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May 17, 2013     Post-Gazette
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May 17, 2013

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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, MAY 17, 2013 L'Anno Bello: A Year in Italian Folklore The Call of the Outdoors Around this time of the year, when delicate spring gently gives way to the heat of summer, I feel the pull of nature calling me. The trees have erupted in full bloom, and whenever I look up through their branches I see a bright mosaic of lacy green leaves silhouetted against the sunlight. Since the days are now longer, evening falls softly with a dusty glow, reminding me of din- ners spent outdoors watch- ing the sunset. Yes, this is the time of the year when I want to spend as much time out in nature as pos- sible. My fianc6 and I often take walks in a state park near my town, reveling in the shady trees, the burbling waters of the streams, and the miniscule flowers dot- ting the meadows. Even just walking to my mailbox on a warm and sunny day, watching the birds dart in and out of the bushes, is enough to uplift my mood. This desire to return to nature has roots in a deep and universal longing, so much so that many May holidays around the world encourage celebrations in the outdoors. When I was in Italy with my family years ago, some of my most vivid memories recall places of natural beauty, along with the lovely human interactions they enabled. Our first stop was Milan, and we stayed at a small inn nestled in an old side road. I remember step- by Ally Di Censo ping into the hotel's court- yard, which blossomed with wild trees and colorful bunches of flowers. A worn statue of a Roman goddess peeked out among the foli- age, making me feel as if I had stepped through a look- ing-glass into days long past. A friendly group of Japanese girls staying at the hotel offered us some oranges they had recently bought, and the experience felt transcendent, a crossroads of culture, nature and his- tory. In Rome, my family wandered into a secluded area of some ancient ruins, where, far removed from the bustle of the busy city, we only heard the sound of the breeze fluttering through trees and chirping birds. Until we started talk- ing to two jovial college- aged brothers from Colorado, I could not shake the sen- sation that the breeze and the birds were really spirits of antiquity announcing their presence. The latter half of my trip to Italy was spent in my father's home- town of Sulmona in the Abruzzi, a bucolic hamlet of rolling hills, braying sheep, and expansive mead- ows. It felt more like the real Italy than other places that catered exclusively to tourists. The holiday of Pentecost falls on Sunday, May 19th, and Italians will spend this important Christian feast day incorporating rituals from the outdoors. Pentecost Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS AUTO * HOMEOWNERS * TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Free Parking Adjacent to Building W RISTORANTE & BAR Traditional Italian Cuisine 415 Hanover Street, Boston 61 7.367.2353 11 MountVernon Street, Winchester 781.729.0515 Function I ooms {;oP any Occasion Ckrislenin9 B iJ l Sho,,v ,, B thdo9 l +peav+ment, Etc. Donato Frattaroli is part of the Easter festivi- ties, occurring on the sev- enth Sunday after Easter, and it celebrates the de- scent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus Some Italians refer to this feast as Pasqua Rossa, meaning Red Easter, due to the red vest- ments clergy wear in honor of the Holy Spirit. Many Ital- ian churches scatter rose petals from the ceiling on this holiday, bringing the ubiquitous flowers of May into the celebration, as a way to commemorate the Holy Spirit descending on the disciples. In England, Pentecost Sunday is known as Whitsunday, and there the festivities heavily take on an outdoor quality. People celebrate with Whitsun Ales, or town fairs filled with feasts, folk dancing, pa- rades, and charitable collec- tions to benefit the village church and poor families. The Easter season is one filled with multiple refer- ences to the rebirth and re- newal of the Earth and veg- etation, which in religious ceremonies also refers to the renewal of faith and hope. In Italy and other European countries, the Easter festivities do not end on Easter Sunday but rather move on to encompass other feasts like Ascension Day and Pentecost, reminding us that the beauty of nature and the revitalization of the sea- son continue as spring turns to summer. May remains one of the most significant months for appreciating nature and all it has to offer. When I was an undergraduate student, I took a wonderful course on Buddhism. One spring day, the professor took us out to the woods to meditate. He explained that by becoming at peace with the outdoor surroundings, we do not separate ourselves from the world but rather reach down into our deeper conscious- ness and find ways to better our interaction with the world. I also learned this les- son while I was in Italy, and from investigating European holiday customs like those of Pentecost. By taking the time to appreciate the natu- ral world around us, we are forced to look within, and honor our own mind and soul. Perhaps that is the message of the breeze flut- tering through the trees af- ter all. Ally Di Censo is a Graduate Student in History at the Uni- versity of Massachusetts Bos- tom She appreciates any com- ments and suggestions about Italian holidays and folklore at F I -i I I I J by Sal Giarratani 3 EARTH TO MIT PROFESSOR: Denial is not a River in Egypt As I read a recent letter from Nasser Rabbat, a pro- fessor at MIT printed in the Boston Globe, I wondered about the letter writer's logic. Apparently, two broth- ers became radicalized into a branch of Islam that is seemingly at war with west- ern culture. Identifying any- one "American" for having lived here for 12 years since early childhood, isn't proof in and of itself that any accul- turation was totally Ameri- can. In fact, all roads report- edly seem to lead to just the opposite. To blame the glo- rification of violent movies and video games is a cop out. The writer asked the ques- tion: "How does a boy in America today turn into a nihilistic terrorist?" Wrong question! The real question is: How and why did these two broth- ers become so radicalized as to post YouTube videos fea- turing imams exhorting the death of Christians and Jews and calling for the establish- ment of the caliphate? Christians, Jews and Mus- lims share the same reli- gious roots and believe in the same God yet there are some human beings who seem unable to see the com- monality we all share. These two Boston Marathon bomb- ers allegedly shared a some- what radical view of religion. This view did not come from violent movies or any video game, it came from apparent learned behavior which at its roots demeans all of hu- manity. They are not vic- tims. Boston was. (Patron of Rome) by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari Philip was born in Florence on July 22, 1515. His fam- ily originally came from Castlefranco but lived for many generations in Flo- rence where his father Francesco struggled to make a living as a notary. It was through his father who maintained a close friend- ship with the Dominicans that Philip received much of his early religious training. Besides a younger brother, who died in early childhood, Philip had two younger sis- ters, Caterina and Elisabetta. A well-known incident of his childhood illustrating his impulsiveness and the spontaneity of his character occurred when Philip was about eight years old; he was left alone in a courtyard to amuse himself; seeing a donkey laden with fruit, he jumped on its back; the donkey, sur- prised, lost his footing, the donkey, fruit, and boy tumbled into the cellar with the boy winding up on the bottom! It was a miracle that he was not hurt. At eighteen, Philip was sent to work with an uncle, a successful businessman, who lived near Monte Cassino. It was while working with his uncle, that Philip would go into the mountains to pray, it was then that he decided to leave worldly success behind and dedicate his life to God. Philip went to Rome in 1533 where he became a tutor. He studied philosophy and theology, finding that his studies interfered with his prayer life; he discontinued his scholastic career to live a solitary life. He established the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity in 1548 serving pilgrims and the sick, in an effort to save souls. In 1551, at the age of 36, accepting the advice of his con- fessor, Philip became a priest. He went to live in a small community near the Church of Saint Jerome in Rome where he lived an ascetic life. Saint Philip founded the Congregation of the Oratory which was approved by Pope Gregory XIII in 1575 and gave to Philip the new church of Santa Maria in Vallicella, Rome, still called La Chiesa Nuova, the New Church, 'till this day. ST. JUDE AND ST. ANTHONY NOVENA May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, glorified, loved and preserved throughout the world now and for- ever. Sacred Heart of Jesus pray for us. St. Jude, worker of miracles, pray for us. St. Jude, help of the hopeless, pray for us. St. Anthony, most loving protector and wonder worker, pray for us. Say this prayer 9 times a day and by the 8th day your prayer will be answered. It has never been known to fail. Publication must be promised. My prayers have been answered. Favor received. P.D. Philip died close to midnight on May 25, 1595 after hear- ing confessions earlier in the day. He was eighty years old. It is said that Saint Philip lived with gladness in his heart and brightened the lives of all who came near him. Philip was beatified by Pope Paul V in 1615, and can- onized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. His Feast Day is cel- ebrated on May 26th. Saint Philip Neri is the Patron Saint of Rome.