May 31, 2018

The Feast of Corpus Christi

Celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, the Feast of Corpus Christi, or Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, honors the real presence of the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting the Anima Christi, a Medieval prayer of unknown origin. The accompanying photo of the monstrance with consecrated Host was taken at St. Ephrem's Church (929 Bay Ridge Pkwy.) in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.

Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from you.
From the wicked foe, defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me
and bid me come to you
That with your saints I may praise you
For ever and ever. Amen.

Feast of Santa Maria Mater Domini

Evviva Maria!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
May 31st is the Feast Day of Santa Maria Mater Domini, patroness of Fraine, a commune in the Province of Chieti, Abruzzo. According to tradition, around the year 1000 the Virgin Mary appeared before a young deaf mute tending her flock near the Vicenne Forest. Curing the girl, Our Lady told her to call out to her parents. At first, not recognizing the voice (and busy at work) they ignored her calls. However, when they finally learned what had happened the overjoyed couple rushed to the woods with their daughter to give thanks and praise. The Blessed Mother called upon them to build a house of worship at the location of the miracle. The grateful family, with the support of the local clergy, did as they were instructed and built a Benedictine chapel. Completed in 1056, the Sanctuary was renovated several times over the centuries and continues to be a popular destination for pilgrims and devotees. To commemorate the occasion, I’m posting a Prayer to the Mother of God. The accompanying photo of Santa Maria Mater Domini was taken at Holy Face Monastery in Clifton, New Jersey.
Prayer to the Mother of God
O most glorious Ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ our God, accept our prayers and present them to thy son and our God, that He may, for thy sake, enlighten and save our souls. Amen

May 30, 2018

Novena and Consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacro Cuore di Gesù,
Chiesa di San Ferdinando, Napoli
Novena to the Sacred Heart attributed to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque to be recited daily for nine consecutive days:
O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of ______ (name your request here). Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory Be . . . Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you." Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of ______ (name your request here). Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory Be . . . Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away." Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of______ (name your request here). Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory Be . . . Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours. Hail Holy Queen . . . St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us. Amen.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
contemplating the Sacred Heart
of Jesus by Corrado Giaquinto
The Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart attributed to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque:
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee. 
I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee. 
I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants. Amen.

Announcing the 118th Annual Feast of St. Andrew in New Haven, Connecticut

May 29, 2018

Feast of Saints Cuono and Conello

Martirio di San Cuono e figlio
May 29th is the Feast Day of Saints Cuono and Conello, the Iconium Martyrs. Father and son are the protectors of Acerra, a town in Campania, just northeast of the city of Naples. They are invoked for bountiful crops and protection from natural disasters, such as drought, earthquakes and Mount Vesuvius. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer in Italian to Saints Cuono and Conello. The accompanying photo of the Martyrdom of Saint Cuono and Son by E. Fiore (1867) is located in the Cattedrale di Acerra (photo courtesy of San Cuono e Conello on Facebook).
O gloriosissimi Martiri Cuono e Figlio, Nostri potenti Avvocati e Protettori, mercé la vostra potente intercessione fate che il clementissimo Iddio sia sempre propizio a noi Acerrani da Lui a Voi affidati: liberandoci da tutti i flagelli, che meritano i nostri peccati. E soprattutto Vi preghiamo impartirci le grazie necessarie per salvare le nostre anime e con Voi godere Iddio eternamente in Cielo

Sfilata dei Turchi e Festa di San Gerardo La Porta — Parade of the Turks and the Feast of Saint Gerard

Potenza, Basilicata
Potenza's annual Festa di San Gerardo La Porta (May 29th–30th) recalls the town's desperate defense against Saracen raiders and the miraculous intercession of their beloved patron. Mooring their galleys on the Basento riverbank, a band of corsairs made their way towards the unsuspecting townspeople of Potenza. Tradition has it that if not for the timely appearance of San Gerardo, flanked by angels, the town would have suffered the usual horrific fate met by so many other unfortunate victims of Moslem piracy across the Southern Italian seaboard—death or slavery. The sight of the celestial host before them caused panic among the marauding infidels, allowing the city's defense to organize and drive them off.
The Saint's intercession is celebrated with a magnificent parade called Sfilata dei Turchi or The Procession of the Turks. Dressed in picturesque costumes—Christian knights on horseback and Turkish pirates (including the Grand Vizier on a horse drawn carriage) complete with replica slave ships—march along the parade route. Children dressed in white (representing angels) and the effigy of San Gerardo La Porta follow them, to the crowd’s delight.
After the parade the celebrants are treated to jousting competitions and horse races.

In commemoration I'm posting a Prayer to San Gerardo La Porta.

Prayer to San Gerardo La Porta

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the examples of San Gerardo La Porta may effectually move us to reform our lives; that while we celebrate his festival, we may also imitate his actions. Look upon our weakness, almighty God, and since the burden of our own deeds weighs heavily upon us, may the glorious intercession of San Gerardo protect us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

May 28, 2018

Photo of the Week: Sculpture Above the Portal of the Cloister at Villa Rufolo, Ravello

Photo by New York Scugnizzo

New Music: 18th Century Neapolitan Flute Sonatas

New music that may be of interest to our readers.

18th Century Neapolitan Flute Sonatas by Renata Cataldi and Partenope Stravagante

Label: Dynamic
Release Date: June 15, 2018
Audio CD: $18.99
Number of Discs: 1

Available at

Read description

May 27, 2018

Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

The Most Holy Trinity
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
The first Sunday after Pentecost is the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, or Trinity Sunday. The celebration honors the Triune nature of the Godhead, who is one eternal and incomprehensible God in the form of three divine persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. 
In celebration, I’m posting a prayer to the Most Holy Trinity. The accompanying photo of the statue of the Most Holy Trinity was taken in the choir loft of the Shrine Church of Saint Anthony of Padua (154 Sullivan Street, New York, NY 10012) in SoHo, New York.
Prayer to the Most Holy Trinity 
God our Father, who by sending into the world the Word of truth and the Spirit of sanctification made known to the human race your wondrous mystery, grant us, we pray, that in profession the true faith, we may acknowledge the Trinity of eternal glory and adore your Unity, powerful in majesty. 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

Tridentine Masses for the Feast of Corpus Christi

Immediately following the Mass at Holy Innocents, there will be an outdoor Procession (with triple Benediction) around midtown Manhattan. This year will be Holy Innocents’ 9th annual outdoor Blessed Sacrament Procession for this traditional celebration.
Newly ordained Fr. Leo Joseph Camurati will be the Celebrant of this Solemn Mass. At the end of the Mass and Procession, Fr. Leo Joseph will confer his priestly blessing.
Solemn Mass for the Feast of Corpus Christi on Thursday, May 31 at 7 pm. A procession in the church and benediction will follow the Mass. Fr. Timothy Iannacone will be the celebrant, with Fr. Michael Novajosky as deacon and Fr. Donal Kloster as subdeacon. The pastor of St. Pius X, Fr. Samuel Kachuba, will give the sermon.
Music will include the Missa Caça by Cristobal Morales, “Gustate et Videte” by Giovanni Matteo Asola and the “Ave Verum” by William Byrd.
Source: The Society of St. Hugh of Cluny

May 26, 2018

Festa della Madonna delle Milizie di Scicli

La Battaglia de Milici 
Every year on the last Saturday in May, the town of Scicli (a Baroque jewel in the province of Ragusa, Sicily) celebrates the Festa della Madonna delle Milizie and the miraculous triumph of Count Roger of Hauteville over the Saracens in 1091. 
The feast commemorates the divine intercession of the Blessed Mother on behalf of the Norman forces at a critical point in the battle. Overwhelmed by the paynim's superior numbers and fearing defeat, Count Roger invoked the aid of the Virgin. Mounted on a white charger and dressed in full military regalia, the apparition of Our Lady appeared on the field-of-battle in the district of Milizie and lead the Normans to victory. The triumph was of great importance for the eventual Christian reconquest of the island.
As part of the jubilant festivities the Sciclitani dress in period costumes (Christian and Moslem) and parade an equestrian statue of the Madonna through the bustling streets with much fanfare. Among the local delicacies served for the occasion is a delectable cream puff shaped like a turban called testa di turco, or Turkish heads. 
In commemoration I'm posting a Prayer to Our Lady.

O Mother of Perpetual Help

O Mother of Perpetual Help
To thee we come imploring help.
Behold us here, from far and near,
To ask of thee our help to be;
Behold us here, from far and near,
To ask of thee our help to be.

Perpetual help we beg of thee;
Our souls from sin and sorrow free;
Direct our wandering feet aright,
And be thyself our own true light;
Direct our wandering feet aright,
And be thyself out own true light.

And when this life is o'er for me,
This last request I ask of thee:
Obtain for me in heaven this grace,
To see my God there face to face;
Obtain for me in heaven this grace,
To see my God there face to face.

Feast of San Filippo Neri

Viva San Filippo!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
May 26th is the Feast Day of San Filippo Neri (Saint Philip Neri), the Apostle of Rome. Founder of the Congregation of the Oratory, a society of secular clergy, he is the patron saint of joy and protector of Roseto Valfortore, a small town in the Province of Foggia in Apulia. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a prayer to St. Philip Neri. The accompanying photo was taken at The Oratory Church of Saint Boniface in downtown Brooklyn.
A Prayer to St. Philip Neri
O holy St. Philip Neri, patron saint of joy, you who trusted Scripture’s promise that the Lord is always at hand and that we need not have anxiety about anything, in your compassion heal our worries and sorrows and lift the burdens from our hearts. We come to you as one whose heart swells with abundant love for God and all creation. Hear us, we pray, especially in this need (make your request here). Keep us safe through your loving intercession, and may the joy of the Holy Spirit which filled your heart, St. Philip, transform our lives and bring us peace. Amen.

May 25, 2018

Feast of Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi

Evviva Santa Maria Maddalena!
May 25th is the Feast day of Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi (Firenze 1566–1607), Mystic and Carmelite nun. One of the co-patrons of Naples, she is invoked against bodily ills and sexual temptation. Known as the “ecstatic saint,” due to the frequency she fell into ecstasy, she is credited with many miracles. In commemoration, I’m posting a prayer to Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi. The accompanying photo of the Madonna with Saint Mary Magdalene and Saint Andrew Corsini was taken during my 2010 pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Carmine in Sorrento, Campania.
Prayer to Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, pray that we will make a commitment to seek the presence of God in prayer the way you did. Guide us to see the graces God gives us as gifts not rewards and to respond with gratitude and humility, not pride and selfishness. Amen

Announcing the 2018 Festa di San Calogero in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

May 24, 2018

Celebrating the 2018 Feast of Santa Rita da Cascia in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Evviva Santa Rita!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Tuesday evening, I had the great pleasure of joining nearly 100 devotees at Saint Athanasius Church in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, for the annual Feast of Santa Rita da Cascia and Tuesday Devotion to Sant’Antonio da Padova. Sponsored by the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata, attendees celebrated Mass, venerated the relic of Sant’Antonio, and processed in prayer around the parish with the statue of St. Rita. Festivities concluded with the distribution of blessed loaves of bread, some refreshments, and fellowship in the church auditorium.
(Above & below) Religious articles and roses were available for purchase 
Arriving early, I was able to offer reparation and venerate the saints.
(L-R) SS. Crocifiso di Ciminna and Santa Fara di Cinisi 
Before Mass, we participated in the weekly
Thirteen Tuesday devotion to Sant’Antonio da Padova
Lucrezia Nardulli led the evening’s novena prayer to Santa Rita
Members of the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata
show their devotion to Santa Rita
Msgr. David Cassato celebrated Mass in English and Italian
(Above & below) Msgr. Cassato blesses the roses and baskets of bread
(L-R) After Mass, Lucrezia and Josephine led the procession from the church
(Above & below) The procession wends its way through the neighborhood
(Above & below) The ladies take turns carrying our beloved patroness 
Circling the parish, the procession saunters back to St. Athanasius
Members pose for a commemorative photo 
The blessed bread is distributed to the participants
Afterward, partygoers continued the celebration in the auditorium

Young Adults Latin Mass & Rosary Procession - Trinity Sunday, East Harlem, New York

May 23, 2018

Celebrating the 2018 Feast of the Madonna del Sacro Monte in Clifton, New Jersey

Evviva Maria!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Despite the menacing forecast, over two hundred pilgrims gathered at Holy Face Monastery in Clifton, New Jersey Sunday morning for the Feast of the Madonna del Sacro Monte. Thankfully, the rain never materialized and we all had a fantastic time celebrating our faith and culture.
(L.) John, Stephanie and Nicole affixed the crowns to the statue. (R.) HE Cav. John M. Viola of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George with cavalieri Vito Totino of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and John Napoli 
(Above & below) The Missa Cantata was celebrated by Fr. Anthony Mastroeni
The traditional Mass was sung by the outdoor chapels
of the Madonna del Sacro Monte and the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Members of the Congregazione Maria Ss. del Sacro Monte
stand watch by the statue of the Blessed Mother
(L-R) Beautiful mosaic and stain glass window inside the chapel
Vesting prayers for La Congregazione Maria Ss. del Sacro Monte
di Novi Velia Salerno di Jersey City, New Jersey
After Mass, devotees carry the Blessed Mother along the monastery path
Fr. Mastroeni is escorted by servers and Knights 
With great pageantry, the procession circles the monastery three times
The Tony Neglia Band 
Ladies carried flowers and votive candles 
(L.) The festivities included traditional southern Italian music.
(R.) Devotees pin donations on to the statue
Afterward, revelers enjoyed a festive luncheon 
Our friends from the Sandu Manghesi del Cliento Club 
We enjoyed a terrific barbecue with all the fixins
I inhaled a tasty marinated sliced pork and peppers sandwich 
Ciro DiLorenzo sang all our favorite Neapolitan & Italian American songs
There was plenty of fresh air and fun games for kids... 
...and adults alike 
The ladies enjoyed a very competitive game of “pass the provolone,”
a humorous take on “hot potato,” where the winner gets the cheese
Also see:
Celebrating the 2017 Feast of the Madonna del Sacro Monte in Clifton, New Jersey
A Look at the 2015 Festa della Madonna del Sacro Monte at Holy Face Monastery, Clifton, New Jersey
A Look at the 2014 Festa della Madonna del Sacro Monte at Holy Face Monastery, Clifton, New Jersey
A Look at the 2013 Festa della Madonna del Sacro Monte at Holy Face Monastery, Clifton, New Jersey