April 30, 2018

An Alternative Version of the Daily Prayer of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George

In celebration of the two year anniversary of my investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George, I’m posting an alternative version of the Daily Prayer of the Order. Originally published in Per un cammino spirituale dei Cavalieri e delle Dame Costantiniani (For a Spiritual Journey of the Constantinian Knights and Dames) on the occasion of the 2016 Pilgrimage to Rome, the prayer was recently translated into English in the inaugural issue of Constantinian Chronicle, the digital bulletin of the United States Delegation.* Congratulations to my fellow celebrants, it has been an honor and a blessing to serve with you these past two years. — Cav. Napoli, IHSV
The Daily Prayer of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George 
Lord Jesus, You have deigned to let me participate in the Militia of the Constantinian Knights of Saint George, I humbly beg You to intercede with the Blessed Virgin of Pompeii, Queen of Victories, the valiant Martyr Saint George, Your Glorious Knight, and all the Saints, to help me remain faithful to the traditions of our Order, practicing and defending the Holy Catholic, Apostolic, Roman Religion against the onslaught of impiety. 
It becomes for me an armor of faith and a shield of good will, sure defense against the pitfalls of my enemies - as visible as they are invisible. I beg You that I may have the grace to exercise charity towards my neighbor and especially towards the poor and the persecuted in the cause of Justice. 
Give me finally the virtues necessary to achieve, according to the spirit of the Gospel, with a disinterested and deeply Christian spirit, these holy desires, for the greater glory of God, the glorification of the Holy Cross and the propagation of the Faith, for the peace of the world and the good of the Constantinian Order of Saint George. Amen
* Constantinian Chronicle, January–March 2018, Issue 1, Volume 1

Photo of the Week: Torre Maggiore at Villa Rufolo in Ravello

Torre Maggiore, 14th-century tower at Villa Rufolo in Ravello
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

April 26, 2018

Celebrating the Feast of St. George with the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George

After Mass, clergy, knights and servers take a commemorative photo
Photos by New York Scugnizzo, Raymond Guarini and Vincenzo De Sio 
Almighty and Merciful Father, King of kings and Lord of lords, in Your immeasurable goodness You have called me into the ranks of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, Your Knight and Martyr. May I never cease to emulate our heavenly patron and with alacrity follow in the footsteps of Your Only-begotten Son, Who is our Alpha and Omega, our Beginning and End. – from the Daily Prayer of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George
Monday evening, the Knights and Dames of the US Delegation of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George gathered at the Basilica of Saint Patrick's Old Cathedral (263 Mulberry Street) in New York City for their patronal Feast of St. George the Martyr. Mass was concelebrated by Rev. Msgr. Donald Sakano, Rector of the Cathedral, and Msgr. Cav. Joseph Ambrosio, Chaplain of the Order. HE Cav. John M. Viola, Delegate of the Order, Vice Chancellor Patrick O'Boyle, Cavalieri Charles Sant'Elia, John Napoli, Vincent Gangone, Joseph Panepinto Sr., Joseph Panepinto Jr., Thomas Barra, Anthony Viscogliosi, Nick Caiazzo, and Dama Luisa Maria Cristfano were in attendance.
Rev. Msgr. Donald Sakano, Rector of the Cathedral
and the Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood in Little Italy 
HE John M. Viola, Delegate of the Order, presided at the Mass
Cav. John Napoli with the Labarum and standard of the Order

April 24, 2018

Evviva San Giorgio! Celebrating the Feast of Saint George in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Evviva San Giorgio!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo and Giorgio Giudice
Before work Monday morning, I joined my St. Rocco Society brethren in honoring glorious San Giorgio Martire on his Feast Day at Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary and St. Stephen RC Church in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Among the many old southern Italian society statues in its possession, the church boasts a magnificent bust of the warrior saint originating from Testaccio in Barano d'Ischia. As is the custom, we brought flowers (courtesy of the LaRocca family), lit a few candles, meditated and said our prayers, including the daily orison of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George. Tranquil and serene, our short, but gratifying visit was the perfect way to begin our day.
Bust of San Giorgio and placard on the bye-altar
Devotees venerate our beloved patron
Each year, the LaRocca family offer the saint a beautiful bouquet of flowers
Cav. John Napoli of the Sacred Military Constantinian
Order of St. George was in attendance
A close-up of the saint and his standard

Photo of the Week: Marble Bust, Museo del Duomo di Ravello, Salerno

Marble bust, Museo del Duomo di Ravello, Salerno.
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

April 22, 2018

Saint Rocco Boys’ Night Out at Peppino’s

Peppino's restaurant in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
Friday evening, members and friends of the St. Rocco Society of Potenza convened at Peppino’s Restaurant (7708 3rd Ave.) in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn for our monthly “boys’ night out” dinner meeting. In reality our recurrent gathering is more like a party than a meeting, and after a busy work-week our crew always looks forward to blowing off a little steam, having a few laughs, and, of course, eating well. 
The boys came hungry and ready to party
Warmly welcomed by chef Joe Mancino’s crack wait staff, our jovial party was promptly seated and served. After our drinks and entrees were ordered, a seemingly never ending array of hot and cold antipasti was brought to our table. Beginning with Joe’s own rendition of bruschetta al pomodoro and affettati e formaggio, we were treated to several classic southern Italian specialties, including fresh insalata di mare, cozze alla marinara and vongole al forno.
Insalata di mare
The beer and wine flowed almost as freely as the lively conversation. A veritable free-for-all, revelers discussed everything from religion, politics and history to the hit Italian television crime drama Gomorrah. Though I never saw the show (I don’t care for the gangster genre), I did enjoy listening to their take on it. I won’t give away any spoilers, but I do find it interesting that my friends appear to enjoy the fact that they speak Neapolitan (as opposed to Italian) on the show more than the actual storyline. 
Vongole al forno
After a much needed breather, our appetites magically returned with the arrival of our main courses. We each had a delicious fish or pasta entree, with a side of friarielli (broccoli rabe) or scarola aglio e olio (escarole). I enjoyed a heaping serving of spicy linguine con calamari, which was perfectly cooked and very tasty. As always, Chef Mancino outdid himself and dished us up another memorable meal.
After coffee and dessert, the diehards among us went out for after-dinner drinks, while the rest of us called it a night. Normally I would join them for cocktails, but I was feeling a bit knackered and needed to hit the hay. 
Linguine con calamari
More than just a feast society, our tight-knit group has become a second little family. Many of us socialize, do business, and pray together on a regular basis. I actually see some of them more than I do my own blood, who—having succumbed to the temptations of the false cult of progress—have sadly scattered to the wind. Our faith in God and devotion to San Rocco has brought us together and drives us to keep our time-honored traditions and culture alive. I am truly blessed to be a part of such a wonderful group. Viva San Rocco!
Gamberi oreganata con linguine

April 20, 2018

Chef Giuseppe Marrone’s Anniversary Blowout at Acqua Restaurant and Wine Bar

Our most gracious host serves up some fresh vongole crude
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
We couldn’t be happier for our friend chef Giuseppe Marrone, who celebrated one year at the helm of Acqua Restaurant and Wine Bar (21 Peck Slip) Monday evening in Manhattan’s historic South Street Seaport. Generous and appreciative, Giuseppe thanked his friends and loyal customers with another one of his famous blowout parties, complete with complimentary food, live entertainment and a DJ. Packed to the gills, partygoers mingled, ate their fill, and merrily danced the night away in honor of our revered host. We wish Giuseppe continued success, prosperity and much happiness as he continues to reach his goals! 
Frédéric and Alexandra enjoy a little Vigne Mastrodomenico 'Mos' Aglianico del Vulture from Basilicata and Sertura Fiano di Avellino
The man of the hour was joined by one of his many admirers
Two rock stars: Andrew Giordano of the Black Cats NYC with Chef Marrone
A neobriganti hotspot, we nicknamed the restaurant “The Brigands’ Roost”
Revelers spill into the streets to enjoy the cool night air

April 19, 2018

NYC Auxiliary Malta Walk, April 2018

Francesca Tempesta, DM (right), and members of the Order of Malta Auxiliary
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Meeting every third Tuesday of the month at the rectory of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral (263 Mulberry Street), volunteers help the Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta prepare and distribute ready-to-eat food and toiletries to the homeless. Organized by Dama Francesca Tempesta, our spirited little group make our way through the surrounding neighborhoods and hand out care packages to the needy.

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.

April 18, 2018

Meridiunalata II: A Bilingual Offering of Duosiciliano Poetry

Inspired by Cav. Charles Sant'Elia's Meridiunalata/ Southernade,* an evocative bilingual (Neapolitan / English) collection of poetry written between 1989 and 2010, we offer the reader an accessible introduction to vernacular (Neapolitan, Sicilian, et al.) verse with the aim of awakening enthusiasm for contemporary and historical poesia Duosiciliano.

In this installment we're featuring the Neapolitan poetry of Totò (Antonio De Curtis) and Luciano Somma.

‘A Cchiù Sincera
Di Totò (Antonio De Curtis)

Tengo na 'nnammurata
ca è tutt' 'a vita mia.
Mo tene sittant'anne, povera mamma mia!
Cu chella faccia 'e cera,
sotto 'e capille janche,
me pare na sant'Anna
cu ll'uocchie triste e stanche.
Me legge dint' 'o penziero,
me guarda e m'anduvina
si tengo nu dulore
si tengo quacche spina...

The Most Sincere Lady
By Totò (Antonio De Curtis)

I have a girl friend
that is my whole life.
Now she’s sixty years old, my poor mom!
With that waxen face,
beneath that white hair,
she looks like a Saint Anne to me
with those sad and tired eyes.
She reads me in her thoughts,
she looks at me and divines
whether I’m in pain
whether I have some thorn…

Translated by Cav. Charles Sant’Elia

Core Analfabbeta
Di Totò (Antonio De Curtis)

Stu core analfabbeta
tu ll'he purtato a scola,
e s'è mparato a scrivere,
e s'è mparato a lleggere
sultanto na parola:
"Ammore" e niente cchiù.

Illiterate Heart
By Totò (Antonio De Curtis)

You brought to school
this illiterate heart of mine,
and it learned how to write,
and it learned how to read
just one word:
“Love” and nothing more.

Translated by Cav. Charles Sant’Elia

‘A Speranza D”O Cardillo
Di Luciano Somma

Ddoje segge ‘e paglia rotte,
nu tavulo tarlato,
na branda militare,
na gatta spellacchiata;
na pianta ‘e rose rrosse
cu’ nu cardillo dint’a na cajola:
chisto è ‘o ritratto ‘e stu vascio.
E dint’a chistu vascio
nu vicchiariello,
nu poco rimbambito e assaje malato,
nun ce vo’ cchiù restà
e aspetta sulo ‘o juorno
ca ‘o putarria purtà all’eternità.
Pure ‘o cardillo aspetta, cu’ pacienza,
povera bestia cova sta speranza,
pe’ se gudè nu poco ‘e cielo azzurro
pe’ piglià ‘o cielo, pe’ turnà a vulà,
e intanto canta
pecché sente vicino ‘a libertà.

The Goldfinch’s Hope
By Luciano Somma

Two broken straw chairs,
a worm-eaten table,
an army cot,
a mangy cat;
a red rose plant
with a goldfinch in a cage:
this is the portrait of this flat.
And in this flat
a little old man,
a bit senile and rather sick,
he doesn’t want to remain there
and waits only for the day
that could carry him off to eternity.
Even the goldfinch waits, with patience,
poor creature he harbors this hope,
to enjoy for himself a little bit of blue sky
to take the sky, to continue flying,
and in the meantime he sings
because he feels freedom nearby.

Translated from Cristo Napulitano by Cav. Charles Sant’Elia

* Self-published in 2010, Meridiunalata/Southernade is a treasury of poems gleaned from Cav. Sant'Elia's previous collections (Nchiuso dint''o presente, 'A cuntrora, and 'O pino e l'éllera), which were circulated among friends in New York City and Naples. Special thanks to Cav. Sant'Elia for allowing us to reprint his poetry and translations.

April 16, 2018

Photo of the Week: Lion Relief at Villa Rufolo

Remnant of lion relief at Villa Rufolo in Ravello, Salerno
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

April 15, 2018

Weekly Rosary to Santa Rita da Cascia with the Figli Maria SS. Addolorata in Brooklyn, New York

Flowers were offered
to our beloved patroness
Saint Rita, you who enjoy in heaven the Supreme Good, true lover of the pains that Jesus suffered for us — I Mystery of the Rosary of St. Rita
After missing a week, it was good to get back to the hebdomadal prayer service in honor of St. Rita of Cascia Friday evening with my friends from Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata. Week ten of the fifteen week devotion, members packed into the society’s chapel (located in the basement of the Nazareth Center on the corner of 62nd St. and Bay Ridge Parkway in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn) to meditate on the Mysteries and offer our prayers for the sick, the happy repose of the souls of our ancestors, and for cooler heads to prevail over Syria. We also sang hymns, prayed the Rosary and finished with the Litany of St. Rita.
Devotees lit prayer candles before the service
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. Evviva Santa Rita!

April 12, 2018

Help Restore the Statue of the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca at Most Precious Blood Church

Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca, Sicily
Please consider a donation to help restore the newly acquired statue of the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca at the Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood (113 Baxter St.) in Little Italy, New York. Once belonging to the San Calogero Society on Elizabeth Street, the beloved statue was rescued from abandonment by members of the community and kept stored at the Italian American Museum (155 Mulberry St.) for the past ten years. Now, with the museum closing for planned long-term renovations the statue has found a new home at the historic church. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to the statue; it is over one hundred years old and in need of restoration. You can help return the statue of the patroness of Sciacca, Sicily to its original glory. 
For information or to donate for its restoration call the office of the Church at 212-226-6427.
(Above and below) Some details of the statue

April 11, 2018

The Search for our Ancestry (XLVII)

Spelling Bee
By Angelo Coniglio
Researchers of Sicilian and Italian genealogy are blessed by the wealth of original records of birth, baptism, marriage and death that may be found for many ancestral towns, on microfilm or on line. Often those original records may have misspellings, or valid variations of given names or surnames. In many cases, misspellings by English-speaking clerks went unrecognized by illiterate immigrants, and the misspelled name became the ‘official’ name of the person and his descendants. In today’s computer-centric records, errors in spelling are often due to mis-reading and mis-transcription; for example, by enumerators on original censuses. And when using search engines on sites like ellisisland.org, familysearch.org or Ancestry.com, spelling mistakes by indexers can make searches maddeningly difficult.     
I can’t possibly cover every spelling error by every clerk or indexer, but I’ll address some common ones here.  The names initially given below are the names as they would have been spelled on original records in ‘the old country’.  When I spell something phonetically, I am using English phonetics.
GIUSEPPE (joo-SEHPP-ee) and GIUSEPPA (joo-SEHPP-uh) are the masculine and feminine forms of the English the given name Joseph. These are very likely the most misspelled names of any. If you knew your ancestor as Joseph or Josephine, their passenger manifests would probably list them as Giuseppe or Giuseppa (Giuseppina, a diminutive form of Giuseppa, led to the English version, Josephine). The ‘I-U’ in these names is notoriously transposed in many on-line search engines as ‘U-I’.  If you have no luck with the proper spellings, try ‘Guiseppe’ and ‘Guiseppa’. Note that these are not valid variations, but misspellings of the names. Another error is the spelling of Giuseppe as ‘Giuseppi’ or ‘Guiseppi’.
The surnames GIUDICE (JOO-dih-chee) or Lo GIUDICE literally mean ‘judge’ or ‘the judge’.  ‘Guidice’ or ‘Lo Guidice’ have no meaning, but try those spellings if the correct ones don’t lead to success.
The surname TAGLIAFERRO means ‘cuts iron’, but often was pronounced and spelled ‘Taliaferro’ and even ‘Tolliver’.  The name may be given on an original U. S. Census as ‘Tolliver’, but if the individual is Sicilian or Italian, the name on the passenger manifest and ancestral town records would be Tagliaferro.
CASTELLO is a surname meaning ‘castle’.  But pronounced in the Italian language it is ‘kah-STELL-oh’, so it may be misspelled ‘Costello’ on American censuses.
IPPOLITO, IANNELLO, IACONO and other surnames beginning with an upper-case ‘I’ may confuse indexers to no end. This is because the script ‘I’ is mistaken for a ‘T’ or a ‘J’, or a ‘G’, etc.  Researchers of Italian descent will immediately recognize that ‘Tppolito’, ‘Jppolito’, ‘Gppolito’ and so on, are unpronounceable and non-existent Sicilian or Italian surnames, but you will find them indexed that way! Also, names like Iannello and Iacono often were spelled phonetically by census enumerators, and became forevermore ‘Yannello’ and ‘Yacono’.
MARCELLO is an interesting surname. It’s properly pronounced ‘mar-TCHEHLL-oh’ (‘cello’ as in the name of the stringed instrument), so many enumerators thought it should be spelled ‘Marcello’. But ‘Marchello’ is pronounced ‘mar-KELL-oh’ in Italian, so many with the surname Marcello became known as Markello.  
BONGIOVANNI, CALANDRA, and LANZA all contain the letter ‘N’. Written in cursive, a lower-case ‘n’, in certain handwriting, looks like a lower-case ‘u’, so these surnames get transcribed as ‘Bougiovanni’, ‘Calaudra’ and ‘Lauza’. Really!! If your surname has the letter ‘n’ in it, try replacing one or more of them with the letter ‘u’ and search again!
These are but a few of the many naming errors that are encountered by genealogists. Try to familiarize yourself with valid Sicilian and Italian surnames. If there’s a doubt, go to http://www.cognomix.it/mappe-dei-cognomi-italiani which is a site that shows modern-day distributions of the selected surname (‘cognome’ in Italian). For spellings and English versions of given names, see my page at http://bit.ly/SicilianNames 
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

April 10, 2018

New Book: One Country Under Blood

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

One Country Under Blood by Antonio Ciano

Publisher: Ali Ribelli Edizioni
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Paperback: $15.00
Kindle: $8.99
Language: English
Pages: 288

One Country Under Blood debunks the myth of a happy unification of Italy. What was made to pass as a struggle for independence, was truly an invasion perpetrated by the House of Savoy and its masonic affiliates with the connivance of the Mafia and Camorra cartels. After the annexation of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the riches of southern Italy were transferred to banks in the north to fuel the industrial development of Lombardy and Piedmont. Disfranchised and impoverished, millions of southern "Italians" had no other choice but to turn into outlaws or leave their ancestral homeland and immigrate to the United States, Australia and Southern America in search of a new beginning.
Click here to see more books

New Kindle Editions by Antonio Ciano

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

Kingdom of the Two Sicilies by Antonio Ciano

Publisher: Ali Ribelli Edizioni
Publication Date: March 29, 2018
Kindle: $5.99
Language: English

Read description

Massacres of the Italian Risorgimento by Antonio Ciano

Publisher: Ali Ribelli Edizioni
Publication Date: March 29, 2018
Kindle: $5.99
Language: English

Read description

Southern Italy from 1830 to 1946 by Antonio Ciano

Publisher: Ali Ribelli Edizioni
Publication Date: March 29, 2018
Kindle: $5.99
Language: English

Read description

Click here to see more books

Photo of the Week: A View of Ravello from Villa Rufolo's Garden Pavilion

A view of scenic Ravello from Villa Rufolo's garden pavilion
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

April 8, 2018

Translating the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca to Most Precious Blood Church in Little Italy

Devotees gather outside the Italian American Museum to help move the statue
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
Saturday afternoon (April 7th), the statue of the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca was translated from the Italian American Museum (155 Mulberry St.) to the Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood (113 Baxter St.) in Little Italy, New York. After ten years, the museum is closing for renovations and the statue, which once belonged to the defunct San Calogero Society on Elizabeth Street, has found a new home at the historic church. What’s more, it was reunited with the statue of San Calogero, which also belonged to the old society.
A final look at the Madonna del
Soccorso inside the museum
Arriving early, I had the opportunity to speak with several members of the newly formed Madonna del Soccorso and San Calogero di Sciacca Society. Full of fond memories about the old feast, they are very enthusiastic about starting up the celebration for their beloved patrons again and plan on organizing an annual Mass and block party on Elizabeth Street.
Thankfully, the weather was fine and the move went off without a hitch. For now, the statue was placed on a small pedestal outside the Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel near the rear of the church. Matching plinths are in the works for the Madonna and San Calogero, so they won’t have to stand so low to the ground.
Thank you to Angel Marinaccio, Ernest Magliato and all the other members of the new Madonna del Soccorso and San Calogero di Sciacca Society for your hard work and devotion. We wish you much success and look forward to celebrating our faith and culture together in the coming years. 
The soon-to-be renovated Italian American Museum
Thank you to Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa, President of the Italian American Museum, for watching over the statue all these years. We appreciate your dedication to our community and eagerly await the grand reopening of the revamped Italian American Museum. 
Special thanks to Stephen LaRocca, president of the St. Rocco Society of Potenza, for serving as legal advisor and liaison between the nascent society and Msgr. Donald Sakano, Pastor of Most Precious Blood. An unsung hero in our community, Stephen was instrumental in securing a place for the statue at the church.  
Many thanks to Msgr. Sakano, Project Manager Bill Russo, Emily DePalo, Eddie, Tom, and the rest of the parish family for your continued warmth and hospitality. Thanks to you, Most Precious Blood continues to be a staunch bastion of southern Italian faith and culture.
God bless you all; Evviva Maria!
(L) Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa and Angel Marinaccio.
(R) Angel and Connie look after Our Lady's crown and veil
The statue leaves the museum...
...and is carefully placed in the car 
Satan got cold-cocked
Our Lady armed with a cudgel
The statue is carried into Most Precious Blood
and temporarily placed on a small 
The veil and crown are placed back on to the statue
Society members take a commemorative photo 
Evviva Maria! 
A close-up of the statue's base