our souls not only with nostalgia for that past era of faith, but above all with a hope for this future. An ardent hope should inspire us to do everything that we can to accelerate this future so that the Reign of Mary will come as soon as possible. Making penance for our faults, maintaining our desire for a complete victory for Our Lady, and completely rejecting the present day abominations in the Church and society are the backdrop for this prayer. By our suffering, work, fight, and dedication, by the risks we are willing to face, we should help in the restoration of Christendom and the implantation of her glorious Reign.  
"Let us ask St. Fara to confirm us in these sentiments on her feast day."
The accompanying photo of Santa Fara was taken at Our Lady of Peace Church in New York City.
* Quoted from "St. Fara, April 3" by Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira at traditioninaction.org

April 2, 2021

Venerdì Santo (Good Friday)

Ecce Homo

"Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

On behalf of everyone at Il Regno, I want to wish all of our readers a blessed Good Friday. 
In commemoration, I’m posting a Good Friday Prayer. The accompanying photo of Ecce Homo ("Behold the man") by Antonello da Messina (Sicilian, c. 1425–1479) was taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Good Friday Prayer
O Jesus, Who by reason of Thy burning love for us hast willed to be crucified and to shed Thy Most Precious Blood for the redemption and salvation of our souls, look down upon us here gathered together in remembrance of Thy most sorrowful Passion and Death, fully trusting in Thy mercy; cleanse us from sin by Thy grace, sanctify our toil, give unto us and unto all those who are dear to us our daily bread, sweeten our sufferings, bless our families, and to the nations so sorely afflicted, grant Thy peace, which is the only true peace, so that by obeying Thy commandments we may come at last to the glory of heaven. Amen.

Feast of San Francesco di Paola

San Francesco di Paola, ora pro nobis
April 2nd is the Feast Day of San Francesco di Paola (St. Francis of Paola), patron saint of sailors, the Region of Calabria and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. In celebration, I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Francis of Paola. The accompanying photo of the Saint was taken at the Shrine Church of St. Bernadette in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. The pictures of the Santuario di San Francesco in Paola, Cosenza, comes courtesy of our good friend John Cordi. The pictures below of the Basilica di San Francesco di Napoli were taken during my 2007 visit to Naples. Completed in 1846, this monumental neoclassical church (inspired by the Pantheon in Rome) was built by HM King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies in homage to St. Francis of Paola for the recovery of Naples from Joachim Murat and the French. Evviva San Francesco di Paola!
Prayer to Saint Francis of Paola
Lord God, by whom the holy are exalted and Saint Francis was raised to share in the glory of the saints, let his prayer and example bring us the reward you have promised to the humble. Amen.
Santuario di San Francesco di Paola in Paola, Cosenza
Basilica di San Francesco di Paola in Napoli
Another look at the Basilica di San Francesco di Paola in Napoli
Photos by New York Scugnizzo