June 30, 2019

Photo of the Week: Statue of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Habsburg

Statue of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Habsburg sculpted by Vincenzo Gemito in a niche on the western facade of the Palazzo Reale di Napoli (Royal Palace of Naples) in the Piazza del Plebiscito (formally Largo del Palazzo Reale), Naples. Photo by New York Scugnizzo

June 27, 2019

Support the 130th Annual Feast of Saint Rocco Rallyup Raffle Campaign

This is our main fund-raising event. It is our hope that the profit from the raffle can go toward our society's budget for the feast and to help support Most Precious Blood Church. This will help our Society keep the Feast of St Rocco and our Italian-American Catholic Traditions going.

Winner of the Raffle does not need to be present. We will call and/or email the winners after the raffle drawing on the evening of Sunday, August 18th.

Come Join us on Sunday, August 18th 2018 for the 130th Feast of St. Rocco. For details please visit our website at http://www.stroccosociety.com

June 26, 2019

Around the Web: Italian American Power Hour Episode 98, “Could America’s Mayor Be Any More Italian?”

An Intimate Afternoon with Mayor Rudy Giuliani

The Italian American Podcast Power Hour Team with Mayor Giuliani
This week’s episode of the Italian American Power Hour is one for the ages, when most of the gang reassembles in New York City for the chance to spend an incredible day with America’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani. Known for leading one of the most transformative eras in the history of America’s great metropolis, Mayor Giuliani sat down with us for over two and a half hours of honest, contemplative, and (in true Power Hour fashion) meandering discussion about life, faith, service, and exactly why his Italian heritage makes him the man he is today.

Find out how a day at the beach changed his life path, and how his love of the Latin Mass made him an opera lover. Learn what inspired his beliefs about homelessness and crime, and how his Italian culture made him one of American politic’s great huggers. Find out where his affections fall in the debates between southern and northern Italy, and get an inside look at his infamous mission to destroy the American mafia.

While you may think you know this iconic figure, this episode will reveal an often-unseen side of this familiar man… his glaringly Italian soul. It’s Rudy like you’ve never heard him, in what we are sure will go down as one of our most talked about episodes yet!

Listen to the episode

June 25, 2019

Photo of the Week: Statue of Alfonso the Magnanimous

Statue of Alfonso the Magnanimous, King of Naples and Sicily sculpted by Achille D’Orsi in a niche on the western facade of the Palazzo Reale di Napoli (Royal Palace of Naples) in the Piazza del Plebiscito (formally Largo del Palazzo Reale), Naples. Photo by New York Scugnizzo

June 23, 2019

Happy Birthday Princess Maria Carolina!

HRH was born in Rome, Italy on June 23, 2003
Photo courtesy of Real Casa di Borbone
Happy Birthday Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duchess of Calabria and Palermo! May God's love and affection be with you always! Auguri Altezza Reale!

Announcing the 2019 Festa Della Madonna Delle Grazie, Ridgewood, New York

Feast of San Guglielmo di Montevergine in Washington, DC

June 21, 2019

Solemn Mass for Nativity of St. John the Baptist in Bridgeport Cathedral

Happy Summer!

Apollo with lyre
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
In celebration of the summer solstice, or midsummer, I would like to share a poem by Vittorio Clemente from Dialect Poetry of Southern Italy: Texts and Criticism (A Trilingual Anthology) edited by Luigi Bonaffini, Legas, 1997, p.38. The accompanying photo of Apollo was taken at The Naples National Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli) during my 2010 visit to Napoli. In addition to being the god of music, poetry and prophecy, Apollo was, of course, the god of the sun.
Bliss
Golden days of summer, facing the sun,
facing the sea, delighted, and content.
Days spent eavesdropping on the wind,
mindful of words whispered in secret.

Words I'd unravel; listening, alone,
for the voice of the world, the nothing beyond,
alone, while my nimble heart took flight
for untold trysts and destinations.

Perhaps for the very edge of the world,
where Our Lady of the Mariners
trims white roses in the morning.

And to find myself here, again, eyes
like a boy's, quick and bright, seeing, upon
the lace of waves, roses ride to shore...

(Translated by Anthony Molino)

June 20, 2019

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 a traditional Eucharistic Procession was taken after the Tridentine Mass at Our Lady of Peace Church in Gowanus, 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.

June 19, 2019

Novena and Consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacro Cuore di Gesù,
Chiesa di San Ferdinando, Napoli
Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore Thee, I love Thee and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer Thee this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to Thy will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in Thee and for Thee. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Thy blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Within Thy Heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to Thee with humble trust saying, Heart of Jesus help me. Amen
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.

June 17, 2019

Photo of the Week: Statue of Ruggiero il Normanno

Statue of Roger the Norman sculpted by Emilio Franceschi in a niche on the western facade of the Palazzo Reale di Napoli (Royal Palace of Naples) in the Piazza del Plebiscito (formally Largo del Palazzo Reale), Naples. 
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

5th Annual Corpus Christi Mass, Outdoor Procession & Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament in East Harlem, New York

June 16, 2019

Happy Birthday Princess Beatrice di Borbone!

HRH was born in Saint-Raphaël, France on June 16, 1950
Photo courtesy of Real Casa di Borbone
Il Regno would like to extend our warmest birthday wishes to Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice di Borbone delle Due Sicilie, Dame Grand Cross of Justice and Grand Prefect of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George. May God continue to shower you with all the blessings you truly deserve. Auguri Altezza Reale!

June 15, 2019

Feast of San Vito Martire

Viva San Vito!
June 15th is the Feast day of San Vito Martire (St. Vitus the martyr). One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, San Vito is invoked against neurological disorders (e.g. Saint Vitus Dance), rabies and animal attacks. He is also the patron saint of epileptics, dancers and actors. Widely venerated across Southern Italy, he is the principal protector of Aquilonia (AV), Mazara del Vallo (TP), Ciminna (PA), Forio (NA), San Vito sullo Ionio (CZ), Regalbuto (EN), and Torella die Lombardi (AV), among others. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer in Honor of Saint Vitus. The accompanying photo was taken at Holy Face Monastery in Clifton, New Jersey.
Prayer in Honor of Saint Vitus
Grant us, O God, through the intercession of St. Vitus, a due estimation of the value of our soul and of its redemption by the precious blood of Thy Son Jesus Christ; so that, for its salvation, we bear all trials with fortitude. Give this Thy youthful servant and heroic martyr as a guide and protector to Christian youths, that following his example they may after a victorious combat receive the crown of justice in heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

June 14, 2019

Viva Sant'Antonio! A Look at the 2019 Feast of St. Anthony of Padua in SoHo, New York

Thursday evening the Shrine Church of St. Anthony of Padua (154 Sullivan St.)
celebrated its Titular Feast with a solemn Mass and procession
 
Members of the St. Rocco Society of Potenza in NYC show their support
The beautiful high altar with statue of St. Anthony
receiving the apparition of the Infant Jesus
 
 
After Mass, devotees had the opportunity to venerate the relics of Sant'Antonio 
Religious items and blessed bread were available in the church basement 
Donations were pinned to the statue
The Red Mike Festival Band 
The procession wends its way through the neighborhood
 The procession returns to the church with much fanfare 
Salvatore and Konstantinos help carry 
Steve's giant votive candle back to the church 
Afterward, we visited Song' e Napule Pizzeria for our celebratory meal
As always, I enjoyed a delicious plate of Paccheri alla Genovese 
Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
• A Look at the 2018 Festa di Sant'Antonio da Padova in Soho, New York
• A Look at the 2017 Festa di Sant'Antonio da Padova in Soho, New York
• A Look at the 2016 Festa di Sant’Antonio da Padova in SoHo, New York
• A Look at the 2015 Festa di Sant’Antonio da Padova in SoHo, New York
• A Look at the 2014 Festa di Sant'Antonio da Padova in Soho, New York

June 11, 2019

Photo of the Week: Statue of Frederick II, Facade of the Palazzo Reale di Napoli

Statue of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen sculpted by Emanuele Caggiano in a niche on the western facade of the Palazzo Reale di Napoli (Royal Palace of Naples) in the Piazza del Plebiscito (formally Largo del Palazzo Reale), Naples. Photo by New York Scugnizzo

June 8, 2019

Around the Web: Italian Church And School Closed in Chicago: Santa Lucia In Armour Square Is No More

Reprinted from italianenclaves.com
Santa Lucia school and parish in Chicago’s Bridgeport/ Armour Square neighborhood just closed their doors for good. The school, which was opened in 1961, was built to support the burgeoning number of second, third and fourth generation Italian Americans who belonged to the parish and lived in the local community. The school and church were founded by the Scalabrini Brothers but the Sisters of Notre Dame staffed the school. The parish was started in 1943 as an extension to the Santa Maria Incoronata Parish which still exists in the neighborhood considered Chinatown. Continue reading

June 7, 2019

Around the Web: Italian American Power Hour Travel Bureau presents “Secrets of the South”- An Insider’s Guide to a Once in a Lifetime Trip to Southern Italy

Ciao paisani! With Memorial Day come and gone, summer vacation season is upon us and on this week’s episode our Power Hour panel of Italian travel experts share some of their top-secret destinations, deals, and detours to give you an insider’s guide to your trips to Southern Italy.
With tips in all 7 regions of the South, find out which region is best for Donkey braciole and what’s Calabria’s best museum.  Identify alternatives to the over-crowded Amalfi Coast and discover “the Maldives of Italy”.  We’ll introduce you to Matera, Italy’s hottest new travel destination and reveal the city where a Greek temple still stands as a modern Catholic church.  Find out what town in Sicily has the best flea market and fish market and many more of our best recommendations for a chance to build your own Power Hour certified insider’s experience in Italy’s beautiful South.

June 5, 2019

New Book — Sicilian Wisdom: Proverbs, Poems, and History in the Sicilian Language

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

Sicilian Wisdom: Proverbs, Poems, and History in the Sicilian Language by Filippo Salamone

Publisher: Independently published
Publication Date: March 1, 2019
Paperback: $12.99
Language: English
Pages: 76

Read description

Click here to see more books

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Announcing the 2019 Feast of St. John the Baptist in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

June 4, 2019

Photo of the Week: Statue of Charles I of Anjou, Facade of the Palazzo Reale di Napoli

Statue of Charles I of Anjou, King of Sicily sculpted by Tommaso Solari in a niche on the western facade of the Palazzo Reale di Napoli (Royal Palace of Naples) in the Piazza del Plebiscito (formally Largo del Palazzo Reale), Naples. 
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

June 2, 2019

A Beautiful Ending to May

Commemorating the Battle of Bitonto in NYC
This year's revelers outside Song' e Napule
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
On Thursday, May 30th, a small, but festive, group of neobriganti broke bread at Song’ e Napule restaurant (146 W HoustonSt.) in Manhattan for the Feast of the Ascension and 11th Annual Battle of Bitonto Commemoration. 
A celebration of Duosiciliano faith, history and culture, our jovial party escaped the rain and packed into the cozy eatery for some much-needed fellowship and delicious Neapolitan fare.
Calamari alla griglia
As always, the proximity to Memorial Day Weekend kept our numbers down, but whatever we may have lacked in quantity was more than made up for in quality and enthusiasm. 
After grace, we made a series of toasts in memory of our ancestors, the men (on both sides) who fought and died at the battle, and HRM King Carlo di Borbone, whose victory over the Austrians on May 25, 1734 redeemed the Kingdom of Naples.
Polpo alla griglia
For starters, partygoers ate their fill of panzarotti, calamari alla griglia, burrata e prosciutto, and polpo alla griglia. After a few bottles of Falanghina del Sannio and Montepulciano we were singing and swaying along with Chef Ciro’s crack wait staff. 
For our entrée we ordered a variety of different pizzas, including the spicy Diavola and Marinara Starita, a culinary masterpiece made with Sicilian confit grape tomatoes and alici di Cetara. All the pies were delicious, but I still love the classic Pizza Margherita the best. 
Marinara Starita
Naturally, we capped off our sumptuous repast with some caffé and a few more songs. After our long goodbyes, we closed the joint down and parted ways. Viva 'o Rre!
* * *
Celebrating the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn
Madonna and Child bye-altar
Regali ex progenie Maria exorta refulget; cuius precibus nos adiuvari, mente et spiritu devotissime poscimus. Alleluia.*
On Friday, May 31st, the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated at Holy Name of Jesus Church (245 Prospect Park West) in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn. Some 40 members of the Traditional Latin Mass community of Brooklyn, including members of the Knights of Malta and The Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George, we’re in attendance.
Mass was sung by Celebrant and Homilist Rev. John A. Perricone, who was dutifully assisted by servers Paul Pleho, Stephen Pack, Jorge A. Fernandez Vidaro, and William Yap. The motets and Mass setting were composed by choir director David Adam Smith. They were gloriously chanted by Catherine Hedberg, Eric Brenner, Ryland Angel, Art Bryan Manabat, Bruce Rameker, and Peter Walker.
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 Tuesday, July 2nd at 7:00PM for the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Mass programs
* Sprung from a royal line, all radiant is Mary, by whose prayers we most devoutly beg to be helped both in mind and in spirit. Alleluia. ~ Offertory Antiphon

June 1, 2019

This Month in History (June)

Historical events from each month of the year
June 2
This Day in History: Alfonso V of Aragon Conquers Naples
By Giovanni di Napoli
When Queen Joanna II of Naples died childless in 1435, war again erupted between the Angevins and Aragonese for control of the Kingdom. After seven years of protracted hostilities, King Alfonso V of Aragon finally triumphed on June 2, 1442, thanks to a little stealth and cunning. 
During the siege of Naples, discovery of a tunnel system in the Bolla aqueduct allowed a group of 200 soldiers commanded by Diomede Carafa to circumvent the city’s defenses and emerge from a well near Porta Santa Sofia. Inspired by the great Byzantine General Belisarius, who used an empty aqueduct to take Naples from the Ostrogoths in 536 A.D., King Alfonso’s forces were able to overcome the guards, open the gate and conquer the city. After 161 years, Sicily and Naples were once again united under one ruler. Continue reading
June 2
Dances with Fools: The Strange Case of ‘Count’ Cagliostro
By Niccolò Graffio 
Of all the rascals, thugs and no-accounts that have darkened the pages of human history, none is perhaps as colorful as the confidence (con) artist. Whereas other types of thieves rely on force or the implied use of force to separate their victims from their money, the con artist relies on his victim’s personality to do the job. Where a robber uses a weapon, a con artist uses his (or her) wits.
Con artists come in no set profile. They exist in all varieties, as do their victims. A con can be something as simple as hitting someone up for a donation to a phony charity, to something spectacular like the infamous Ponzi scheme of Bernie Madoff. In the former scenario the con artist is preying on his victims’ compassion, in the latter, their greed. Despite false assurances to the contrary by some, virtually anyone can become a victim of a con artist under the right circumstances. Continue reading
June 11
One for the Coach: The Vince Lombardi Story
By Niccolò Graffio
Americans love sports!  Though the same could be said truthfully about elsewhere, it is especially true here.  The reasons for this are manifold.  The fact that television, which gave spectator sports to the masses, was invented and first popularized here no doubt played a large part.  Capitalism may have been a Dutch invention but crass Capitalism (which includes sports-oriented consumerism) is a decidedly American one. Continue reading
June 15
A Day to Remember: The Burning of the General Slocum
By Niccolò Graffio
Anyone who’s been reading the articles I write for this blog knows that I am a Sicilian* and am quite proud of that fact. My people have a long and rich history filled with fascinating people and events that deserves to be retold and discussed. Though the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was invaded and destroyed by its enemies in 1861, its children, scattered across the globe, still contribute to this wonderful thing we call Western Civilization, even if we no longer have a homeland to call our own. Continue reading
June 23
The Neglected Genius: Giambattista Vico of Naples
By Niccolò Graffio
The simplest definition of history is the branch of knowledge dealing with past events. Though it is admittedly an oversimplification, one could argue that human history is created by basically two types of people: doers and sayers. The doers could also be termed “people of action”; those who make their mark by engaging in activities that significantly alter the world, for better or worse. Examples of this sort include Alexander of Macedon, Christopher Columbus, the Wright brothers and Albert Einstein. Continue reading
June 28
An Author in Search of a Cause: Luigi Pirandello – the Instrument of Creation
By Niccolò Graffio
It has often been said that tragedy and comedy are two sides of the same coin.  Indeed, most comedies seem to arise out of tragedies.  The late stand-up comedian Richard Pryor is an excellent example of this phenomenon.  For years he regaled audiences, both black and white, with tales of his childhood in the slums of Peoria, Illinois.  Audiences would regularly howl with laughter at his stories of living in bone-crunching poverty, abuse at the hands of his elders, substance abuse and trying to avoid falling into the “tender mercies” of street gangs.  One has to wonder, though, how many people would think all this funny if it happened to them, or how many others laughed simply because it was better than crying. Continue reading
June 29
The Legacy of Pietro Montana
By Giovanni di Napoli
After stumbling upon Anthony de Francisci's Independence Flagstaff at Union Square, I was keen on discovering other monuments by Southern Italian artists in NYC. I did some digging and found several works. Unfortunately, for some of the artists I've been unable to obtain any biographical information except that they were Italian-Americans. 
I did, however, hit the jackpot at Freedom Triangle in Bushwick, Brooklyn. While taking a ride to Williamsburg with a friend we noticed an extraordinary statue of what appeared to be an angel. We pulled over to take a closer look. According to the plaque affixed to the fence protecting the monument from vandals the artist was Pietro Montana from Alcamo, Italy. "He's Sicilian," I told my friend as I started snapping pictures! Continue reading