FATHER EMANUELE GIORDANO
He was born in Frascineto (CS) on 6-27-1920 of Agostino Giordano and Rosina Bilotta,
grandchildren of father Bernardo Bilotta (1843-1918), parish priest of Frascineto, poet
and scholar. After attending grammar school in Frascineto, in
1933 he entered the Benedetto XV Seminary of Grottaferrata (Rome), where he attended high school. In 1938 he transferred to the Pontificio Collegio Greco of Rome and he
completed liceum, filosofical and theological studies at "Angelicum" Pontifical University, obtaining his License in Theology. Ordained a priest on November 18, 1945, he was nominated parish priest of Ejanina on May 30, 1946, where he celebrated the first mass on July 16, feast of the Virgin.
At that point, a long and fruitful pastoral mission begins for him. It has given
him much satisfaction: under his guide, in fact, tiny Ejanina gave to the
Byzantine Diocese of Lungro five priests. Father Emanuele for decades has
contributed actively to the life of the Diocese: first, as tenacious supporter
of introducing the Albanian language in Liturgy, and in addition, as energetic
translator of texts, in the realm of the "Commision for Liturgy, Byzantine Music
and Sacred Art". As a teacher at the Institute of Religious Sciences "Giovanni
Stamati", he has taught in the past Liturgy, Christology, Ecclesiology, Greek
and Albanian languages, and Byzantine Music. At Ejanina, even before the Albanian
language was officially introduced into the Mass (1968), it was already sung in
Albanian! In Ejanina, Byzantine, Greek and Albanian songs are present at
every liturgical function.
The parish church, dedicated to S. Basil,
already embellished with an Iconostasis in 1947, has recently been improved with
a new roof and paint on the exterior, as well as marble pavement in the interior.
The presbytery, also built in '48-49, has seen the growth of entire generations
in this long period of time. Father Emanuele has nurtured them personally
and lovingly, teaching catechism, songs and the Albanian language.
But father Emanuele Giordano is not only worthy in the religious field.
He also has merits, among all of his talents, in the Albanian cultural
field. Son of parents of spontaneous poetic vein, and great grandnephew of
Bilotta, father Emanuele already in 1957 published a booklet, "Albanian Folklore
in Italy", about the Easter traditions of Frascineto. And from there he began to contribute to Koliqi's magazine, Shejzat, and to the
magazine "Zgjimi" of Albino Greco, with poems, novels and various writings. In 1963 he published, through Edizioni Paoline, the work that would make him famous, the "Fjalor i Arbėreshvet tItalisė"(Dictionary of the Albanians of Italy).
In 1966 he went to Tirana, invited by the University, where he held conferences
on Bilotta and where he met the most important Albanian linguists and literary figures, with
some of whom he would maintain, through the years, an interesting epistolar correspondence.
In 1967, still in Albania, he published the work of Bilotta "Shpata e Skanderbekut ndė Dibrėt Poshtė" (The sword of Skanderbeg at Lower Dibre). In 1972, and for twelve years, he directed the
cultural magazine "Zėri i Arbėreshvet"(The voice of the Albanians of Italy),
in which he published linguistic, historical and literary articles, poems, reviews, folk
songs, proverbs, commentaries; as well as the commedy "Dorėngushti" (The Miser) of
Moličre, condensed, revisited and translated by him into Albanian. He
returned to Albania in 93, as a tourist, and in 94, for religious reasons.
For a few years he has also worked in... journalism: He has edited a religious column
on the Montreal weekly in Italian "Il Cittadino Canadese", edited by his nephew Basilio Giordano. Always in the Albanian cultural field, father Giordano has published, in the
year 2000, the Second* Edition of his "Fjalor"(Vocabulary), as well as by the Eparchy of Lungro - the "Vangjeli i Shėn Matesė" (The Gospel of St. Matthew) translated to Arbėresh:
with the assistance of his nephew, professor Agostino Giordano. Also in the year 2000,
father Giordano has contributed, with other authors, to the creation and production of the
work "Alfabetizzazione Arbėreshe" - edited by the AIADI Association of Lungro - that will
be distributed freely to all young people of the Arbėresh communities of Italy, who
attend grammar and high school.