October 5, 2022

Feast of Santa Flavia

Santa Flavia, ora pro nobis
October 5th is the feast of Santa Flavia, Virgin and Martyr. Captured by Moslem corsairs with her brothers Placido, Eutichio and Vittorino while visiting the Benedictine abbey of Messina, she was tortured and put to death, along with her siblings and the monks, for refusing to renounce their faith. 

In celebration, we’re posting a prayer to Santa Flavia. The accompanying photo, courtesy of Anthony Scillia, was taken in the Chiesa Madre dedicated to the Madonna delle Grazie in Castel di Lucio, Messina. Evviva Santa Flavia!

Prayer to Santa Flavia 

God our Father, you give us joy each year in honoring the memory of Santa Flavia, Virgin and Martyr. May her prayers be a source of help for us, and may her example of courage and chastity be our inspiration. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

Feast of San Placido and Companions

San Placido, ora pro nobis
October 5th is the Feast of St. Placido (St. Placidus) and Companions, Martyrs. Arriving in Messina, Sicily from Monte Cassino in 534, the young Benedictine monk founded a monastery, drawing some thirty men to monastic life through his wondrous work and holy reputation. In 539 a band of pirates from North Africa raided the abbey in the dark of night, capturing the unsuspecting inhabitants, including Placido’s brothers, Eutychius and Victorinus, and their virgin sister Flavia, who was visiting from Rome. Bound and cruelly tortured, the captives were all eventually put to the sword when they refused to renounce their faith. Setting off with their ill-gotten-gains, the African marauders were soon swallowed up in divine retribution by Scylla and Charybdis, the mythical names of the infamous whirlpool in the strait of Messina.

Invoked against drowning because he was miraculously saved by San Mauro as a young child, San Placido is also the patron saint of religious novices, since he was an obedient disciple of San Benedetto Abate. Venerated across Southern Italy, San Placido is the principal protector of Castel di Lucio (ME), Biancavilla (CT), Poggio Imperiale (FG), and, along with the Madonna della Lettera, he is the co-patron of Messina, Sicily. In celebration, we're posting a prayer to St. Placidus. The accompanying photo of the statue with relic was taken at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Easton, Pennsylvania by Anthony Scillia. Evviva San Placido!

Prayer to St. Placidus

O God, who by means of martyrdom made blessed Placidus and his companions pass from exile to eternal glory, keep us for their prayers from all adversities and grant us to be able to participate in their glorious company in heaven. Amen

The Feast of Blessed Bartolo Longo

Blessed Bartolo Longo, ora pro nobis
October 5th is the Feast of Blessed Bartolo Longo, Man of Mary and Herald of the Rosary. In celebration, I’m posting a Prayer to Blessed Longo. Pictured above is my collection of prayer cards. The antique cards were a gift from a close friend who understands and appreciates my special devotion to Blessed Longo. Evviva Beato Bartolo Longo!
A Prayer to Blessed Bartolo Longo
All-powerful and merciful God, in Blessed Bartolo, a promoter of the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin, you showed a wonderful example of holiness and of charity for needy children and orphans. Through his prayers may we learn to see Christ your Son in our neighbors and to love him through them. 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

October 4, 2022

Feast of San Francesco D’Assisi

San Francesco d'Assisi, ora pro nobis
Nor did demons crucify Him; it is you who have crucified Him and crucify Him still, when you delight in your vices and sins. ~ St. Francis of Assisi
October 4th is the Feast of San Francesco d’Assisi (Saint Francis of Assisi), patron saint of animals and ecology. Beloved patron of Cava de’ Tirreni in Salerno, the town’s processional statue is adorned with the Collar of the Golden Fleece and Constantinian Cross. The honor was bestowed upon the citizens of Cava by HM King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies for their loyalty to the throne during Napoleon’s invasion and occupation of the Regno
In celebration, we're posting a Prayer to St. Francis. The accompanying photo of Saint Francis on horseback renouncing his wordly goods was taken in 2007 at the Basilica di San Francesco d’Assisi in Perugia, Umbria. Evviva San Francesco!

Prayer to St. Francis of Assisi 

O beloved Saint Francis, gentle and poor, your obedience to God and your simple, deep love for all God's creatures led you to the heights of heavenly perfection and turned many hearts to follow God's will. Now, in our day, pray also for us, in our ministry to the many who come here searching for peace and intercede for us as we come before the Lord with our special requests. [Mention your special intention.] O blessed Saint of God, from your throne among the hosts of heaven present our petitions before our faithful Lord. May your prayers on our behalf be heard and may God grant us the grace to lead good and faithful lives. Amen.Saint Francis of Assisi, Pray for us. Amen.

New Music: 'Griselda' by Alessandro Scarlatti

New music that may be of interest to our readers.

Griselda by Alessandro Scarlatti

Label: Dynamic
Release Date: July 6, 2022
Audio CD: $27.99
Number of Discs: 3

Available at Amazon.com

Read description

October 3, 2022

Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower of Jesus

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, ora pro nobis
October 3rd is the Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897), Virgin, Mystic, Ecstatic, and Doctor of the Church. Also known as St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, she is the patroness of florists, gardeners, missionaries and the victims of tuberculosis. On a personal note, the Little Flower is our familial patroness. I'll never forget when my maternal great-grandparents gave my paternal grandparents a statue for their front yard. Family and friends gathered to watch as my father installed it. Boy, have times changed. In celebration, I’m posting the Miraculous Invocation to St. Thérèse. Pictured are a few devotional objects passed down to me from my parents. Evviva St. Thérèse!
Miraculous Invocation to St. Thérèse
O Glorious St. Thérèse, whom Almighty God has raised up to aid and inspire the human family, I implore your Miraculous Intercession. You are so powerful in obtaining every need of body and spirit from the Heart of God. Holy Mother Church proclaims you "Prodigy of Miracles... the greatest saint of Modern Times." Now I fervently beseech you to answer my petition (mention in silence here) and to carry out your promises of spending heaven doing good on earth... of letting fall from Heaven a Shower of Roses. Little Flower, give me your childlike faith, to see the Face of God in the people and experiences of my life, and to love God with full confidence. St. Thérèse, my Carmelite Sister, I will fulfill your plea "to be made known everywhere" and I will continue to lead others to Jesus through you. Amen.

Photo of the Week: 12th Century Romanesque Bell Tower of the Duomo di Salerno

12th century bell tower of the Cattedrale di San Matteo
Photo by Andrew Giordano

October 2, 2022

Feast of the Madonna del Rosario di Pompei

Madonna del Rosario di Pompei, ora pro nobis
The First Sunday of October is the Feast of the Madonna del Rosario di Pompei (Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii). Widely venerated across southern Italy, She is the principal patroness of Pompei (NA), Botricello (CZ), Vignacastrisi (LE), Castromarina (LE) and Ventimiglia di Sicilia (PA), among others. In celebration, I’m posting the traditional Supplica, a powerful petition invoked twice each year, on May 8th and the first Sunday of October, for the intercession of our Blessed Mother.

Supplica (Petition to the Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii)

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O August Queen of Victories, O Sovereign of Heaven and Earth, at whose name the heavens rejoice and the abyss trembles. O Glorious Queen of the Rosary, we, your devoted children, assembled (on this solemn day*) in your Temple of Pompeii, pour out the affection of our hearts and with filial confidence express our miseries to You.

From the Throne of clemency on which You are seated as Queen, turn, O Mary, your merciful gaze on us, on our families, on Italy, on Europe and on the whole world. Have compassion on the worries and trials which embitter our lives. See, O Mother, how many physical and spiritual dangers and how many calamities and afflictions press upon us.

O Mother, implore the mercy of your Divine Son for us and conquer the hearts of sinners with your benevolence. They are our brothers and your children who cause the heart of our sweet Jesus to bleed and sadden your sensitive Heart. Show us all what You are, the Queen of Peace and of Pardon.

Hail Mary…

It is true that, although we are your children, with our sins we are the first to crucify Jesus again in our hearts and pierce your heart anew.

We confess that we deserve the most severe punishments, but remember that on Golgotha You received, with the Divine Blood, the testament of the dying Saviour, who declared You our Mother, the Mother of sinners. You then, as our Mother, are our Advocate, our Hope. And we raise our pleading hands to You with sighs crying, "Mercy!".

O good Mother, have pity on us, on our souls, on our families, on our relatives, on our friends, on our deceased, especially on our enemies, and on so many who call themselves Christian and yet offend the Heart of your loving Son. We implore mercy for today's misguided Nations, for all Europe, for the whole world, so that, repentant, they may return to your Heart.

Have mercy on us all, O Mother of Mercy!

Hail Mary…

Deign kindly to hear us, O Mary! Jesus has placed in your hands all the treasures of His Grace and His Mercy.

You are seated crowned Queen at the right hand of your Son, resplendent with immortal glory above all Choirs of Angels. You extend your dominion throughout heavens, and earth and all creatures are subject to You.

You are omnipotent by grace and therefore You can help us. Were You not willing to help us because we are ungrateful children and undeserving of your protection, we would not know to whom to turn.

Your Mother’s heart would not allow seeing us, your children, lost. The Infant whom You hold on your lap and the mystical Rosary which we gaze at your hand, inspire confidence in us that You shall hear us. We confide totally in You and abandon ourselves to You, like helpless children into the arms of the tenderest of mothers, and on this very day, we expect from You the longed-for graces.

Hail Mary…

Let us ask for Mary's blessing.

One last favour we ask of You, O Queen, which You cannot deny us (on this very solemn day*). Grant us all your steadfast love and in a special way your maternal blessing.

We shall not leave You until You have blessed us.

Bless, O Mary, at this moment, our Holy Father. To the ancient splendours of your Crown, to the triumphs of your Rosary, whence You are called Queen of Victories, add also this, O Mother: grant the victory of the Faith and give Peace to human Society. Bless our Bishops, Priests and particularly those who work zealously to give honour to your Shrine. Finally, bless all those who are associated with your Temple of Pompeii and all those who cultivate and promote the devotion of the Holy Rosary.

O Blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet Chain which binds us to God, Bond of love which unites us to the Angels, Tower of salvation against the assaults of hell, safe Haven in the universal shipwreck, we shall never abandon You.

You will be our comfort in the hour of agony. For You is the last kiss of our dying life. And the last word on our lips will be your sweet name, O Queen of the Rosary of Pompeii, O Dearest Mother, O Refuge of Sinners, O Sovereign Consoler of the Afflicted. May You be blessed everywhere, on Earth and in Heaven, today and forever. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen…

(*) Only on the 8th of May and the first Sunday of October.

Feast of the Guardian Angels

Guardian Angels, orate pro nobis
October 2nd is the Feast of the Guardian Angels, heavenly spirits assigned to watch over us throughout our lives. In celebration, we're posting a Prayer to Our Guardian Angel. The accompanying photo was taken at the Saint Athanasius School gymnasium in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

Prayer to Our Guardian Angel

O Holy Guardian Angel, my dear friend and solicitous guide on the dangerous way of life, to thee be heartfelt thanks for the numberless benefits which have been granted me through thy love and goodness and for the powerful help by which thou hast preserved me from so many dangers and temptations. I beg of thee, let me further experience thy love and thy care. Avert from me all danger, increase in me horror for sin and love for all that is good. Be a counselor and consoler to me in all the affairs of my life, and when my life draws to a close, conduct my soul through the valley of death into the kingdom of eternal peace, so that in eternity we may together praise God and rejoice in His glory. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

October 1, 2022

Meridiunalata XXXIII: 'Lu core noustre' and 'Pagliare ‘e fantasie' by Nina Guerrizio

Nina Guerrizio, was a poet born in 1919 in Campobasso, Molise, known for her poetic sensitivity, religiosity and humility. She was also an unparalleled scholar of Molisan dialects. She died in 1989 in her native Campobasso and the city subsequently named a street and school in her honor. In the 1960’s she was awarded a Lanciano Prize and perhaps due to her modest unassuming ways, was largely forgotten at the national level. Yet before her death she had published almost five hundred poems covering a wide ambit of topics ranging from local color to existential musing.

Many of her memorable works are collected in Tutte le poesie di Nina Guerrizio (Edizione Lampo, Campobasso, 1990), which includes such prior volumes as, Sciure de carde from 1956 (Campobasso, Edizioni Pungolo Verde) and Pagliare ‘e fantasie from 1959 (Pescara, Dimensioni). She also edited the volume Sonetti molisani by Giuseppe Altobello (Campobasso, 1966, later reprinted in 1982). Some years after her death, after being known for her work on other Molisan writers, Guerrizio was rediscovered properly in her own right and her works have been included in various anthologies and the Università di Roma-Tor Vergata has cultivated her work and recorded readings of her poems. Notably for a foreign audience, she was included in the bilingual Poesia Dialettale del Molise: Testi e Critica, edited by Luigi Bonaffini, Giambattista Faralli and Sebastiano Martelli (Cosmo Marinelli Editore, Isernia, 1993). 

Lu core noustre

Lu core noustre è cumme nu setacce
che cerne cerne e nen ze stanca maje:
cerne le cose belle e cerne guaje,
le lusinghe ‘e la vita e le menacce.

Cerne lu tiempe, inzomma: cerne l’ora.
E, cumme la farina, quanne passa,
lassa addrete la vrenna, nen ma’ passa
chelle che ce fa rire’ o ci addulora.

Remane ent’a le chieche du le core:
a botte ‘e spille, chiane, lu nfrullisce,
ne fa a la fine nu capulavore: nu furziere capace ‘e fa’ tasore
de chelle che a stu munne ci culpisce,
de fa’ d’u chiumme na pepita d’ore.

Our Heart

ur heart is like a sieve
that sifts and sifts and never grows tired:
it sifts beautiful things and woes,
the flattery of life and threats. 

It sifts time, in short: it sifts the hours.
And, like the flour, when it passes,
it leaves behind the bran, that which
makes us happy or pains us never passes. 

It remains in the folds of the heart:
slowly, by pin pricks, it dry ages it,
in the end it makes a masterpiece of it: a coffer able to make a treasure
of that which in this world strikes us,
to make from lead a nugget of gold.

Pagliare ‘e fantasie

ame de luce fàucene la notte
e cresce nu pagliare ‘e fantasie:
pe mmieze a chella paglia a file a file
ore va a retruvà l’anema mia.
(N’ome mpazzisce là pe la campagna
mbriache ‘e viente e de cinciune: a ‘u scure
ze fa castielle mo na massaria;
ghianca svota la via….E torna l’ombra).

Stelle cadute e fuoche de restoccia
ardene ancora ncima a la cullina
fratta de luce tra la terra e ‘u ciele.
Stelle che ntienne forza pe fa’ lume…
Suonne ch’hanne paura a piglià vita…
Vuce, e nen siente suone de parole…
Speranze morte che sule ent’u core
resonene. E retruove
luce vita parole.

Haystack of Fantasies

Blades of light are scything the night
and a haystack of fantasies grows:
amid that straw blade by blade
my soul goes seeking gold.
(There through the countryside a man is going crazy,
drunk with wind and rags: in the dark
now a farmhouse becomes a castle;
the road turns white…And the shadow returns). 

Fallen stars and replanting fires
still burn atop the hill
a hedge of light between the earth and the sky.
Stars that don’t have the strength to shed light…
Dreams which are afraid to take life….
Voices, and you don’t hear the sound of words…
Dead hopes which only in the heart
resonate. And you find again
light life words.

*Translation and biographical information by Cav. Charles Sant’Elia

A Prayer to St. Agatha for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

September 30, 2022

Feast of San Girolamo

St. Jerome in his study removing a thorn from the lion’s paw
September 30th is the Feast of San Girolamo (Saint Jerome), Doctor of the Church. A fourth century scholar and historian from the Roman province of Dalmatia, he is best known for his translation of the Holy Bible into Latin (the Vulgate) from the original Hebrew and Greek Septuagint. Protector of Cittanova in Reggio Calabria, San Girolamo is also the patron saint of archeologists, translators, scholars, librarians and students. In celebration, we're posting a Prayer to St. Jerome. The accompanying photo of St. Jerome removing a thorn from the lion’s paw (c. 1440-70) by Early Neapolitan Renaissance painter Niccolò Antonio Colantonio is on view at the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte in Naples.
Prayer to St. Jerome
Master of unworldliness and founder of monasteries, you had a deep love for God's inspired Word and were a most careful translator of the Sacred Scriptures. Your single-mindedness in seeking God's glory is a perfect model for all exegetes. Inspire them with respect for the sacred text as well as for Tradition and the Church's Magisterium. Help them to impart to all the true meaning of the Word of God. Amen.

Feast of Sant’Amato di Nusco

Sant'Amato Vescovo, ora pro nobis
September 30th is the Feast of Sant’Amato, first Bishop of Nusco, Avellino. Invoked against earthquakes and other natural disasters, many healing miracles have been attributed to the great saint. 
In celebration, we're posting a prayer in Italian to Sant’Amato, courtesy of the Società Sant’Amato di Nusco of Long Island City, New York. The accompanying photo was taken at the society clubhouse in 2014. Evviva Sant'Amato Vescovo!
Orazione a Santo Amato
O glorioso Santo Amato, che in tempi di tenebre splendesti di sanità nella tua patria e la sollevasti a nuovi costumi e nuova vita civile, deh! stendi su tutti i tuoi devoti l'opera tua benefica.
Tu avvisasti nel tuo popolo il fervore della fede e della pietà cristiana, Tu fosti sollievo negli affanni, scampo nei pericoli, e Tu conserva ognora all'ombra tua il popolo del tuo acquisto e quanti invocano il tuo nome benedetto.
O padre e Pastore della tua Nusco spira nei cuori la carità, che ti accese verso il tuo gregge, sicché, amandoci in terra, possiamo esser insieme con Te cittadini in cielo.

Triduum in Honor of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

My Grandmother's pocket statuette
of the Infant of Prague and the back
of the Society of the Little Flower
membership card with the image
of St. Thérèse of Lisieux
In case you missed the Novena, join us spiritually by privately praying the Triduum (three days of prayer) from Sept. 30th thru Oct. 2nd in preparation for the Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux on October 3rd.*

Preparatory Prayer

O Glorious Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, the Little Flower of Jesus, safe refuge of the afflicted and distressed, I, a poor sinner, encouraged by the promises God has made to thee, come to thee today with a firm hope, and I rejoice in the great honor which our Holy Mother the Church, has shown to thee in placing thee amongst the saints of Her altars. I pour forth my prayer to thee; I implore thine aid, thy protection, thy counsel, and thy blessing. Obtain for me, I beseech thee, the intention of this novena (here specify your intention). I ask this favor provided it is not opposed to the Holy Will of God and the welfare of my salvation. Should such, however, be the case, obtain for me such other graces as shall be conducive to the welfare of my soul. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer by Pope Benedict XV

O Little Thérèse of the Child Jesus, who during thy short life on earth didst become a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of whole-hearted abandonment to God, now that thou rejoicest in the reward of thy virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in thy hands. Make my troubles thy own — speak a word for me to our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love thou wert — to that Queen of Heaven "who smiled on thee at the dawn of life." Beg her as Queen of the Heart of Jesus, to obtain for me by her powerful intercession, the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment, and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy Eternity. Amen.

* Prayers courtesy of the Carmelite Nuns of Brooklyn

September 29, 2022

Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel

San Michele Arcangelo, ora pro nobis
September 29th is the Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel, Prince of the Heavenly host. Dating from the fifth century, the celebration recalls the Apparition of St. Michael on Mount Gargano in Apulia and the founding of several Churches in honor of the Archangel. In celebration, we're posting the Consecration to Saint Michael. The accompanying photo of the Archangel Michael smiting Satan was taken at St. Francis of Paola Church (219 Conselyea St.), in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Evviva San Michele Arcangelo!

Consecration to Saint Michael

Saint 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 so richly. I thank God for the great graces He hast bestowed upon 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.

Saint 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.

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi at St. Mary of Mount Virgin Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey

September 28, 2022

Feast of San Venceslao I, Duca di Boemia

San Venceslao I, ora pro nobis

Deus, qui beátum Wencesláum per martyrii palmam a terréno principátu ad cœléstem glóriam transtulísti: ejus précibus nos abomni adversitáte custódi, et ejúsdem tríbue gaudére consórtio. Per Dóminum.

September 28th is the Feast of San Venceslao I (St. Wenceslaus I), 10th century Duke, Martyr and patron saint of Bohemia (Czechia). A pious and holy King, he was a great benefactor of the Church and helped spread Christianity throughout his kingdom. On his way to Mass, he was murdered by his brother Prince Boleslaus' henchmen in 929 (or 935).

In celebration, we're posting a prayer to St. Wenceslaus I in English and Latin. The accompanying photo of St. Wenceslaus by the Roman painter Angelo Caroselli comes courtesy of Kunst Historisches Museum Wien. Evviva San Venceslao!

Prayer to St. Wenceslaus I

O God, Who, through the palm of Martyrdom, didst transfer blessed Wenceslaus from an earthly principality to heavenly glory, keep us, by his prayers, from all adversity, and grant us to rejoice in his fellowship. Through the Lord.

Sicilian Culture and Music at Italian Charities of America, Inc. in Elmhurst, Queens

September 27, 2022

Feast of Saints Cosma and Damiano

Santi Medici Cosma and Damiano,
orate pro nobis
September 27th is the Feast of Saints Cosma and Damiano, Arabian physicians and Martyrs. Patron saints of physicians, surgeons, doctors, pharmacists and midwives, the brothers are invoked by people suffering with medical conditions. Widely venerated across southern Italy, they are the principal patrons of Riace (RC), Sferracavallo (PA), Ginosa (TA), Roccascalegna (CH) and Carbonara di Nola (NA), among others.

In celebration, we're posting a Prayer to Saints Cosmas and Damian. The accompanying photo of the holy martyrs was taken at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (627 East 187th Street) in East Harlem, New York. Evviva Santi Medici Cosma and Damiano!

Prayer to Saints Cosmas and Damian 

O glorious martyrs of Christ, Saints Cosmas and Damian, you gave your lives for the love of God, benefiting your fellow man, and crowning your martyrdom with an open and loyal profession of your faith. You taught us to love God above all things, and to love our fellow man as ourselves, professing always, and without fear, the religion of Jesus. Augmenting amongst the faithful populace many miracles, you are glorious indeed. Through your intercession, which brings about deliverance of these miracles, we pray to you for your aid in all things. May your patronage never be far from us in the illness of our body and soul. O great protectors, Saints Cosmas and Damian, assist us with your love and free us from all evils. Amen

Remembering Maria Amalia of Saxony, Queen of Naples and Sicily

24 November, 1724 — 27 September, 1760
In memory of Maria Amalia of Saxony, Queen of Naples and Sicily (later Spain), we pray for the happy repose of her soul. Viva ‘a Reggina!

Eternal rest grant unto Her Majesty, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Feast of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus at the Monastery of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel in Morristown, New Jersey

September 26, 2022

Ponderable Quote from ‘Action: A Manual for the Reconstruction of Christendom’ by Jean Ousset

What we need to realize now is that it is indispensable to set up a civic élite specializing in the strategy of political and social action. Now, an élite cannot be set up by a stroke of the pen, or by drafting a paper constitution and rule book and opening a membership list. It has to be worked at and painfully evolved in the course of the action itself. What we have to do is to put all our faculties and opportunities to work in a maximal effort to achieve our goal. As to succeeding, only God can guarantee that.

If the only requirement for knighthood in olden days had been a signature on an application form, even the cowards would have signed on! An élite's sole claim to be so-called lies in the service it renders. Its members cannot be arbitrarily chosen or designated in advance. It is by the quality of the work done that a workman's value can be known. 

There has never been any shortage of sage counsellors whose expertise in talking is equalled only by their utter incapacity when it comes to deeds. An élite, by contrast, is recognized not by its words, but by its application, its prudence and its effectiveness in action.

Although theoretical training is necessary, it is just as indispensable to make the best possible utilization of the conditions and types of action that will enable those worthy to belong to such élites to show their mettle.

It would be useless to expect any worthwhile achievement from your brilliant thinkers and talkers who are careful to stay on the plane of theory and not to soil their hands with any of the practical hard work. Such men, forever surprised that any progress could possibly be made without calling on their aid, would only be satisfied if the solid achievements of others were placed under the abstract and dilettante direction of their own experience.

 * Reprinted from Action: A Manual for the Reconstruction of Christendom by Jean Ousset, IHS Press, 2002, pg. 237-238

Photo of the Week: Seven Archangels Vanquishing Demons, Chapel in the House of St. Pius V in the Vatican

Photo by New York Scugnizzo

September 25, 2022

Feast of San Firmino di Amiens

San Firmino di Amiens, ora pro nobis
A San Fermín pedimos, por ser nuestro patrón, nos guía en el encierro, dándonos su bendición*
September 25th is the Feast of San Firmino di Amiens, Bishop and Martyr. Patron Saint of the city of Amiens in France and the region of Navarre in Spain, he is also invoked by bakers, boot makers, wine traders, and of course the mozos, the foolhardy daredevils who run with the bulls each year in Pamplona, Spain during the famed Los Sanfermines, or San Fermin Festival.

According to tradition, San Firmino was a native of Pamplona in the region of Navarre. Born of noble birth (his father was a senator), his family converted to Christianity and were baptized by St. Saturninus of Toulouse. In time, he was ordained into the priesthood by St. Honoratus at Tolosa (modern Toulouse) in Roman Gaul. Returning to Navarre, he was appointed the first Bishop of Pamplona.

Years later, San Firmino travelled up north to the remote regions of Gaul to preach and evangelize. Converting thousands to the faith, he eventually settled at Amiens and became the town's first Bishop. Repeatedly running afoul with the pagan priests, San Firmino was denounced as a Christian, imprisoned and ultimately beheaded.

San Firmino's cult was established in Pamplona in the twelfth-century with the arrival of his relics from Amiens. Somehow conflated with the martyrdom of St. Saturninus, who was dragged to his death by a bull at a mithraeum in Tolosa, the holy cephalophore (head-carrier) is also venerated on July 7th with a 
resplendent nine-day fête

From July 6th-14th, Los Sanfermines is replete with religious and cultural traditions. Among the most popular are the festive processions with papier maché Gigantes and cabezudos (Giants and big heads), the Riau-Riau dance said to have been introduced by the Carlists in 1914 to annoy their liberal rivals, and of course the world-famous running of the bulls.

In celebration, we're posting a prayer to St. Fermin. The accompanying photo of St. Fermin Holding His Head (ca. 1225-75, Amiens) was taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Viva San Fermin! Gora San Fermin!

Prayer to St. Fermin of Amiens 
O Glorious St. Firmin of Amiens, 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
(*) “We ask San Fermín, as our patron, to guide us through the bull run, giving us his blessing.” Prayer recited three times before the running of the bulls.

Infant Jesus of Prague Chaplet

O Infant Jesus, Whose truth enlightens the
darkness of our heart, have mercy on us
On the 25th of every month, devotees of the Divine Infancy should pray the Chaplet of the Infant Jesus of Prague, which includes three Our Fathers and twelve Hail Marys in celebration of the Holy Family and the first twelve years of Our Lord’s childhood. The Chaplet was composed by Venerable Sister Marguerite Parigot of the Blessed Sacrament (March 6, 1590—May 24, 1660), a Discalced Carmelite nun with a strong devotion to the Christ Child. Pleased with the devotion, Our Lord revealed Himself to Sister Marguerite and promised special graces to all who piously recite the Chaplet. In 1855 Pope Pius IX granted an Indulgence of 300 days, applicable to the Poor Souls in Purgatory, for its devout recitation.* 
In celebration, I’m posting the Infant Jesus of Prague Chaplet. The accompanying photo was taken at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Newark, New Jersey.
Infant Jesus of Prague Chaplet

Divine Infant Jesus, I adore Thy Cross and I accept all the crosses Thou wilt be pleased to send me. Adorable Trinity, I offer Thee for the glory of Thy Holy Name of God, all the adorations of the Sacred Heart of the Holy Infant Jesus.

(3x) “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us” and pray The Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)

(12x) “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us” and pray The Angelical Salutation (Hail Mary)

Holy Infant Jesus, bless and protect us. Amen.
* www.sistersofcarmel.com