January 2, 2015

Honoring Francesco II di Borbone in New York City

Portrait of HRH King Francesco II next to the altar
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
“May we never cease to emulate our heavenly patron with alacrity to follow in the footsteps of your only begotten Son, who is our alpha and our omega, our beginning and end.” — From the Prayer of the Constantinian Order of Saint George 
Sunday, December 28th, friends and members of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George gathered at Saint Joseph's Church in Greenwich Village, New York City to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the death of HRH Francesco II, the last King of the Two Sicilies. In solidarity with supporters and confrères across southern Italy and Rome, Mass was celebrated by Father John McGuire, who spoke glowingly of the late King and the Order.
The ceremony (the first of many more to come) ended with the Prayer of the Order and a brilliant rendition on the church organ of Inno al Re, the national anthem of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies composed by Giovanni Paisiello. What a thrill it was for me to finally hear it performed live.
Afterward, participants were invited to join the Knights and Dames at a local watering hole for drinks and some lite fare. I met many friendly and interesting people, including several fellow travelers I knew previously through social media. It was a terrific opportunity to network and build camaraderie.

I want to thank Delegate John M. Viola, Mayor Pasquale Menna, Patrick O’Boyle and all the members of the Order for their hard work and generosity. They are a terrific group and I was honored to be a part of the celebration. Viva 'o Rre!
After Mass, the flag bearer led the congregation down the church aisle
The King's portrait is flanked by the Constantinian standard
and bandiera del Regno delle Due Sicilie
Celebrants pose by the altar
Inno al Re was played on this magnificent organ
A toast to the memory of the King, Viva 'o Rre!