February 11, 2016

The Greek Anthesteria in Southern Italy

Terracotta oinochoe (jug) Greek, Attic, red-figure, ca. 420-410 B.C.
Two women making preparations for the Anthesteria

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Lucian
The Greek settlements in southern Italy, collectively known as Magna Graecia, are an important part of our culture and history. More so than many other cultural influences, because these Greeks are also the direct ancestors of the southern Italian people. Along with several indigenous populations, such as the Sicani, Samnites, Messapians (among others), they form the base of our ethnicity. There were, of course, a few Greek settlements elsewhere in Italy (e.g. Ancona), and some blending with the various northern Italian peoples during and after the long lived Roman Empire, but it has been said that one of the main differences between the people of northern and southern Italy is the southerner's Greek ancestry.
Long before the Roman Empire spread through the entire peninsula to encompass the sea, there were prominent Greek cities and settlements throughout southern Italy and Sicily. These areas were well populated and centers of trade. The Greeks brought their religious and cultural practices with them. Some of these traditions continued after the Roman subjugation, and were actually similar to the Roman's own way of doing things. This isn't surprising because these cultures had already been influencing each other for centuries. Rituals of spiritual purification were common in ancient times, and both the Romans and the Greeks had feasts to honor their ancestors and placate the dead. The Greek tradition was called Anthesteria. Continue reading

February 10, 2016

Shadows Across My Screen

Elvira Notari and the Suppression of Southern Italian Cinematic Culture
Elvira and Nicola Notari
By Niccoló Graffio
“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell (As quoted in My Few Wise Words of Wisdom by Charles Walker, 2000)
If one seeks to create a new nation out of pre-existing peoples, mythology becomes important.  Mythology, whether of a religious, philosophical or historical nature, can serve as a glue to bind together otherwise disparate elements in a society. It is not enough to simply create this mythology; one must also propagate and inculcate it into the masses to the point where it is accepted unquestionably by the majority. In times past this fell to the priests of whatever religion served the rulers of the polity.  Nowadays, it is the responsibility of those who walk the halls of Academia and the mass media.
The mythology thus created inevitably serves the dominant elements of that society at the expense of the subordinate ones. The Sardinian Marxist writer Antonio Gramsci referred to this as “cultural hegemony”. A point that is crucial to the understanding of this phenomenon is that the mythology can have and often does contain a number of factual components.  This is necessary, otherwise it becomes easy for critics of the ruling elite to debunk it and by extension the legitimacy of that society’s rulers. Continue reading

Brother Rosary

Bartolo Longo
Bartolo Longo of Brindisi
By Niccolò Graffio
“He that repents is angry with himself; I need not be angry with him.” – Benjamin Whichcote:Moral and Religious Aphorisms, 1753
Bartolo Longo was born on February 10th, 1841 to Dr. Bartolomeo Longo and Antonina (nee) Luparelli in the town of Latiano, in the province of Brindisi, Apulia at the time that region was part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.  He had the good fortune of being born into a prosperous family which guaranteed for him a better lifestyle than most of those living around him.
His parents were devout Roman Catholics, especially his mother, who taught young Bartolo to pray the Rosary on a daily basis. At an early age he demonstrated a marked intelligence.  That, plus his parents’ prosperity, insured for him a good education.  In addition to academics he also studied the piano and the flute.  Records show he did well in all his endeavors. Continue reading

Ferdinando Carulli: A True Guitar Hero

Ferdinando Carulli
By Giovanni di Napoli
Ferdinando Carulli (b. Naples 1770 - d. Paris 1841) was perhaps the most significant composer and instructor for the guitar in the Nineteenth Century. Highly prolific, many of the virtuoso's works, including his "Harmony Applied to the Guitar," continue to be used today to train students the classical guitar.
According to most sources he was born on February 9th, others claim the 10th. His father, Michele Carulli, was originally from Bari and a distinguished statesman in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies; his mother, Patrizia Federici, is believed to be Neapolitan, but more information about her is lost. He was raised on the Via Nardones near the Palazzo Reale in Naples.
Carulli learned the basics of music from a priest, which was not unusual at that time. The Cello was his first instrument, but at twenty he discovered the guitar and made it his life's passion. Because no suitable instructors were available at the time, the Neapolitan was principally self-taught and formulated his own guitar technique. Continue reading

February 9, 2016

Feast of San Corrado di Baviera

San Corrado by Nicolò Scardigno
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
February 9th is the Feast Day of San Corrado di Baviera (St. Conrad of Bavaria), patron of Molfetta, Puglia. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a prayer to San Corrado. The photo on the right was taken at Holy Face Monastery in Clifton, New Jersey. Unveiled on July 14, 2013, the statue was sculpted by Lyndhurst, New Jersey native Nicolò Scardigno in honor of his parents, Salvatore and Anna, who hail from Molfetta. The picture below was taken at the The Madonna Dei Martiri Social Club in Hoboken, New Jersey, where large numbers of immigrants from Molfetta settled and founded The Madonna Dei Martiri Society.
Preghiera a San Corrado Patrono di Molfetta
San Corrado, Madonna Dei Martiri
Social Club, Hoboken, New Jersey
Penitentissimo mio S. Corrado la divina provvidenza che vi chiamò da Francia in Palestina, e poi da terra Santa vi guidò fino a Bari, a singolarizzare con tanti lunghi pellegrinaggi, e con romitaggi sempre più aspri la vostra penitenza. Per quell'amore ardentissimo col quale visitaste quei Sacri luoghi, santificate colle pedate, coi sudori, e col sangue del Redentore, per quelle penitenze colle quali voleste divenire tutto somiglianti al Redentore Crocifisso; Per quell'affetto col quale emulaste le virtu, ed onoraste il sepolcro di S. Nicolò, impetratemi; vi supplico gratitudine di corrispondenza operative alle piaghe di Gesù Cristo vera contrizione dei miel peccati, e tempo e modo da farne dovuta penitenza.

Feast of San Sabino of Avellino

Viva San Sabino!
February 9th is the Feast of San Sabino di Avellino, Bishop of Abellinum and patron of Atripalda. To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting a Prayer to San Sabino.(1) The accompanying photo of the Saint was taken at Saint Lucy's Church, National Shrine of Saint Gerard in Newark, New Jersey.
Prayer to Saint Sabino
Lean down from Heaven our great protector St. Sabino, who from amongst all cities chose Atripalda as your last abode and final resting place. Here your holy bones still exude precious manna that assures us of your presence with us for all time. You have given your people copious graces and all who invoke your powerful name. We beg you, keep far from us all the divine punishments, render our fields fertile, keep the contagion of disease far from us, save us from earthquake and protect us from every evil, especially the evil of sin. Abundantly rain down your blessings upon us and our brothers who are far from us in America. Amen. 
(1) The Prayer to Saint Sabino was reprinted from the placard at the base of the statue.

Titan of the South: Paolo de Matteis

Andromeda and Perseus (ca. 1710)
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
Paolo de Matteis was born in Piano del Cilento, near Salerno, on February 9, 1662 in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. According to the Neapolitan biographer Bernardo De Dominici (1683-1759) the young Paolo showed great promise as a painter. His parents encouraged him, providing him with art instruction, though his father wanted him to pursue a more distinguished career in liberal arts. Brought to Naples he studied philosophy and mathematics under the guidance of some of the Kingdom's leading intellectuals, including Lionardo di Capoa and Tommaso di Cornelio. Paolo's natural talent, however, was painting and he was allowed to return to it.
At first he studied under Francesco di Maria, but his father pulled some strings and secured a place for him in the atelier of Luca Giordano, who, at the time, was one of Naples' most influential and respected painters. Inspired by his master's Roman drawings, de Matteis travelled to the Eternal City as part of Don Filippo Macedonia's entourage to see the masterpieces first hand. In Rome the Marchese del Carpio, Spain's ambassador to the Papal States, took the young artist under his wing and sent him to study in the workshop of Giovanni Maria Morandi, a follower of Carlo Maratta. Under Morandi's influence, the Neapolitan began to fuse Giordano's vigorous idiom with Roman classicism. Continue reading

Remembering a Titan — Frank Frazetta

Self Portrait
By Giovanni di Napoli
For as long as I can remember, I've been drawing. One of my earliest memories was a water color painting I did of the Red Baron's triplane soaring through the sky. It was nothing special, but my parents made so much of a fuss over it that I never forgot. I was fascinated with soldiers and war and as I grew older, my pictures grew more graphic and detailed.
An early influence in my life was Frank Frazetta. I'll never forget the first time I saw his work. A friend showed me the cover of his uncle's Molly Hatchet album featuring Frazetta's "Death Dealer", a fierce warrior mounted on a nightmarish black steed. It was like an epiphany. I sought out other works by the artist, which led me to the jacket covers of several science fiction and fantasy novels, sparking my interest in the stories of Robert E. Howard (Conan) and Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan).
Imitating Frazetta, my own renderings became more fantastic, yet more realistic because I began to focus on anatomy. I also started to include scantily clad damsels in distress to my drawings which, predictably, got me in trouble on several occasions in Catholic elementary school. Continue reading

February 8, 2016

The Search for our Ancestry (XXI)

Popular Genealogy Sites - Familysearch.org
By Angelo Coniglio
Previous columns have often referred to on-line sites that are helpful in genealogic research. There are dozens of such venues, and their offerings are updated constantly. One I’ve discussed frequently is ‘familysearch’, the Mormon site which has recently made many changes, so it’s worth another presentation.
The Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints church (LDS, or Mormon) advocates reverence for ancestors and holds a belief that well-documented ancestry can help insure family togetherness in the hereafter. Its members travel the world and make microfilm photocopies of all manner of original records from the United States and dozens of other nations: civil birth, marriage and death records; church baptism, marriage and death records; and so on. These microfilms are available to anyone, for rental and viewing at LDS FamilySearch Centers (FSCs), located in communities worldwide. Certain public libraries also support this process. The LDS has begun to ‘index’ information from these records, making their images available on-line, for free.
Whether a researcher plans to rent microfilms or to avail oneself of the free on-line information, he or she should become familiar with the LDS genealogy site here called https://familysearch.org/. To use the site, go to that web address. New users should immediately go to the upper right of the page, and click ‘Sign In’. This will lead you to a page where you may click on ‘Create a new account’ and register for free, with a username and password you will have to remember for future use.
Once you’ve signed in, you’ll see a colorful and somewhat ‘busy’ page with a number of options. A tempting choice is the one labeled ‘Family Tree’. Unless you’re an experienced researcher, I’d suggest that you ignore that option until you know more about your ancestors, and about the process of developing a family tree. My strong suggestion is to click on the link titled ‘Search’ at the top of the page. This will bring you to another page, https://familysearch.org/search, with a world map. On the map, click on the graphic of Europe. A list will pop up; select ‘Italy’. 
You’ll be presented with a list of the various types of searches for Italy. At the bottom of the page is an alphabetical listing of the records that are available on-line, in the format (Country) (Province) (Town), for example, ‘Italy, Caltanissetta, Caltanissetta’, meaning the records are for the province of Caltanissetta, filmed in the provincial capital city, also named Caltanissetta. If the locality of interest is not found in the listings of on-line records, you must search to see whether the LDS has microfilms of documents that have not yet been ‘indexed’ for on-line access. To do so, click on the ‘Search’ tap at the top of the page and from the drop-down menu select ‘Catalog’, which will take you to the ‘Family Search Catalog’. 
The catalog covers genealogical resources held by familysearch, the Salt Lake City https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Family_History_Library \\ Family History Library Family History Library, and selected local https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Introduction_to_LDS_Family_History_Centers \\ Introduction to LDS Family History Centers FamilySearch Centers (FSCs). It’s a guide to birth, marriage, and death records; census records; church registers; books; periodicals; family histories and many other records that contain genealogical information searchable online, on microfiche or microfilm, in books or computer files. This page also allows searching by ‘Place’, so you can enter the name of the town of interest directly, to see what records are available for it, whether on microfilm or on-line.
Many catalog entries on familysearch include images of records. When an image is available on-line, a camera icon will appear to the right of the microfilm note associated with that image. A record’s availability on microfilm is shown by an icon of a film reel. Most microfilm and microfiche records can be sent to your nearest https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Introduction_to_LDS_Family_History_Centers \\ Introduction to LDS Family History Centers FSC. If the records are on-line, their ability to be viewed may vary.  The LDS is required to obtain permission to film records, which may be subject to rules set by a municipality, parish, archive, or even the Italian government. For this reason, some records may be viewed on-line on any home computer; some may be viewed on home computers if the user registers and signs on to familysearch; and some may be viewed only from computers at LDS FSCs. Further, those available on home computers can generally be printed out or downloaded, but there may be restrictions on printing or downloading from FSC computers.
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 genealogytips@aol.com.

Photo of the Week: Statue of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen

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

February 7, 2016

Celebrating Carnival with the Deer Man

"The Hunt" — Lucanian era tomb painting, Paestum
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Lucian
The Catholic religious season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts for forty days until Easter. During this time Catholics and some other Christian denominations are supposed to commemorate Christ’s fasting in the wilderness by giving up meat and other popular foods such as dairy and eggs.
The question inevitably arose about what to do with all this food before it spoiled, especially in medieval times when food was scarce and could hardly be wasted. The obvious conclusion was to eat it all, and what better way than with festivals and celebrations. The English term Carnival originates with the Latin term carne levare (translated literally as remove meat). The festival season begins on the Epiphany (January 6th) and lasts until the beginning of Lent. The final day is called Martedi Grasso (Fat Tuesday) and is celebrated in different forms throughout the world, including the famous festival in New Orleans in America. In the United Kingdom they call it Pancake Tuesday, because it is said that pancakes were an easy and delicious way to devour all the dairy and eggs before the fasting began. Continue reading

Pipes, Poems and Passion: From Scotland to Sicily on the Wings of Love

Michela Musolino
Photo courtesy of Oscar Masicandaro
Sunday, February 14th
(3:00 PM to 5:00 PM)

The Luna Theater
620 S. 8th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Nothing says unbridled passion like bagpipes; nothing says romance like poetry; and there's no better place on earth to combine the two than on the island of Sicily! Bring your squeeze to the most eclectic music show in Philly this season, with sounds from Celtic, French and Sicilian traditions, as well as Early Music selections.

Musicians: Charlie Rutan, Crista Patton, Michela Musolino, Lucas Mitsch, Phil Passantino and Jeffrey Panettieri.

Spoken/sung words: Michela Musolino.

Click here for ticket information and directions: Pipes Poems & Passion

Announcing the 2016 Feast of Santa Marina, Inwood, Long Island

For more info visit the Santa Marina Society of Inwood on Facebook
Also see:
A Look at the 2014 Feast of Santa Marina, Inwood, Long Island
Viva Santa Marina!

February 6, 2016

Compra Sud — Faicco's Pork Store, Brooklyn

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

Faicco's Pork Store
6511 11th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11219
(718) 236-0119

Visit our Compra Sud Directory for complete listing

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

Announcing the 2016 Feast of Saint Anthony of Padua, Verona, New Jersey

Visit the St. Anthony of Padua Society of Verona, NJ on Facebook

February 5, 2016

Feast of Saint Agatha of Sicily

Saint Agatha, St. Joseph's Church
Long Island City, New York
(Photo by New York Scugnizzo)
By Giovanni di Napoli
February 5th is the Feast Day of Saint Agatha of Sicily, patroness of nurses, women with breast cancer and the victims of rape and torture. The protector of Catania, she is also invoked to guard against fire, volcanic eruptions and other natural disasters, the potential for which is ever present in the shadow of Mt. Etna. Agatha is also the patron Saint of Malta, where it is said that her intercession saved the Maltese from a Turkish invasion in 1551. 
Born in Catania (some say Palermo) to a wealthy family, Saint Agatha devoted her life to God. Also very beautiful she was sought-after by many suitors for marriage. Taking a vow of chastity the young maiden turned down all proposals. However, when the powerful Senator Quintianus was rebuked he vindictively threatened to denounce her as a Christian for disobeying Emperor Decius' edict on religious sacrifice. Standing firm against his threats and unwanted advances Agatha was arrested and condemned to the brothels. Continue reading 

Announcing the 2016 Festa Della Donna Luncheon, Astoria, Queens

For more info call Sarah Tenaglia at 718-631-3630 or 347-256-3454

February 4, 2016

Sicily: Culture and Conquest Exhibit Coming to The British Museum

Photo courtesy of the British Museum
April 21 — August 14, 2016

The British Museum
Great Russell Street, London
WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom

Sicily has been shaped by waves of conquest and settlement by different peoples over 4,000 years. Since the 7th century BC, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans all settled or invaded the island, lured by its fertile lands and strategic location. Over time, this series of conquests forged a cultural identity unlike any other.

This exhibition tells Sicily’s fascinating stories – from the arrival of the Greeks and their encounters with the Phoenicians and other settlers, to the extraordinary period of enlightenment under Norman rule in the 11th to 13th centuries.

For much of its history, Sicily was admired and envied for its wealth, cultural patronage and architecture. In the exhibition, ancient Greek sculpture, architectural decorations from temples, churches and palaces, early coinage, stunning gold jewelry, and Norman mosaics and textiles demonstrate Sicily’s diversity, prosperity and significance over hundreds of years.

Discover an island with a cosmopolitan history and identity – a place where the unique mix of peoples gave rise to an extraordinary cultural flowering. The art and objects they produced are some of the most beautiful and important in the history of the Mediterranean.

Lessons from the Bella 'Mbriana

Visitation III painted by Aldo Lira
By Lucian
Naples is a very old place and has many legends and spirits associated with it. Of the two most famous spirits in Naples, the bella ‘Mbriana is certainly the more positive one. The other is Munaciello, a much darker and frightening entity that I intend to write about some time in the future. The two are often mentioned together when the topic of Neapolitan ghosts or spirits arises.
I have found the customs surrounding the bella ‘Mbriana to be more than just quaint, they seem to be similar to at least two different pagan Roman traditions and the more I thought about her, the deeper her meaning became.
Said to be a princess that became extremely distraught due to an unhappy love affair, she would wander the city like a lost soul. Her father, the King, would give anonymous gifts to the families of households that looked after her. Her spirit has become associated with the protection of the household, and good fortune is supposed to come to those who pay her respect.
The bella ‘Mbriana only appears for an instant, as a reflection in a window or through a curtain swaying in a breeze. She is described as a beautiful young woman with a gentle face, and there is brightness about her. Her name derives from the Latin “Meridian;” the brightest hour of the day. This is significant because Southern Italians are referred to as Meridionali, a word that has the same Latin origin and refers to the people of the midday sun. The gecko is supposed to have a connection to ‘Mbriana. The lizards are found all over Naples and Southern Italy. Neapolitans believe that they bring good luck. Continue reading

February 3, 2016

Feast of San Biagio

Viva San Biagio!
February 3rd is the Feast Day of San Biagio (Saint Blaise), Bishop and Martyr. One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, he is the Patron Saint of veterinarians and those who suffer from throat afflictions. He is also invoked against attacks by wild animals. Widely venerated across southern Italy, the great healer is the principal protector of Plaesano (RC), Maratea (PZ), Ruvo di Puglia (BA), Caronia (ME), Bronte (CT), Spezzano Sila (CS), Atena Lucana (SA), Avetrana (TA), and Verzino (KR), among others. To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Blaise. The accompanying photo was taken at the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Prayer to Saint Blaise
O glorious Saint Blaise, who by your martyrdom left to the Church a precious witness to the Faith, obtain for us the grace to preserve within ourselves this divine gift, and to defend — without concern for human respect — both by word and example, the truth of that same faith, which is so wickedly attacked and slandered in these our times. You miraculously restored a little child who was at the point of death because of an affliction of the throat. Grant us your mighty protection in similar misfortunes. And, above all, obtain for us the grace of Christian mortification, together with faithful observance of the precepts of the Church, which keep us from offending almighty God. Amen.

February 2, 2016

Candlemas (Feast of the Presentation of the Lord)

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
February 2nd is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, or Candlemas. 40 days after Christmas we commemorate the ritual purification of the Blessed Mother and presentation of Christ in the Temple. In celebration I’m posting a Salvation Prayer Inspired by the Example of Holy Simeon the God-Receiver, who greeted the Holy Family at the temple during the presentation. 
Salvation Prayer Inspired by the Example of Simeon
Thou, O Lord, art salvation, and thine is salvation. We rejoice that thou hast given it unto us; we beseech thee that thou wilt grant it unto us, even to the end. Pour out, we beseech thee, thy blessing on thy people; that so the curse of our punishment may be removed, and we grow rich in the fruits of justice. Amen

Feast of the Madonna del Soccorso

Evviva Maria!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
February 2nd is the Feast Day of the Madonna del Soccorso (Our Lady of Help), protectress of Sciacca (AG), Castellammare del golfo (TP), Regalbuto (EN) San Potito Ultra (AV) and San Severo (FG), among others. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The accompanying photo of the Madonna del Soccorso was taken at the Italian American Museum (155 Mulberry Street) in Manhattan.
Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Oh Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke your powerful name, the protection of the living and the salvation of the dying. Purest Mary, let your name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, Blessed Lady, to rescue me whenever I call on you. In my temptations, in my needs, I will never cease to call on you, ever repeating your sacred name, Mary, Mary. What a consolation, what sweetness, what confidence fills my soul when I utter your sacred name or even only think of you! I thank the Lord for having given you so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely uttering your name. Let my love for you prompt me ever to hail you Mother of Perpetual Help. Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for me and grant me the favor I confidently ask of you. Amen.

February 1, 2016

Sunday of the Scarves

The War Against Neapolitan Identity Continues
Photo courtesy of www.calciomercato.napoli.it
By Giovanni di Napoli
As Partenopei fans filed into San Paolo Stadium on Sunday to see their beloved Napoli take on Empoli, authorities confiscated scarves bearing images of the Bourbon coat of arms. Inexplicably deemed “offensive,” stewards (with police support) at the Curva B entrance seized all scarves from men, women and children with the heraldic symbol of the pre-unification rulers of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and deposited them (like our history) into trash bins.
In what now is being sarcastically called the “Sunday of the Scarves,” one cannot help but see the hypocrisy and double standards against the people of the south. Not only are the historical and traditional symbols of other regions (e.g. the Lion of Venice, the Fleur-de-Lys of Florence, the Capitoline Wolf of Rome, etc.) not being curtailed (nor should they), abusive and derogatory chants in the terraces aimed at southerners continue unabated. It would seem that the rediscovery of our particular historical and cultural heritage is considered more “offensive” than the insults regularly hurled at southerners.  
Perhaps its a good sign; local pride has seen such a dramatic rise in recent years that we can no longer just be ignored and ridiculed, now our symbols must be suppressed. This means the precarious facade is crumbling; the south is rising again. Now we need to start seeing our symbols appear at other stadiums and venues across the south. Napoli capitale nostra!
Graphic courtesy of New York Scugnizzo
* * *
For the record, Napoli beat the Tuscan side 5-1 and remain in first place in Serie A. They face Lazio next. Forza Napoli!
Also see:

Feast of San Trifone Martire

Martyrdom of Saint Gryphon, 
with Respicius and Nympha, 
Cathedral of Ravello 
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
February 1st is the Feast Day of San Trifone Martire (Saint Tryphon the Martyr), patron saint of gardeners and falconers. Venerated across southern Italy, he is the principal patron of Adelfia–Montrone (BA), Marzano di Nola (AV), Alessano (LE) and Pulsano (TA), among others. Major celebrations are held in his honor (e.g. in Adelfia) on November 10th, recalling the translation of his sacred relics from Kotor, Montenegro, to Rome in the tenth century. Over the years, his relics have found their way to several locations throughout southern Italy, including Ravello (SA), Altilia (KR) and Cerignola (FG).
To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Tryphon, Respicius and Nympha. The accompanying photo of the Martyrdom of Saint Tryphon, with Respicius and Nympha was taken during my 2010 pilgrimage to the Duomo at Ravello. Evviva San Trifone!
Prayer to Saint Tryphon, Respicius and Nympha
Grant, O Lord, we pray thee: that, as by the prayers of thy blessed Martyrs, Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha, we do feel the effectual succor of thy protection; so we may at all times devoutly observe their festival. Who liveth and reigneth with God the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen