February 28, 2018

Around the Web: Excerpt from Off the Menu Episode 57 — "Italian Unification: Good or Bad?"

Historian Charles A. Coulombe and co-hosts Vincent Frankini of Tumblar House briefly discuss Italian Unification on their highly entertaining weekly question and answer show, Off the Menu.

February 26, 2018

NYC Auxiliary Malta Walk, February 2018

Francesca Tempesta, DM (right), and the Order of Malta Auxiliary
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Tuesday evening, I once again joined the Knights, Dames and auxiliary members of the Knights of Malta for their monthly Auxiliary Malta Walk. Meeting every third Tuesday of the month at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral parish house (263 Mulberry Street), volunteers prepare and distribute food and toiletries to the homeless.
God Bless Dama Francesca Tempesta, organizer of the monthly walk, Pastor Msgr. Donald Sakano, and all the members of the Order and Auxiliary for their hard work and generosity. As always, it was a tremendous honor to serve with such an outstanding group of people.
Anyone interested in supporting this noble endeavor can contact the Order of Malta Auxiliary at nycaux@orderofmaltaamerican.org or call 917-566-3937. For additional information, the Order can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/maltaauxiliarynyc.

Photo of the Week: Perseus and Andromeda

Fresco of Perseus and Andromedafrom a house in the Insula Occidentalis at Pompeii, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (Photo by New York Scugnizzo)

February 24, 2018

Happy Birthday Prince Carlo di Borbone!

HRH was born in Saint Raphaël, France on February 24, 1963
Photo courtesy of Real Casa di Borbone
Happy Birthday Prince Carlo di Borbone – Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro and Grand Master of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George! We pray that your special day be filled with the glory and wonder of God’s abiding love, and may you feel His presence throughout the coming year. Peace be upon you. Auguri!

February 20, 2018

Photo of the Week: The Dancing Faun at the Casa del Fauno in Pompeii

Replica of The Dancing Faun at the Casa del Fauno, Pompeii
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

February 19, 2018

Comitati delle Due Sicilie USA Mark Day of Remembrance for the Fallen of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

For Immediate Release: New York - 13 February 2018
The members and friends of the CDS USA on this Day of Memory of the Fallen of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies remember all of the victims of the Risorgimento and the many sacrifices and suffering the Duosiciliani endured since 1860 up until our times. By now for twenty years with pride and love for our ancestral land we have been fighting abroad for the dignity of our people. From the United States, where the Two Sicilies under HM Ferdinando I opened the first embassy of an Italian state and a large consular network from New York, Boston, and Washington to Savannah, Mobile and New Orleans, we are proud to launch programs to spread awareness of our history and of our culture.
The members and friends of the CDS USA likewise express their living solidarity with all of our dear countrymen of the Two Sicilies Diaspora spread throughout the world, and in a particular manner we second the sentiments expressed by Fiore Marro during his intervention at the «Eccellenze di Napoli» conference held on 8 February.  More than ever we need a solid and firm unity based on our historic identity, not on political programs and slogans of a false patriotism. The fact that yet again politicians coming from other latitudes, the bearers and continuation of failed and inapplicable ideologies and the supporters of historiographies based on the empty propaganda of yesterday come seeking collaborations, thrusts us further towards our own.
We observe such nervous and frenetic behaviors on the part of the politicians as good news. We are winning. The more they seek to denigrate our movement, the more they court our votes, the more they send fake and corrupt scholars to challenge and attack our publications, the more it becomes evident that they feel threatened.  And rightfully so: we gave ourselves back our identity. Today we are many, in many countries, in many sectors.  And we make ourselves heard. We abroad are the living proof that the Risorgimento experiment not only failed (after the creation of Italy we left by the millions, from North to South), but that the thesis according to which, we had and still need a so-called civilizing mission to show us the way is a false premise.  As soon as we remove the «Italian» superstructure we execute important projects.  It stands out that abroad we are the most economically powerful and culturally relevant «Italians». We generate jobs, create works of art, carry out engagements at banks and multinationals, conduct scientific research, and we import the greater part of Italian products (including those of the North). Nonetheless, we want to live with dignity at home, reunited with our families.
We wish for a new phase of undertakings, development, commerce and cultural production, worthy of our people and of our best traditions. Such a phase shall commence based on our strong identity. We shall overcome every obstacle, together, shoulder to shoulder, in the spirit of true brotherhood, our own, under our true and only Flag. We must bypass Rome, Milan, Turin and similar places, and go directly to the markets of New York, London, Berlin and Tokyo to make ourselves heard and to make ourselves rise to the place that our ancient civilization merits, without any mediation and no intervention on the part of those who do not have our interests at heart. The more we frequent each other, and exchange ideas and experiences, the more business we do among each other, the further we will go.  We assume full responsibility to protect our interests.  We don’t need the presumed help of third parties and we shall exercise our rights and demonstrate our capacities to the world.  All we need is our unity.  Therefore we invite all those who love our people to join with us and bring forward the work already begun by our ancestors right after the fall of the Kingdom.
A fraternal embrace to our dear brothers and sisters spread throughout the world. We are always with you. Honor to the resistants. We shall see each other in Gaeta!

Comitati delle Due Sicilie USA

February 18, 2018

Weekly Rosary and Stations of the Cross with the Figli Maria SS. Addolorata in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Evviva Santa Rita!
Friday evening I joined our friends from the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata for their hebdomadal prayer service in honor of St. Rita of Cascia. Meeting in the basement of the Nazareth Center, on the corner of 62nd Street and Bay Parkway in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, members convened for week two of their 15 week devotional to the patroness of desperate causes.
Gathered before the statues of the Sacro Cuore di Gesù, the Madonna Addolorata, and, of course, Santa Rita, we began the service by praying the Stations of the Cross in Italian. As part of our Lenten devotion, each Station was read aloud by a different member, with the rest of the group reciting the responsorial and prayers (Padre Nostro, Ave Maria, Gloria al Padre). 
We then took a moment of silence for the victims of the Florida school shooting and their families.
Next, our group prayed the Rosary. As with the Stations, a different member took the lead for each decade and Sorrowful Mystery.

The service concluded with a final prayer, hymn, and the Litany of St. Rita of Cascia.
Afterward, participants retired to the refectory for some coffee, homemade cookies and a game of tombola. Though the sweets looked delicious and the game lots of fun, I had to decline because of my Lenten fast. I did, however, enjoy the fellowship and the hot cup of joe.
Save the Date:
The society will be organizing a pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia in Philadelphia, PA on Sunday, May 20th (Details TBA). There will be a Feast Day Mass and small procession on Tuesday, May 22nd, at 7:30pm at St. Athanasius Church (2154 61st St.) in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Anyone interested in participating with the Figli Maria SS. Addolorata should call Lucrezia at 917-509-2803 or find them on Facebook at Figli Maria S.S. Addolorata.

February 16, 2018

Celebrating Martedì Grasso & Jurnata d''a Memoria at Norma Gastronomia Siciliana in New York City

Special thanks to Cav. Charles Sant'Elia, President of the Comitati delle Due Sicilie USA, for organizing this year's Jurnata d''a Memoria 
Tuesday evening, I joined my friends at Norma Gastronomia Siciliana (438 3rd Ave.) in Kips Bay, Manhattan for a joint Martedì Grasso (Fat Tuesday) and Jurnata d''a Memoria (Remembrance Day) dinner. Looking to eat our fill before our Lenten fast, as well as honor the men and women who fought and died defending our ancestral homeland during the northern conquest of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, we gathered at the cozy Sicilian eatery for a traditional Duosiciliano feast.
Some wine to get things started
Warmly greeted, our party was quickly seated beneath a giant mural of an antique map of Sicily, where Norma’s crack wait staff took our sizable drink and dinner orders. 
Boasting an impressive selection of Sicilian wines, we decided on an excellent bottle of Nero d’Avola Lagnusa (Feudo Montoni), Sicily’s famed varietal whose bold fruit flavors paired well with our sumptuous repast.
Before digging in, we began our meal by saying grace, then toasting the memory of our heroic ancestors and kings of yore.
For starters, we enjoyed two distinct and tasty takes on eggplant: timballo di melanzane alla parmigiana, a mouthwatering drum of tender eggplant with mozzarella, parmigiano, basil and tomato sauce; and caponata con mandorle e crostini, a sweet and sour medley of eggplant, celery, olives, cappers, onions, tomato and almonds with crusty bread. The aubergine masterpieces were an auspicious and welcome start to the meal.
Chef Fraterrigo shows his true colors
I rarely pass up an opportunity to eat a rice ball, especially when I see a variation I haven’t tried yet. So when I spotted the arancine nero di seppia, a squid ink risotto stuffed with a spicy shrimp ragù; and the more conventional arancine al burro, made with saffron risotto, mozzarella, butter and ham over a light béchamel sauce; I knew we had to try them. Everything a rice ball should be—crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside—both were packed with lots of flavor and more than lived up to my high expectations.
For our entree we ordered three different pasta dishes. Passing the platters around, we each repeatedly sampled the Busiate al pesto Trapanese, imported Busiate pasta with fresh tomato, basil, Sicilian garlic, almonds and extra virgin olive oil; Anelletti al forno, a baked ring-shaped pasta with green peas, eggplant, ham, pecorino and beef ragù; and Pasta con le sarde a timballo, a breaded drum of spaghetti, fresh Portuguese sardines, wild fennel, pine nuts and saffron. They were all perfectly cooked and delicious, but in my humble opinion the Busiate with its fresh and clean flavors was the star of the evening.
After a short breather, and some café to pick us up, we capped off our meal with a little cannoli, cassatina and tiramisu. This was enjoyed with a delightful Malvasia delle Lipari, a sweet dessert wine aptly nicknamed the “nectar of the gods.” 
To our delight, Executive Chef Salvatore Fraterrigo visited our table and spoke a bit about the food and history of his beloved island and the former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. An all-around terrific dining experience, the maestro and his staff (Emanuela, Enzo, Mirco, et al.) have brought a corner of Sicily to New York City. More than just a place to eat, Norma embodies the warmth and hospitality one expects to find on the celebrated jewel of the Mediterranean. The food was fantastic, the service was friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere was charming. I look forward to going back. 
(Above & below) Due Sicilie pride on display at Norma 
Remembering the defenders of the Kingdom and the sacrifices they made.
May they Rest in Peace and never be forgotten
A giant map of Sicily adorns the restaurant's wall 
Timballo di melanzane alla parmigiana
Caponata con mandorle e crostini
Arancine nero di seppia 
Arancine al burro 
Busiate al pesto Trapanese 
Anelletti al forno 
Pasta con le sarde a timballo
Malvasia delle Lipari, "the nectar of the gods"
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Norma Gastronomia Siciliana ★★★★★
438 3rd Avenue
New York, New York 10016
Tel 212.889.0600

February 12, 2018

Photo of the Week: Venus and Mars with their Sons Cupid and Formido

Venus and Mars with their sons Cupid and Formido, 1st Century Imperial Roman fresco from the House of Mars and Venus in Pompeii, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli. Photo by New York Scugnizzo

February 8, 2018

The Search for our Ancestry (XLV)

Collateral Tricks
By Angelo Coniglio
In genealogic terms, your ‘collateral lines’ are branches of your family tree that do not include your direct ancestors. For example: consider your great-great grandfather’s sister, who married and bore children with a different surname than his. This great-great grandaunt, her children and their descendants, all of them, are your relatives. They are a collateral line, as are all the descendants of every sibling of every one of your direct ancestors. As such, they share your ‘blood’, or to express it in modern terms, they share portions of your DNA.
Many researchers spend minimum time investigating their collateral lines. They are interested only in identifying ancestors in a direct line from themselves; or even more narrowly, only the direct ancestors that share their own surname, that is, only their paternal line. However, there are many reasons to do ‘sideways’ or collateral genealogy. Collateral relatives (aunts, uncles or cousins of some degree: first cousins, third cousins twice removed, great-granduncles, etc.) share some of your DNA. If you have your DNA tested by venues such as FamilyTreeDNA, AncestryDNA or 23andMe, the ‘DNA matches’ that they identify for you will most likely be from collateral lines, some as distant as five, six, or more generations. You may then find that when contacted, these relatives might have information about their ancestors who were also yours; that is, common ancestors between you and they..

So doing ‘collateral genealogy’ could help you to contact, correspond with, or even meet living distant relatives. These could be cousins still living in your little ancestral town in the hills of Sicily or Italy, or they could be old neighborhood friends who attended grammar school with you, but neither you nor they ever suspected that they were related to you. I have found relatives in both those categories, and part of the allure of collateral genealogy, to me, is finding relatives who inherited the same physical and behavioral family traits as I.

But there is another valuable application of collateral genealogy. I have previously pointed out that two important questions to resolve are “What were the ancestor’s children’s names, in order of age?” and “What were the ancestor’s siblings’ names, in order of age?” In Sicily and southern Italy, it was almost universal that the names a couple gave to their children followed a pattern called the Sicilian Naming Convention. This tradition required that the couple’s first son be named after the boy’s paternal grandfather; the first daughter after her paternal grandmother; the second son after his maternal grandfather; and the second daughter after her maternal grandmother. 

Here’s an example of how one can get around a ‘brick wall’ by combining collateral genealogy with the naming convention. I knew the name and approximate birth date (1831) of my great-grandfather, Raimondo Coniglio, but records are missing for the years 1830 – 1832, so I couldn’t find his birth record containing the names of his parents. However, I knew his children (my grandfather and his siblings) born from 1855 through 1865, were named in order of age; Giuseppa, Gaetano (my grandfather), Leonardo, Luciano, and Maria.  From this information, I conjectured that my g-grandfather’s father and mother were named Gaetano and Giuseppa, the names he gave his firstborn of each gender. I then began searching the records for Coniglio births, for the years before and after my great-grandfather’s presumed birth year of 1831.

I found numerous Coniglios born in my ancestral town in that time frame, but Pasquale, born in 1822; Felicia (b. 1824); Antonino (b. 1827; Angelo (b. 1833); and Concetta (b. 1834) were the only ones who were the children of Gaetano Coniglio and Giuseppa Montante. Their parents’ names matched my grandfather and his eldest sister; and the other given names were common in my family. There was a six-year gap between the births of Antonino and Angelo, when the usual difference in age was two or three years. This led me to the conclusion that my great-grandfather Raimondo most likely also was the son of Gaetano Coniglio and Giuseppa Montalto, and that he had named his first son, my grandfather Gaetano, after his own father.  Not iron-clad, but pretty good circumstantial evidence, which was later corroborated when I found Raimondo’s marriage record, which confirmed his birth year and his parents’ names. But while doing the ‘sideways’ search, I had found several great-grand uncles and aunts, whose offspring and descendants are part of my ‘collateral family’.

Coniglio is the author of the book The Lady of the Wheel, inspired by his Sicilian research. Order the paperback or the Kindle version at http://bit.ly/SicilianStory Coniglio’s web page at http://bit.ly/AFCGen has helpul hints on genealogic research. If you have genealogy questions, or would like him to lecture to your club or group, e-mail him at genealogytips@aol.com

February 7, 2018

Compra Sud — Ornella Trattoria

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Let's support those who keep our traditions and folkways alive

Ornella Trattoria
29-17 23rd Avenue
Queens, New York 11105
Tel 718-777-9477


Also see:
Celebrating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at Ornella Trattoria in Astoria, Queens  

* Our recommendations will be unsolicited, and only from our personal experience. No second hand suggestions will be made.

February 4, 2018

Celebrating Candlemas at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

The distribution of the candles
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Orémus. Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, qui hodiérna  die Unigéntum tuum ulnis sancti Simeónis in templo sancto tuo suscipiéndum præsentásti: tuam súpplices deprecámur cleméntiam; ut has candélas quas nos fámuli tui, in tui nóminus magnificéntiam suscipiéntes, gestáre cúpimus luce accénsas, benedícere et sanctificáre atque lúmine supérnæ benedictiónis accéndere dignéris: quaténus eas tibi Dómino, Deo nostro, offeréndo digni, et sancto igne dulcíssimæ caritátis tuæ succénsi, in templo sancto glóriæ tuæ repræsentári mereámur. Per erundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen*
Friday evening, I joined nearly sixty worshipers at Holy Name of Jesus Church (245 Prospect Park West) in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn for the Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite for the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord and Purification of Our Lady in the Temple (Candlemas). Arriving early, I began my Holy Hour near the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In addition to my usual prayers of thanks, praise, and intercession for the happy repose of the souls of my ancestors, I made an act of reparation to the Sacred Heart for my First Friday Devotion.

Mass was sung by Celebrant and Homilist Rev. Seán Connolly, who was dutifully asssissted by servers James Barrett (MC), Robert Jurman, and John Leicmon. The motets and Mass setting were composed by choir director David Adam Smith. They were gloriously chanted by Amy Bartram, Elyse Anne Kakacek, Elizabeth Smith, Eric Brenner, Daniel Greenwood, Nathaniel Adams, Peter Walker, and Phillip Cheah.

Thank you Rev. Lawrence D. Ryan, Pastor and members of the Holy Name congregation for your continued warmth and hospitality. Special thanks to Cindy Brolsma and organizers for your hard work and dedication. Once again, it was a great joy to celebrate our faith together. 

The next Latin Mass at Holy Name of Jesus Church will be celebrated on Friday, March 23rd at 7:00pm for the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.
Celebrant Fr. Connolly
Candles are lit to remind us that Jesus is "the light of the world"
Fr. Connolly leads the procession around the nave
Solita oscula (the customary kisses)
During his homily, Fr. Connolly spoke at length about the meaning of Candlemas
Thurifer incensing the celebrant 
Ecce Angus Dei
The Last Gospel
* Let us pray. O almighty and everlasting God, who on this day didst present Thine only-begotten Son in Thy holy temple to be received in the arms of holy Simeon: we humbly entreat Thy clemency, that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless and sanctify and to kindle with the light of Thy heavenly benediction these candles, which we, Thy servants, desire to receive and to bear lighted in the honor of Thy Name: that, by offering them to Thee our Lord God, being worthily inflamed with the holy fire of Thy most sweet charity, we may deserve to be presented in the holy temple of Thy glory. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. ~ excerpt from the Blessing of Candles

Photo of the Week: Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta in Positano, the Vertical City on the Amalfi Coast

Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta in Positano, Amalfi Coast
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

February 1, 2018

New Book — Queens of Sicily 1061-1266: The Queens Consort, Regent and Regnant of the Norman-Swabian era of the Kingdom of Sicily

New title that may be of interest to our readers. Available at Amazon.com

Queens of Sicily 1061-1266: The Queens Consort, Regent and Regnant of the Norman-Swabian era of the Kingdom of Sicily (Sicilian Medieval Studies) by Jacqueline Alio

Publisher: Trinacria Editions LLC
Publication Date: November 14, 2018
Paperback: $42.00
Language: English
Pages: 516

Read description

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