January 31, 2021

Feast of San Francesco Saverio Maria Bianchi, Apostolo di Napoli

San Francesco, ora pro nobis
When you hear that I cannot celebrate Mass any more, count me as dead. ~ San Francesco Saverio Maria Bianchi
January 31st is the Feast of San Francesco Saverio Maria Bianchi (Saint Francis Xavier Mary Bianchi), Barnabite Priest and Scholar. Born in Arpino on December 2, 1743, he was raised in a loving and pious household. At the age of twelve he was entrusted to the Barnabites, which awakened in him, against his parents wishes, the call to the priesthood. While attending seminary at Nola, San Francesco had the good fortune of meeting Sant’Alfonso de Liguori, who convinced the irresolute young novitiate to fully embrace a religious life.

Completing his studies at Naples, San Francesco was ordained a priest on January 25, 1767. First assigned to the Barnabite Collegio dei Santi Carlo e Filippo in Arpino as a professor of humanities, he was later transferred in 1769 to the Collegio di San Carlo alle Mortelle in Naples as a professor of philosophy and mathematics.

Thanks to the guidance and friendship of the great Neapolitan mystic Santa Maria Francesca delle Cinque Piaghe (St. Mary Frances of the Five Wounds), San Francesco gave up his scholarly pursuits and withdrew to a more-fulfilling life of prayer and contemplation. Spending long hours in the confessional working with poor penitents he earned the celebrated appellation: “Apostle of Naples.”

In addition to working with the city’s lazzaroni, San Francesco offered spiritual guidance to King Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia and his wife Queen Marie Clotilde when the French Revolution had forced the northern monarchs to flee Turin and go into exile in Naples.

A great miracle worker, San Francesco famously stopped the spewing lava of Mount Vesuvius from destroying the towns of Torre del Greco and Portici. Holding a framed portrait of St. Mary Frances, he gathering the panicked townspeople together in prayer. Raising his right hand, he commanded in the name of God the torrents of lava to stop and to everyone’s great relief and amazement it did. 

San Francesco Saverio Maria Bianchi died in Naples on January 31, 1815. Originally interred at the Chiesa di San Giuseppe delle Scalze a Pontecorvo, on June 18, 1972 his relics were translated to the Chiesa di Santa Maria di Caravaggio.

In celebration, I’m posting a prayer to St. Francis Xavier Mary Bianchi. The accompanying photo, courtesy of Andrew Giordano, was taken at the Chiesa di Santa Maria di Caravaggio in 2019. Evviva San Francesco!

Prayer to St. Francis Xavier Mary Bianchi

God, our Father, through the deep charity of St. Francis Xavier Mary Bianchi, you wanted to attract your people to your love. Help us now, through his intercession and by his example, to come to recognize and love you in our brothers and sisters. We ask this 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.

Additional reading: 

• St. Francis X. Bianchi at Barnabite Holiness

Feast of San Ciro di Alessandria

San Ciro di Alessandria, ora pro nobis
January 31st is the Feast of San Ciro di Alessandria (Saint Cyrus of Alexandria), Doctor, Hermit and Martyr. Widely venerated across Southern Italy, he is the principal patron of Portici (NA), Vico Equense (NA), Nocera Superiore (SA), Grottaglie (TA) and Marineo (PA), among others. In celebration, I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Cyrus. The accompanying photo of San Ciro was taken at Saint Francis of Paola Church (219 Conselyea St.) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Evviva San Ciro di Alessandria!
Prayer to Saint Cyrus
O Glorious St. Cyrus, Doctor, Martyr and our merciful Patron, I implore your intercession with confidence. Watch with equally pitiful eye my spiritual and physical infirmities. Do not forsake me, listen to the voice of my heart, and give me your help and your protection. Amen.

Feast of Beata Maria Cristina di Savoia, Queen of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

Beata Maria Cristina, ora pro nobis
January 31st is the Feast of Blessed Maria Cristina di Savoia, Queen of the Two Sicilies. Daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele I and Maria Theresa of Austria-Este, she married King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies in 1832. Immensely pious, “Reginella Santa” as she was popularly called, performed numerous acts of charity and important social works for the poor people of Naples. On January 31, 1836, at the age of 23, she died shortly after giving birth to her son SG Francesco II, the last King of the Two Sicilies. Queen Maria Cristina was Beatified on January 25, 2014 by Pope Francis at the Basilica Santa Chiara in Naples, where she is interred. In celebration, I'm posting a prayer to Blessed Maria Cristina di Savoia. Evviva Beata Maria Cristina!

Prayer to Blessed Maria Cristina di Savoia, Queen of the Two Sicilies

O God, who has placed a great light in Your saints and a provident support for Your people along the path, listen with goodness to our prayer, and glorify Your Servant Blessed Maria Cristina di Savoia, in whose life as a wife and queen You have offered us a shining model of wise and courageous charity, and grant us, through her intercession, the grace [mention here the graces you are asking for] which from You, with trust, we invoke. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

January 30, 2021

Novena to San Giovanni de Matha

San Giovanni de Matha and
San Felice di Valois, orate pro nobis
Pray novena for nine consecutive days, January 30th to February 7th, in preparation for the Feast on February 8th. Evviva San Giovanni de Matha!

O God, You were pleased to institute by heavenly direction, through St. John, the order of the Holy Trinity, for redeeming captives from the power of the Saracens; grant, we implore You, that by the suffrage of his merits, we may be delivered by Your grace from captivity of soul and body. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who being God, lives and reigns with You in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer to the Most Holy Trinity (For the imprisoned)

Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Thou didst call John De Matha to be a liberator of those who suffered the pains of captivity. Through his intercession, give patience and love to those who are persecuted for their faith in Christ; bestow Thy liberating grace on all who are enchained by any form of addiction; and instill a sense of purifying purposefulness in all who serve time in correction institutions.

Holy and Blessed Trinity, instill in my heart and in the hearts of all who are associated with the Trinitarian Order that love which moved John de Matha to labor for the spiritual and physical freedom of all Thy sons and daughters. Instill in us a deep compassion for the poor and the less fortunate of society, and transform us into apostles of Thy kingdom of justice and peace in our world.

We ask this, Trinity Most Holy, because Thou art at once our loving Father, our compassionate Redeemer, and the Spirit from Whom all blessings come. Amen.

Mention you intentions here...

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

(Repeat three times) St. John De Matha, Pray for us.

* Photo of stained glass window of St. John of Matha and St. Felix of Valois, the Founders of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity, was taken at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of Anthony Scillia.

Traditional Latin High Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite for the Feast of the Purification of the BVM (Candlemas) in Jersey City, New Jersey

January 29, 2021

New Book — Goddesses of Akragas: A Study of Terracotta Votive Figurines from Sicily

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

Goddesses of Akragas: A Study of Terracotta Votive Figurines from Sicily by Dr. Gerrie Van Rooijen

Publisher: Sidestone Press
Publication Date: Jan. 22, 2021
Hardback: $245.00
Paperback: $95.00
Language: English
Pages: 388

Read description

Click here to see more books

Listing does not imply any endorsement

Traditional Latin High Mass on Septuagesima Sunday in Jersey City, New Jersey

January 28, 2021

Feast of Beato Carlo Magno

Carolo Magno Imperatore, ora pro nobis
January 28th is the Feast of Beato Carlo Magno (Blessed Charlemagne, or Charles the Great), Imperator Romanorum and Pater Europae. Canonized at the behest of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1165 by antipope Paschal III, the decree was ultimately abrogated by the Third Lateran Council in 1179. However, the Emperor's public cultus persisted and was eventually confirmed in the 18th century by Pope Benedict XIV. Though not a saint yet, he is beatified. In Celebration, I’m posting a Prayer to Blessed Charlemagne by Dom Prosper Gueranger O.S.B. The accompanying photo was taken at the Abbey at Montecassino in Southern Italy. Evviva Beato Carlo Magno!

Prayer to Blessed Charlemagne

Hail, O Charles, beloved of God, Apostle of Christ, defender of His Church, protector of justice, guardian of good customs, terror of the enemies of the Christian name!

The tainted diadem of the Caesars - purified by the hands of Leo - sits on your august forehead; the globe of the Empire rests in your vigorous hand; the ever-victorious sword in your combats for Our Lord is sheathed at your waist, and on your forehead the imperial anointing was added to the royal unction by the hand of the Pontiff who consecrated you and confirmed your authority. As the representative of the figure of Christ in His temporal Royalty, you desired that He would reign in you and through you.

Now God rewards you for the love you had for Him, for the zeal you displayed for His glory, for the respect and confidence you showed toward His Spouse. In exchange for an earthly kingship, transitory and uncertain, you enjoy now an immortal kingdom where so many million of souls, who by your hands escaped idolatry, today honor you as the instrument of their salvation.

During the days of celebration of the birth of Our Lord by Our Lady, you offered to them the gracious temple you built in their honor (the Basilica of Aix-la-Chapelle), and which is still today the object of our admiration. It was in this place that your pious hands placed the newborn garment worn by her Divine Son. As retribution, the Son of God desired that your bones should gloriously rest in the same place to receive the testimony of the veneration of the peoples.

O glorious heir to the three Magi Kings of the East, present our souls before the One who wore such a humble garment. Ask Him to give us a part of the profound humility you had as you knelt before the Manger, a part of that great joy that filled your heart at Christmas, a part of that fiery zeal that made you realize so many works for the glory of the Infant Christ, and a part of that great strength that never abandoned you in your conquests for His Kingdom.

O mighty Emperor, you who of old was the arbiter of the whole European family assembled under your scepter, have mercy on this society that today is being destroyed in all its parts. After more than a thousand years, the Empire that the Church placed in your hands has collapsed as a chastisement for its infidelity to the Church that founded it. The nations still remain, troubled and afflicted. Only the Church can return life to them through the Faith; only she continues to be the depositary of public law; only she can govern the powerful and bless the obedient.

O Charles the Great, we beseech you to make that day arrive soon when society, re-established at its foundations, will cease asking liberty and order from the revolutions. Protect with a special love France, the most splendid flower of your magnificent crown. Show that you are always her king and father. Put an end to the false progress of the faithless empires of the North that have fallen into schism and heresy, and do not permit the peoples of the Holy Empire to fall prisoner to them.

Ponderable Quote from “The Song of Roland”

I recently (nine days ago, to be exact) dusted off my old, slightly musty copy of The Song of Roland to serve as a kind of novena for the Feast of Bl. Emperor Charlemagne. I did this last year with In Praise of the New Knighthood for the feast of St. Bernard of Clairvaux and found the exercise extremely edifying. Needless to say, I feel the same way about revisiting this masterpiece of medieval literature. If you haven't already read this glorious chanson de geste, I cannot recommend it highly enough. With no shortage of inspirational passages to choose from, I decided to simplify my decision and share the following excerpt solely because it's where I’m currently at in the book. Carolo Magno Imperatore, ora pro nobis.
The emperor has had his trumpets sounded;
then, with his mighty host, the brave lord rides.
The men from Spain have turned their backs to them;
they all ride out together in pursuit.
The king, on seeing dusk begin to fall,
Dismounts upon the green grass in a field,
Prostates himself, and prays Almighty God
that He will make the sun stand still for him,
hold back the night, and let the day go on.
An angel he had spoken with before
came instantly and gave him this command:
“Ride on, Charles, for the light shall not desert you.
God knows that you have lost the flower of France;
you may take vengeance on the guilty race.”
And at these words, the emperor remounts. AOI
* Reprinted from The Song of Roland, author unknown, translated and with an introduction by Robert Harrison, A Signet Classic, 2002, p.131-132

January 25, 2021

Feast of the Conversion of San Paolo Apostolo

San Paolo Apostolo, ora pro nobis
January 25th is the Feast of the Conversion of San Paolo (Saint Paul), Apostle and Martyr. Widely venerated across Southern Italy, he is the principal patron of Aversa (CE), Solarino (SR), Palazzolo Acreide (SR), Seclì (LE), and Casale di Carinola (CE), among others. In celebration, I’m posting a prayer to St. Paul. The accompanying photo was taken outside Saint Paul RCC in Philadelphia, PA. Evviva San Paolo Apostolo!

Prayer to St. Paul

O Glorious St. Paul, after persecuting the Church you became by God's grace its most zealous Apostle. To carry the knowledge of Jesus, our divine Savior, to the uttermost parts of the earth you joyfully endured prison, scourging, stoning, and shipwreck, as well as all manner of persecutions culminating in the shedding of the last drop of your blood for our Lord Jesus Christ. Obtain for us the grace to labor strenuously to bring the faith to others and to accept any trials and tribulations that may come our way. Help us to be inspired by your Epistles and to partake of your indomitable love for Jesus, so that after we have finished our course we may join you in praising him in heaven for all eternity. Amen

Novena to San Biagio Martire

San Biagio Martire, ora pro nobis
Prayers compiled by Rev. Bonaventure, O.F.M. to be recited for nine consecutive days, January 25th — February 2nd (Feast on February 3rd).

Preparatory Prayer

Almighty and eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy divine Son.

Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saying, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul. Amen.

Prayer in Honor of St. Blase

O God, deliver us through the intercession of Thy holy bishop and martyr Blase, from all evil of soul and body, especially from all ills of the throat; and grant us the grace to make a good confession in the confident hope of obtaining Thy pardon, and ever to praise with worthy lips Thy most holy name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Invocation of St. Blase

St. Blase, gracious benefactor of mankind and faithful servant of God, who for the love of our Saviour didst suffer so many tortures with patience and resignation; I invoke thy powerful intercession. Preserve me from all evils of soul and body. Because of thy great merits God endowed thee with the special grace to help those that suffer from ills of the throat; relieve and preserve me from them, so that I may always be able to fulfil my duties, and with the aid of God's grace perform good works. I invoke thy help as special physician of souls, that I may confess my sins sincerely in the holy sacrament of Penance and obtain their forgiveness. I recommend to thy merciful intercession also those who unfortunately concealed a sin in confession. Obtain for them the grace to accuse themselves sincerely and contritely of the sin they concealed, of the sacrilegious confessions and communions they made, and of all the sins they committed since then, so that they may receive pardon, the grace of God, and the remission of the eternal punishment. Amen.


My Lord and my God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother, Mary ever virgin, and of all the saints, particularly with those of the holy Helper in whose honor I make this novena.

Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen.

* For more on St. Blase and the Fourteen Holy Helpers, I highly recommend Project Gutenberg's free ebook, Mary, Help of Christians and the Fourteen Saints Invoked as Holy Helpers, compiled by Rev. Bonaventure, O.F.M. It has instructions, legends, novenas and prayers, with thoughts of the saints for every day of the year. Photo of the stained glass window of St. Blase inside St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church in Paterson, New Jersey courtesy of Anthony Scillia.

January 24, 2021

Celebrating the Second Annual King Louis XVI of France Memorial and the Feast of Sant’Agnese

Portrait of King Louis XVI of France with royalist flags
Domine salvum fac Regem et exaudi nos in die qua invocaverimus te. Gloria Patri et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. (1)

My Sanfedisti brethren and I happily returned to Joe’s of Ave U (287 Ave. U) in Gravesend, Brooklyn Thursday evening to commemorate the memory of King Louis XVI of France, the Feast of Sant’Agnese di Roma, and (most appreciatively) my birthday. After the miserable Wednesday we endured, admittedly more so for Napoli’s disappointing loss to Juventus in the Supercoppa than the sham inauguration, a convivial dinner was just what we needed to lift our spirits. While we can never truly forget what great evil we are up against and where our duty lies, its always nice to get together with friends, thumb our noses at our perfidious overlords and enjoy a few of the simple things in life while we still can. Evviva Sant'Agnes and Vive le roi!

~ Giovanni di Napoli, January 23rd, Feast of St. Emerentiana
Centerpiece with flags of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George, and the Spanish Cross of Burgundy
Makeshift table shrine with St. Louis IX of France, Servant of God King Francis II of Bourbon Two Sicilies, St. Joan of Arc, St. Agnes of Rome, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a green scapula, and reliquary with stones from the Apparition Grotto at the Santuario di San Michele Arcangelo in Gargano, Puglia
Panelle e crocchè di patate
Vastedda Palermitana
Arancini speciali
Vongole al forno
Spaghetti aglio e olio
Pollo alla Milanese
Someone waggishly transposed the numbers on our dessert
Caffe and spirits complete the meal
Raffaele, Andrew, Tony and John with the flag of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
(1) Lord, save the King, and hear us when we call upon thee. Glory to the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning and is now, and it shall be, for ever without end. Amen.

January 23, 2021

New Book: Textile Activity and Cultural Identity in Sicily Between the Late Bronze Age and Archaic Period

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

Textile Activity and Cultural Identity in Sicily Between the Late Bronze Age and Archaic Period by Gabriella Longhitano

Publisher: Oxbow Books
Publication Date: July 31, 2021
Paperback: $55.00
Language: English
Pages: 288

Read description

Click here to see more books

Listing does not imply any endorsement

Prayer Vigil for the Unborn at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in East Harlem, New York

January 22, 2021

Feast of Sant'Irene the Healer

Sant'Irene di Roma, ora pro nobis
January 22nd is the Feast of St. Irene of Rome, patron saint of the sick and the injured. Widow of St. Castulus, who was martyred during the great persecutions of Emperor Diocletian, she famously nursed St. Sebastian back to health after he was left for dead, his body riddled with arrows. In celebration, I’m posting a Prayer to Saint Irene. The accompanying photo of Saint Sebastian Cured by Saint Irene by Luca Giordano was taken at the Philadelphia Museum of ArtEvviva Sant'Irene di Roma!
Prayer to Saint Irene
O Glorious Saint Irene you served God in humility and confidence on earth, now you enjoy His beatific vision in Heaven. Help me to strengthen my faith and protect me in conflict. Obtain for me the grace to live a holy life, so that one day I may join you in the Kingdom of Heaven. Amen

Novena to Beata Maria Cristina di Savoia, Queen of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

Beata Maria Cristina di Savoia, ora pro nobis
Pray novena for nine consecutive days, January 22nd to January 30th (Feast celebrated on January 31st). For private use only.

O God, You adorned Blessed Maria Cristina with diligent and wise charity, so that by her witness, she would contribute to the building up of Your Kingdom. Grant us also, by her example, to do good, drawing on the true riches of Your Love. Through her intercession, grant us the grace of [Mention request here] which we ask with confidence. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

* Pictured is my makeshift shrine.

Feast of San Domenico di Sora

San Domenico di Sora, ora pro nobis
January 22nd is the Feast of San Domenico di Sora, Benedictine abbot and founder of several hermitages and monasteries in the Kingdom of Naples. Renowned for his healing miracles, San Domenico is invoked against poisonous snakebites, rabid dogs, fever and toothaches. Widely venerated across Southern Italy, the great healer is the principal patron of Sora (Terra di Lavoro), Colcullo (AQ), Pizzoferrato (CH), Villalago (AQ) and Fornelli (IS), among others. 
Each May in Colcullo, the town celebrates the Festa dei Serpari, or Feast of the Snake Handlers, in honor of their beloved patron. The event draws thousands of pilgrims each year.
During the festivities, San Domenico’s statue is dressed with live snakes and paraded through the streets with great fanfare. Among the saint’s relics on display at the local church are his molar and his mule’s iron horse shoe. The tooth is reputed to heal snake bites, while the horse shoe (a common symbol for good luck) is said to protect the town’s animals from danger. 
Popular custom says if you pull the chain of the church doorbell with your teeth you will be protected from toothaches. It’s common to see people wrap a handkerchief around the chain links, bite down, and ring the bell.
Some say the snake ritual dates back to pre-Christian times when the local Marsi tribes worshiped the telluric snake-goddess Angitia, daughter of Aeëtes, who taught the art of medicine to her devotees. The snake, among other things, is an ancient symbol of healing. Consider the serpent entwined Rod of Asclepius, the staff of the ancient Greek god of medicine and healing still used today by medical institutions. 
Others believe the rite symbolizes Christianity's triumph over paganism, because San Domenico performed wondrous miracles to protect the villagers from these afflictions while the mute and powerless goddess did naught.
In celebration, I’m posting a Prayer to San Domenico Abate. The accompanying photo of the saint comes courtesy of Made in South Italy TodayEvviva San Domenico di Sora!
Prayer to San Domenico Abate
O glorious San Domenico, beloved patron and miracle worker, you served God in humility and confidence on earth. Now you enjoy His beatific vision in heaven. You persevered till death and gained the crown of eternal life. With your strength protect us, your devotees, from the venom of wild animals and the torment of toothaches. Amen.

January 21, 2021

Feast of Sant'Agnese di Roma

Sant'Agnese di Roma, ora pro nobis
January 21st is the Feast of Sant'Agnese (St. Agnes of Rome), Virgin and Martyr. Patron saint of young girls, virgins, gardeners, and rape victims, she is the principal protectress of Pineto (TE), Corropoli (TE), and Sava di Baronissi (SA). In celebration, I’m posting a prayer to St. Agnes. The accompanying photo was taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. Dating from the third quarter of the 17th century, the bronze statuette was modeled after a work by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Evviva Sant'Agnese di Roma!
Prayer to St. Agnes
O Little St. Agnes, so young and yet made so strong and wise by the power of God, protect by your prayers all the young people of every place whose goodness and purity are threatened by the evils and impurities of this world. Give them strength in temptation and a true repentance when they fail.  Help them to find true Christian friends to accompany them in following the Lamb of God and finding safe pastures in His Church and in her holy sacraments. May you lead us to the wedding banquet of heaven to rejoice with you and all the holy martyrs in Christ who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Latin Missa Cantata for the Feast of the Purification of Our Lady and Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple

January 20, 2021

Feast of San Sebastiano Martire

San Sebastiano, ora pro nobis
January 20th is the Feast of San Sebastiano, Martyr and patron saint of soldiers, archers and athletes. Widely venerated across Southern Italy, he is the principal patron of Melilli (SR), Cerami (EN), Tortorici (ME), Maniace (CT), Acireale (CT), San Sebastiano al Vesuvio (NA), Caserta (CE), Conca della Campania (CE), Aiello del Sabato (AV) and Martirano (CZ), among others. In celebration, I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Sebastian. The accompanying photo was taken at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Montclair, New Jersey. Evviva San Sebastiano!  
Prayer to Saint Sebastian
Dear Commander at the Roman Emperor's court, you chose to be a soldier of Christ and dared to spread faith in the King of Kings, for which you were condemned to die. Your body, however, proved athletically strong and the executing arrows extremely weak. So another means to kill you was chosen and you gave your life to the Lord. May soldiers be always as strong in their faith as their Patron Saint so clearly has been. Amen.

Viva 'o Rre! Remembering HM Carlo di Borbone, Re di Napoli e di Sicilia

b. Madrid, January 20, 1716 – d. Madrid, December 14, 1788
Also see:
• Photo of the Week: Charles of Bourbon on Horseback

• Photo of the Week: Commemorative Medal for the 280th Anniversary of the Coronation of Carlo di Borbone
• Tricentennial of the Birth of King Carlo di Borbone
• The Great Restorer: Charles of Bourbon
• Remember Bitonto!
• Remembering the Battle of Bitonto
• Photo of the Week: L’Obelisco Carolino di Bitonto
• Photo of the Week: Statue of Charles of Bourbon

January 19, 2021

Feast of San Catello Vescovo

San Catello Vescovo, ora pro nobis
January 19th is the Feast of San Catello (Saint Catellus), Bishop and protector of Castellammare di Stabia, a commune in the province of Naples. In celebration, I'm posting a Prayer to San Catello. The accompanying photo was taken at Saint Michael's Church in New Haven, Connecticut. Evviva San Catello Vescovo!
Prayer to San Catello
Glorious San Catello, beloved patron of Castellammare di Stabia, you served God in humility and confidence on earth. Now you enjoy His beatific vision in heaven. You persevered till death and gained the crown of eternal life. Remember now the dangers and confusion and anguish that surround me and intercede for me in my needs and troubles. Enlighten, protect and guide me towards eternal salvation. Amen.

Pro-Life Vigil for an End to Abortion in Washington, D.C.

The "official" March for Life will not be happening. Instead, please consider joining us for a night of prayer and penance in a Vigil for an End to Abortion. Please contact us promptly if you intend to join us. tradistae@gmail.com

January 18, 2021

Celebrating the Feast of Sant'Antuono Abate

Sant'Antuono Abate, ora pro nobis
Saturday, January 16th — A handful of us gathered in Bellmore, Long Island Saturday evening to commemorate the birthday of Servant of God Francesco II di Borbone, the last king of the Two Sicilies, and the eve of the Feast of Sant’Antuono Abate with prayer and a traditional Fucarazzo di Sant'Antuono, or St. Anthony bonfire. Said to ward off evil spirits, the purifying conflagration also signifies the coming of spring and the end of winter.  
(L) Fucarazzo di Sant'Antuono, or St. Anthony’s Bonfire.
(R) Andrew removes the potatoes from the ashes

Since we abstain from meat on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays as part of our Brown Scapular devotion and Friday penance, as well as being a vigil to a great feast, the evening was more solemn and contemplative than festive. Meditating in silence most of the night, devotees finally broke the fast at midnight with potatoes baked in the hot ashes and a few shots of amaro in honor of His Majesty and our glorious Wonderworker.

* * *

Our gracious host Stephen with image of Sant'Antuono

Sunday, January 17th — Continuing the observance the next day at sundown, we joined our San Rocco Society brethren in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn for their annual Feast Day celebration. The festivities kicked-off with prayers by our host Stephen La Rocca, which were unintentionally accentuated by the 6pm tolling of church bells. 

Revelers enjoying the protective flames of the bonfire

Less austere than the vigil, partygoers ate, drank and mingled around the fire. Since it's customary to eat pig on the feast, most of the dishes had at least some pork in them. 

Continuing well into the night, the fire was steadily fed Christmas trees, dried palm fronds from Palm Sunday, and other kindling from the garden. Considering how tough things have been of late and how grim our Nation's prospects look, it was no surprise a few diehards didn't want the time-honored tradition to end.

Hot and sweet sausages on the grill

Heartfelt thanks to The Giordano family in Long Island and the La Rocca family in Brooklyn for your warmth and hospitality. As always, it was a great joy to celebrate our faith and culture together. Evviva Sant'Antuono!

Feast of the Chair of San Pietro Apostolo at Rome

Altar of the Chair of Peter by Bernini
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
January 18th is the Feast of the Chair of San Pietro Apostolo (St. Peter the Apostle) at Rome, a celebration of the Pope's first service in the Eternal City and the infallible chair (cathedra). Known as the “Prince of Apostles,” St. Peter is the patron saint of fisherman, sailors, bakers, bridge builders, clock makers and, of course, the Papacy. He is also invoked against fever, hysteria and foot ailments. Widely venerated across southern Italy, he is the principal patron of San Pietro al Tanagro (SA), San Pietro Apostolo (CZ), Riposto (CT), San Pietro Vernotico (BR), and San Pietro in Lama (LE), among others. In celebration, I’m posting a prayer to St. Peter. The accompanying photos were taken during my 2007 pilgrimage to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

Prayer to St. Peter

Pilgrim touching the foot of St. Peter
O blessed St Peter, head and chief of the Apostles, thou art the guardian of the keys of the heavenly kingdom, and against thee the powers of hell do not prevail; thou art the rock of the Church and the shepherd of Christ’s flock; thou art great in power, wonderful in thy heavenly bliss; thou hast the right of binding and loosing in heaven and on earth. The sea supported thy footsteps, the sick upon whom even thy shadow fell were cured of their ills. By the memory of that right hand which supported thee on the waves of the sea, lift me from the ocean of my sins, and by those tears which thou didst shed for thy Lord, break the bonds of my offenses and free me from the hand of all my adversaries. Help even me, O good shepherd, that I may in this life serve Christ Jesus and thee, that with thy help, after the close of a good life, I may deserve to attain the reward of eternal happiness in heaven, where thou art unto endless ages the guardian of the gates and the shepherd of the flock. Amen.

Photo of the Week: Statue of St. Peter Attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

Photo by Andrew Giordano

January 17, 2021

Feast of Sant'Antonio Abate

Sant'Antuono Abate, ora pro nobis
January 17th is the Feast of Sant'Antonio Abate, also known as Saint Anthony the Great, monk, hermit, and father of Christian monasticism. Patron Saint of livestock and fire, he is also invoked against demonic possession and contagious diseases, particularly skin maladies (e.g. shingles) and ergotism, a toxic condition caused by eating grains contaminated with ergot fungus. Also known as St. Anthony's Fire, ergotism causes gangrene in the extremities and drives its victims mad.

In Southern Italy huge wooden pyres called falò di Sant'Antuono, or the Bonfires of Saint Anthony (not to be confused with St. Anthony's Fire) are burned on the eve of his festival in public squares throughout the night. The purification ritual, which is meant to ward off evil spirits, also signifies the coming end of winter and the anticipation of spring. Local wines and delicacies are enjoyed, as well as fireworks, processions, music and other festivities.

Sant'Antonio's iconography includes the Tau Cross and the Holy Scriptures with flames shooting from the pages. The fire represents his gift to man (like the legend of Prometheus, Sant'Antonio stole fire for humanity). It also signifies the hardships he endured during his time as a hermit. Demons continuously harassed and tormented the Saint, who resisted their wicked temptations with prayer. 

The pig and bell are his attributes as well, though I've read conflicting theories as to why. Some say wild pigs are associated with the Devil, while others claim the animal symbolizes his ability to heal the sick. According to some, medieval apothecaries used pig lard to treat St. Anthony's Fire. The Antonites, a monastic order devoted to the Saint and caring for the sick, were founded in the Middle Ages (c.1100) by a French nobleman whose ailing son was miraculously cured by the Saint's Relics. The Hospitallers of St. Anthony supported its charities by raising swine, and bells, traditionally used to frighten demons, were put around animals' necks for protection.

Naturally there are many miracles and stories attributed to Sant'Antonio, but one of the more fantastic tales involves a pig. According to legend, the Saint descended to the Gates of Hell and used an unusually troublesome and elusive piglet to distract the infernal denizens. While his squealing companion created a diversion, Sant'Antonio hid smoldering embers inside his T-shaped staff and smuggled them back to earth to provide fire for mankind. Alternate versions say the Saint distracted the demons while the pig ran off with a firebrand.

In celebration, I'm posting a Prayer to St. Anthony the Abbot.1 The accompanying photo of Sant'Antuono were taken at the 2011 Feast of Sant'Antonio Abate in Astoria, Queens. Evviva Sant'Antuono Abate!

Prayer to St. Anthony the Abbot

Dear God, St. Anthony the Abbot accepted your call to renounce the world and to love you above all things. He faithfully served you in the solitude of the desert by fasting, prayer, humility and good works. In the Sign of The Cross, he triumphed over the Devil. Through his intercession, may we learn to love you better; with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, all our strength and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. St. Anthony the Abbot, great and powerful saint, grant us also this special request [make request]. We ask this through our lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. One God forever and ever, Amen.

Solemn Traditional Latin Mass for the Feast of St. Vincent Pallotti in East Harlem, New York

January 16, 2021

Celebrating the Feast of San Felice di Nola and Sant’Ilario di Poitiers in Brooklyn, New York

(L-R) Servant of God King Francis II di Bourbon,
flag of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and San Felice di Nola

After a short hiatus, members of the Fratelli della Santa Fede (Brothers of the Holy Faith) got back into the swing of things and celebrated the Feast of San Felice di Nola and Sant’Ilario di Poitiers at Joe’s of Avenue U (287 Ave. U), an old-school Sicilian eatery in Gravesend, Brooklyn. Our first get-together in 2021 (outside of Mass, of course), the little shindig was a modest, but good start to the new year. It also served as a nice warm-up for our upcoming Second Annual Feast of St. Agnes and King Louis XVI of France Memorial Dinner Party. [See last year's celebration.]

Makeshift table shrine with prayer cards for Sant'Antonio Abate, San Sebastiano, and Servants of God Pauline-Marie Jaricot and HM Francis II di Bourbon

As is our custom, we concluded grace with a Litany of Saints. In addition to our group’s patrons, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Andrew the Apostle, St. John the Baptist and the Madonna del Soccorso, we included several saints commemorated in mid-January: St. Hyginus, St. Paul the First Hermit, St. Maurus the Abbot, St. Marcellus I, St. Anthony the Abbot, St. Prisca, St. Canute, St. Fabian, St. Marius, St. Martha, St. Audifax, St. Abachum, and St. Sebastian. We also honored the Venerable Servants of God Pauline-Marie Jaricot and HM Francis II di Bourbon, the last King of the Two Sicilies.

Mista polpo e calamari
While Comrade De Blasio’s mandated outdoor dining area was ridiculous and unsightly, the restaurant's food and service were excellent and more than made up for it. Refusing to let the politburo’s awful policies hinder their success, Paolo, Caterina and the rest of the crack waitstaff were exemplary. Despite the government's hinderances, they did a tremendous job keeping us patrons well fed and satisfied. 
With so much happening in the world that is out of our control, at the very least we can try and help keep our favorite local businesses afloat and prevent the devious, fearmongering political tyrants from completely gutting our struggling communities. Practice the faith, celebrate your culture, and support those who make it possible for you to do so. Evviva San Felice di Nola and Sant’Ilario di Poitiers!
~ Giovanni di Napoli, January 15, Feast of San Mauro Abate
Panelle e crocchè di patate
Cavolfiore alla palermitana
Salsiccia e patate
Blessed wine from the Feast of San Giovanni Evangelista
Ricotta cheesecake
John, Andrew and Raffaele with the flag of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies